Refocus your business initiatives and practices with an eco-friendly culture
Environmentally or eco-friendly practices are vital to success in today’s business world, and not just because consumers demand it. Yes, people love to know they’re doing business with a green, morally acceptable organization, but it’s also about sustainability and efficiency.
Adopting an eco-friendly culture will provide many benefits, bigger and better than positive PR. Here are six of the most pertinent rewards a business will receive from going green.
1. Tax Benefits
Renewable energy especially offers a lot of tax incentives that will cut down not only on deployment costs but also operational costs. Some locations offer tax credits up to 30 percent of the total cost, so you’re essentially getting a discount on the equipment itself. The breaks come in the form of both tax credits and tax deductions.
There are breaks for adopting solar and renewable energy sources, as well as “going green” or creating a more environmentally-sound and sustainable facility or operation.
2. Cost Savings
Consider how much money you spend on lighting your business and surrounding facilities. Now, imagine if that cost could be mitigated entirely thanks to renewable energy. It can, and it will if you switch to a greener energy supply like solar, wind or geothermal.
Even if you don’t roll out brand spanking new renewable systems, you can cut down on operating and energy costs through green practices. Something as simple as turning off lights that are not in use or kicking the thermostat up a few degrees over the weekend can have a significant impact.
You can improve other areas to lower costs, as well. Superior Walls, for example, offers walls that are insulted and bonded directly to concrete foundations cutting down on energy usage particularly with heating and cooling systems. By outfitting your business with better insulation — which is certainly part of a green initiative — you can improve environmental and economic impact simultaneously.
3. A Self-Sufficiency Boost
Renewable energy sources have the added benefit of increasing sustainability for your organization and teams. Solar panels, for instance, help generate energy that can be rolled into the local grid to cut down on total consumption. In an ideal scenario, it will keep your business operational entirely on clean energy.
Off-grid power is excellent when there’s an energy crisis or outage, your business can remain relatively untouched. The same is true during a natural disaster or emergency, provided the energy source isn’t damaged or inhibited in some way.
Lowering excess waste is another proponent of sustainability. Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing is the star example, having diverted 99.9 percent of their total waste from landfills earning them the Platinum Zero Waste Business certification.
4. Customer Loyalty
Public opinion tends to sway in the direction of clean energy, sustainable practices, and sound goods sourcing — particularly through healthy means. Doing so will generate a strong, positive reputation for your brand and also boost customer loyalty.
People prefer to do business with brands that honor eco-friendly initiatives — one in three consumers favors eco-friendly options over the alternative. Furthermore, 35 percent of people will spend more money on products and services that are better for the environment.
Nike is known to have a bad track record when it comes to corporate sustainability and environmental impact. More recently, however, they’ve made a ton of changes, earning them a spot on Morgan Stanley’s list of most sustainable clothing and footwear brands in 2015. Not only are they now using recyclable materials and fabrics in their clothing, but they are also making it easier for designers and customers to make better choices thanks to their mobile app.
5. Employee Morale
No one likes working for a scrooge, and no one likes working for a morally bankrupt or damaging organization, either. A majority of today’s workforce is happier to be working with a company that cares about the world and how it impacts the surrounding communities.
In a recent survey, 51 percent of people say they won’t work for a company that doesn’t have a strong social and environmental commitment. Furthermore, 74 percent agree their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a positive impact at work — which includes a positive effect on the surrounding community.
6. An Expanded Network
Believe it or not, there is an incredibly large community of green and eco-friendly companies that will only work with like-minded parties. Part of this is because collaborating with a non-eco-friendly partner devalues your own efforts.
By adopting green initiatives and an eco-friendly business model you instantly open up your network, increasing opportunities. New partners and suppliers will be willing to work with you, as well as new stores and distributors.
IKEA, for example, has always been focused on renewable energy and more sustainable business practices. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve built a network of reliable, eco-friendly partners. This allows them to do things like source nearly 50 percent of its wood from sustainable foresters, or 100 percent of its cotton from farms that meet the Better Cotton standards.
The Benefits Don’t End There
Even though a handful of benefits are listed here, they’re not the only ones your business will experience when adopting eco-friendly initiatives. Your employees will be much happier and healthier, mentally and physically. Your customers will be more satisfied with the products you provide, as well as the positive impact they have. Even better, the new opportunities that open up provide even greater chances for growth and development.
It’s really a win-win, so the sooner you refocus your initiatives and practices, the better.