You may be absolutely sure that operating your business in a manner that doesn’t hurt the environment is socially responsible and ethically necessary, but are you also sure about how it will impact your bottom line? Fortunately, with today’s technology and cultural environment, ecological sustainability actually makes good business sense.
For one, customers appreciate and are loyal to companies that care about their environmental impacts. That’s why 68 percent of internet shoppers in the U.S. cited sustainability as a significant consideration when making purchasing decisions.
For another, going green can actually be an excellent way to cut costs. Green buildings with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications, for instance, tend to have nearly 20 percent lower maintenance costs. They’re also responsible for energy savings of a whopping $1.2 billion in the U.S.
Going green, it turns out, is not only good for the environment — it’s good for the bottom line.
3 Steps to Green
So how does a company begin walking down that permeably paved path to a greener future? Here are a few ways to get started:
- Color your culture green.
To bolster your chances of creating a truly green business, you have to make it a core part of your company’s identity — not just a gimmick.Start with your team, and start from day one. Part of the onboarding process should be communicating that sustainability is a priority for ownership and management — and it should be a priority for employees, too. The wonderful thing about creating this kind of culture is that it’s contagious. The more you commit to sustainability, the more those around you want to as well. Before you know it, everyone will be in on the effort. When your employees commit to being green, the sense of a purpose-driven culture runs deep. Employee turnover is lower, and the positive energy generated can be a game changer — not to mention a differentiator separating you from the competition.
- Create a more sustainable office space.
Make the place you work reflect the goals of your business. Cultivate the green office life in a variety of relatively painless ways. Eliminate plastic bottles by installing a water filtration system in the office and facilities, for instance, or use ecologically friendly, natural cleaning products. Go back to old-school coffee pots instead of single-serving cups, or use the compostable, recyclable kind. Forgo plastic water bottles for water coolers, and supply glass or ceramic reusable glasses and mugs for your people. Setting a goal for a paperless office is also a great way to greenify the workplace. Though going completely paperless might always be a pipe dream for some companies, minimizing paper use and using digital formats where possible will save time, money, and waste. It will also set the tone for the office culture as a whole.
Examine your supply chain.
Taking a look at your supply chain is a pretty straightforward way to make a huge impact on your environmental footprint. Sustainable shipping companies are usually pretty proud of their green designations, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a vendor who aligns with your own goals.Look for companies that make it a priority to use energy-efficient vehicles. DHL, for example, uses a mixture of electric, hybrid, and liquid propane trucks to create greener methods of transport.Packaging from vendors is also a major consideration when it comes to sustainability. The goal should be to find vendors that offer minimal, recycled packaging that still prevents anything from breaking so that you avoid the even greater environmental hit of reshipping.
Every company has the ability to go green, and every company stands to benefit from it. Taking steps like these will enhance the health of your business alongside the planet and the people who live on it.
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