Wherever you go, you are constantly hearing about companies becoming more environmentally-friendly, but what does it mean for you? While “going green” is certainly good for the environment, it is also a smart business practice. Not only does it attract attention, but it also cuts costs and increases the profitability of your company. In the March/April 2009 issue of Enterprise Minnesota, Sarah Olson pointed out eight ways to green profits:
- Discover what green means to you. Figure out which sustainable practices fit in with the flow and personality of your company. Some hire an outside consultant to analyze which solutions are best for the company.
- Get educated. Learn what it means to be green. Customers can tell if you know what you are talking about, and with green knowledge, they may turn to you for advice.
- Set a green standard. Eco-friendly options are all around us. By starting out early with green alternatives, you could be the example and set the standard of what it means to be environmentally-friendly for your industry. Not only do consumers notice this about your company, but you are helping get other companies become more environmentally-friendly.
- Go lean to go green. By leaning your practices, you can reduce your costs and increase your profits. Analyze your company to figure out energy and material inefficiencies. From there, figure out ways to clean up these practices to increase efficiency and profitability, while reducing costs and waste.
- Seek out incentives. Many utility companies offer deals for reducing energy consumption and waste generation, because they have to keep up with national energy regulations. For example, Xcel Energy refunds up to 50 percent on the cost of a lighting retrofit or upgrade. Others may offer grants or favorable-rate loans to businesses with energy efficiencies improvements. Ask your utility provider what kind of incentives they offer.
- Increase loyalty and attract customers. More than ever, people are looking to do business with green companies. According to a survey done by Cone Inc. and Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, 59 percent of young adults were “concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption”, and 39 percent of those were consuming more environmentally-friendly products. According to 68 percent, “If a company had a strong reputation for environmental commitment, it positively influenced their decision to buy the product or service.” By going green, you could both keep your existing customers, as well as attract new ones.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. Not only does reducing your energy consumption help the environment, but it will lower your energy bill significantly. To top it off, being aware of your carbon emissions gives you a good reputation with those looking to do business with a green company.
- Build a greener mousetrap. Take a jumpstart in taking advantage of the increasing demand for green products. You can do this by creating a new process of making a product or the packaging more environmentally-friendly. It could reduce waste in materials used for packaging, fewer distribution trucks would be needed for shipping, and less money would be spent on energy. Aside from all of these cost-cutting benefits, it is a great marketing tool to increase sales and demand.
Going green is a practice that is here to stay. By implementing these practices for your company, you could lower your costs and increase your profitability, all while helping out the environment. Read more about our green efforts.