Does it Pay to Go Green?
FIVE top reasons why your small business should.
Small businesses often face challenges such as lack of time and options, cost and quality of products when attempting to go green. Some common and easy ways to do so for small business are reducing waste (especially water, paper and energy usage) and seeking energy efficient and recycled products such as ink and toner cartridges, paper products, cleaning chemicals, lighting and electronics water.
So does it pay to go green?
- Sustainability for the Environment
With increasing environmental consciousness, it has become a moral imperative to go green and give back to society. It may not be your top reason for Going Green, but it definitely is the main push behind sustainable living. Why? Simply because if there is no planet, there will be no business. While the ultimate intention of going green is to have the ‘doing good’ feeling, there are definitely some tangible benefits too.
- Increase Brand Equity
Businesses that incorporate green practices gain the favour of like-minded consumers, employees, regulators, and the larger community. A positive public image in this growing trend of environmental consciousness is a big if not the best benefit of going green. It increases brand equity free of charge. Not only will positive brand equity increase sales and profits, more crucially, it will help the business in times of crises when no amount of advertisements or product pricing will help.
- Customers and Increase Sales
People care about the environment and they love businesses that care too. Customers actually demand that business adopt green practices. Going green bring in new customers and retain existing customers. It builds customer loyalty. When like-minded individuals see you making a strong effort towards a good cause, they want to support you and shop at your store as they feel they will also be contributing towards the cause. Due to this growing consciousness, the market share for green products will continue to grow.
- Reduce Operating Costs and Increase profit margins
The main areas of waste reduction are water, paper and energy. There are many ways of doing this, such as installing sensor touch taps, using the electronic medium to communicate with employees and customers, and using energy efficient bulbs for example. Smaller businesses can also benefit from reduced energy costs by taking simple steps like shutting off lights and computers when they're not in use. Operating bills will go down and profit margins will increase. According to MSNBC.com, chemical manufacturer DuPont saved over $3 billion over two decades by reducing carbon emissions.
Just like customers, environmentally conscious young professionals seek businesses that are environmentally responsible. Businesses are better able to attract and retain talented employees. In addition, with green practices such as using non-toxic air fresheners and cleaners, taking advantage of natural light, organic food selections in the company cafeteria workplace ambience improves and the atmosphere becomes healthy. This results in less absenteeism due to sickness. What do you get when the workplace is healthy and the business culture is in sync with the employees’ mindset? You get satisfied and loyal employees with high morale and hence increased productivity.