Going green is not a trend — it should be an integral part of your business’s corporate sustainability plan. As your business grows, so should your strategies towards sustainability. You need to understand that going green does not only refer to living a plastic-free life, but that it impacts every aspect of your business.
It’s about time your business goes green. We’ve outlined how going green benefits your business below.
#1 It’s What Your Customers Want
Focus on what the eco-conscious consumer wants — after all, sustainability is an important criterion for about 60 percent of consumers in the United States. By going green, you’ll be able to meet the needs of customers who are curious about the supply chain of the products they buy. Modern-day customers want their hard-earned dollars to go to businesses that they believe deserve it.
Costumers want to buy from brands that align with their own “green goals”, so be sure your products mirror your company’s commitment to sustainability, too. For instance, you can replace plastic packaging with sustainable packaging alternatives like paper.
#2 It’s Good For Your Business Public Image
Customers want to do business with brands they believe share their own values. If you show your customers that you care about the environment, this will improve their perception of your company. You won’t just be another company that jumps on trends, but a company that truly cares.
As a bonus, your customers will spread the word about your business’s green goals. They’ll talk and tweet about it, and over time, you’ll be able to build your reputation. You can build a customer base of eco-conscious individuals whose needs have been met by your business.
#3 It Improves Sales Through Innovation
Even if your customers aren’t eco-conscious, if your product is innovative, they will be more likely to buy it. A study found that customers will pay a premium for innovative products even if they have no idea how it works. For instance, if you invest in AI beauty technology, you can appeal to savvy customers who want to put their money into innovative cosmetics. Even if they don’t understand how AI works, they’ll likely buy your beauty products for the sake of it.
When customers buy from a sustainable brand, they’ll feel good about themselves. Customers can’t resist products that are good for their self-image.
#4 It Cuts Your Costs on Supplies
An unfortunate fact is that office workers use around 10,000 sheets of paper per year. This practice is bad for the planet and your business. Businesses spend about $120 billion per year to buy, store, and print on paper. In fact, Gartner believes that three percent of a company’s revenue is spent on paper.
In order to go green and cut your costs, consider going paperless. By going paperless, you’ll be able to say goodbye to printed handouts, printed payrolls, and more for good. For example, rather than printing out your employee’s leave forms, set up an automated leave system. That way, your employees won’t have to print out several forms to file one paid leave.
If you go paper-free, you’ll be able to achieve your return on investment (ROI) in less than a year!
#5 It Qualifies You For Eco-Friendly Incentives
In the U.S., you can qualify for tax incentives if you meet the government’s requirements for going green. This is an initiative of the U.S. federal government, with the expectation that it will encourage business owners to be more sustainable. Basically, it rewards business owners who show their commitment to eco-conscious practices.
For example, you may be able to qualify for a tax credit of $1.80 per square foot if your commercial building’s HVAC system meets The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)’s requirements.
#6 It Lowers Your Water Bills
Want to improve your business’s bottom line? Cut costs whenever you can. One way your business can go green is by lowering your water consumption.
Switch to dual-flush toilets that allow your employees to save water on their number ones and “reserve” the water for their number twos. Low-flow faucets can also lower your water bill as they reduce the water flow by about 30 percent. Another way to save water in the workplace is by repairing leaks — a faucet that drips every day can waste around 10,000 liters of water a year!
#7 It Cuts Your Electricity Costs
Businesses spend about $557 a month on electricity, however, those that have switched to solar have been able to lower this by 89 percent. Even if you don’t switch to solar power, there are still several ways you can save on your electricity costs.
By switching out incandescent lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs, you can save about 80 percent on your electricity bill. Ask your employees to fully turn off their computers when it’s time to clock out. Put up “gentle reminders” to establish a habit of energy-saving. Your employees won’t embrace the eco-friendly life overnight, but over time, they will develop habits that will substantially lower your costs.
The Bottom Line
Going green benefits your business in more ways than one. Not only will you be able to lower your business carbon footprint, but you can also attract (and retain) customers that are committed to protecting the planet. This list only scratches the surface and there are more things you can do to go green, but feel free to use it as a starting point for your sustainability goals.