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Why Now’s the Perfect Time For Green Business Operations

By: Eleanor Hecks

 

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Why is going green important for your business? Benefits of an environmentally friendly business include customer goodwill, saving money and preserving the planet for future generations. Maybe you’ve wanted to become more eco-friendly for a while but weren’t sure where to start. Now is the perfect time to implement a few new practices.

According to Statista, the global population reaches 11 billion by 2100. The more people on the planet, the more pollution and numbers using resources. If businesses and individuals don’t take the time to focus on sustainability now, the world could be in crisis in the next 100 years.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever before to adopt green operations. Here are some of the ways companies are already reducing carbon footprints. You might be surprised how simple of the changes can be.

1. Conduct an Energy Audit

Enlist the help of your local power company to see where you’re wasting the most energy. An energy audit catches issues such as small appliances draining energy even when they’re not in use.

For example, the average business has multiple computers and printers. Can you completely power these machines down when not in use and save on electricity? Look for ways you waste resources, such as leaving the bathroom lights on when no one is using the facilities or keeping the heat or air conditioning turned up a notch above what’s comfortable.

2. Go Paperless

Paper makes up around 23% of municipal solid waste. Simply moving to a paperless model saves significant waste and reduces paper supply costs. Invest in backup systems to prevent loss of data and ditch the printouts.

When you must use paper products, separate them into recycling bins. At least you’ll keep paper out of the landfills and reduce loss of forestry to make new.

3. Gain Green Tax Credits

Some areas offer tax incentives for companies that go green. You may be able to pay for solar panels, geothermal energy or many other improvements to your building without spending much out of pocket.

At times there are federal credits for larger companies, but your state and local governments may offer incentives as well.

4. Embrace Remote Work

Many companies have at least some roles where workers can telecommute. Look at your daily operations and figure out if you can go fully remote or hybrid. You’ll use less energy with fewer people in the office, and each person working from home saves on commuting costs and the resulting carbon emissions.

5. Install Special Lights

According to the United States Department of Energy, LED light bulbs use 25 to 80% less energy than standard incandescent. In a large manufacturing building or office setting, you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year and reduce your energy usage.

You can also install motion sensor lights that only turn on when people move around. While they might not be a smart option for inside the office, where they’ll turn off at inopportune times, they are perfect for restrooms or break areas that might sit empty much of the day.

6. Attract New Customers

People tend to embrace companies supporting the causes they care most about. Energy conservation is at the top of the list for many younger people. If you want to attract new customers who also care about a greener world, embracing green business operations gives you a marketing edge.

7. Boost Company Culture

Every business has a philosophy and attitude that shines through in its daily interactions with employees. How your staff views you relates back to how you treat the world. If you want workers who are conscientious and forward-thinking, you’ll attract them by embracing green business operations.

Finding highly qualified and dedicated employees is a challenge for most businesses right now. Help wanted signs appear everywhere and some places shut down thanks to lack of a candidate pool. You can add the perk of saving the environment to your list of benefits when attracting local talent.

8. Lose Single Use Items

Do you put out styrofoam coffee cups and add disposable plates and utensils to your break area? Talk to your employees about bringing their own items from home, or provide reusable dinnerware and a dishwasher. The more you reduce waste, the better for the environment.

You’ll save money on supplies when you no longer have to purchase coffee cups every month, too!

9. Expand Your Reach

You have an opportunity to make a big impact in your community. Use your reach to expand awareness about green living to your customers. Host an event where you teach school children about your company’s green practices and why it’s vital for corporations to embrace sustainability.

Invite those who participate in other eco-friendly activities to come help with a project at your build. Install a nature reserve, add a small pond, plant some trees or create a rain barrel for watering landscaping.

Why Start Now?

You’ll find more tools and resources available to take your company green than at any time in the past. Wise entrepreneurs even started energy audit companies to consult with businesses and let them know how they can make the most environmental impact.

Some firms wait to embrace green business operations because it seems overwhelming. You can always start small with something as simple as setting out recycle bins and sorting waste into different categories. As your company adapts, add more practices until you’ve fully reduced your carbon footprint as small as possible.

Published: July 30, 2021
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eleanor hecks

Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

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