How Greening Your Small Business Can Be Profitable


When business owners think about going green, they often see it as an act of benevolence rather than a wise business move that will help them earn more money, but the fact is that it`s both. Going green, obviously, helps the environment and shows that a business cares about leaving a positive legacy for future generations but beyond that it can also translate directly into higher profits, along with many intangible benefits such as increased customer loyalty and greater exposure.

The best way to go green...

The very best way for a business to go green is to start small and to work their way up. You don`t have to do everything at once and to get overwhelmed. It`s a good idea to start with a plan of action. Which are the small, easy changes that can be made immediately and which changes will take a bit more time and money to implement? When a business goes green, it`s not an overnight change that happens all of a sudden; rather it`s an ongoing commitment to making decisions that are beneficial to the environment. You might start by creating new policies to turn off the lights in the break room when nobody is around, or to unplug one of the staff fridges if it`s always sitting empty. Other easy tips for going green include installing fixtures in the toilets so that they use less water (Very easy, you can even just put a couple of bricks into the reservoir to greatly reduce the water that`s used to flush), installing energy efficient lighting, smart printing, or going paperless altogether.

On the other hand you can start your business with something that`s eco-conscious and innovative in the first place. For example, if you want to do production you can always choose to make your products green. There are a plenty of good examples of this practice in Australia, from green home builders, to the famous restaurant and cafe called Silo. They all contribute towards saving the environment and are very popular for doing so.

Financial Benefits of Going Green

We`ll take a look at some of the intangible benefits of greening your business in a moment, but first let`s look at the things that can be easily measured. The bottom line in any business is to make money, and going green can help you do just that. The initial costs of going green can be more expensive than not, but over time it starts to pay for itself and ultimately you`re saving a lot of money. For example, the initial price of going paperless is a lot more than ordering a week`s worth of paper, but a year or two down the road you`ll be well into the green, so to speak, and this transition will have paid for itself many times over.

Another example of saving money by going green is in energy savings. The costs of energy are always on the rise, and the best way to counteract these growing expenses is simply to use less energy. Energy efficient light bulbs are a great way to accomplish this, as well as turning off lights when they`re not in use or using natural light whenever possible.

In many places, governments offer incentives to businesses who take a greener approach to things in the forms of tax credits and rebates. You may be able to install solar panels, for example, for a lot less expensive than you might think. After a few years, they`ll start to pay for themselves and you`ll be getting free energy and potentially even earning money by putting your excess energy back into the grid. This is worth looking into!

The Harder To Measure Benefits

Along with all of the things that will directly save you money that you`ll be able to see right away, there are additional benefits to going green that might not be as obvious. The big one here is goodwill from your customers. If given the choice, and all other things being equal, many people prefer to work with a company that actively tries to reduce their negative impact on the environment. If you can support a company that`s doing good for the environment or one that isn`t, the choice is pretty clear. Goodwill isn`t something that`s easy to measure, but it goes a long way towards building a sustainable brand.

Final Thoughts on Greening your Business

Whether you truly care about helping to protect the environment, or you simply want to take advantage of the financial benefits, it`s clear that taking steps towards running a greener business is the smart move to make. Each business is different, but every single business has ways they can improve their impact on the environment by going greener.

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