Going green for businesses is all the rage in recent years, and for good reason. We all know the horrors our planet faces in terms of climate change and resource management. These are honorable reasons for a business to switch over to more earth-friendly processes. But what many miss is that there are multiple other benefits for businesses that go green.
Ahead of the Legal Curve
Most states have laws that mandate environmental compliance in various ways. Each year more laws are passed on local, state, and federal levels in an effort to help combat climate change, pollution, and environmental damaging business practices. Going green means getting ahead of the curve and saving money for when new laws are inevitably passed such as new taxes, penalties, and requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency launched its 2020 Action Agenda: a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions, while promoting sustainability. It has actionable consequences, as well as incentives for being ahead of the green curve.
Go Green. Save Green.
Save on your utility bills by increasing energy efficiency. Reusing existing material in creative ways means that fewer dollars are spent purchasing new stock to create products. Streamlining transportation and shipping saves the earth as well as a substantial amount of money. Although there is often considerable up-front money to establish green business procedures, it saves money over the long run. All of our Self Storage facilities contain solar panels which power 80-300% of our total power usage depending on the time of year. See our article about how your business can utilize solar energy.
Market to a Dedicated Community
A green business instills a sense of trustworthiness among its customers. A study by Environmental Leader found 53% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that are environmentally friendly. By showing how much the earth means to them this fosters a sense of community thus a favorable impression of the business. Word-of-mouth is the most invaluable form of advertising and green businesses can’t buy that kind of publicity. This expands a business’ marketable base—people who may never have heard of that company may pay attention to one that believes in being eco-friendly.
Going green doesn't just mean adding solar panels or motion-sensing light bulbs. Companies can reduce their energy usage and emissions drastically through simple things like optimizing delivery routes, streamlining the manufacturing process, and using less bulky packaging. A full audit of your energy usage and emissions can reveal these opportunities to cut costs and operate more efficiently.
We’ve seen how going green fosters positive feelings with customers, but it also boosts employee morale. Employees feel safer working for green businesses. Employees feel that their health is cared for and they aren’t simply expendable commodities. As a result, turnover can be reduced because employees don’t want to leave a place that makes them feel as if they are a part of a work community that cares. A few years ago, Bank of America introduced a new incentive program that offered employees a discount for installing solar panels in their home, and also offered up to a $3,000 reimbursement incentive when customers buy a proven eco-friendly vehicle. By demonstrating a commitment to a healthy world environment, companies such as Bank of America prove they care about their employees' well-being.
Green is a Status Symbol
As more and more internationally known companies go green, the idea becomes ever more attractive. It’s becoming somewhat of a status symbol to be an environmentally friendly business. The computer company Dell launched a recycling program that enables customers to return notoriously difficult-to-recycle electronics for free. Tesla is the highest valued car company in the world, and the driving force behind the entire company is sustainability. Going green gives a company a seat at the table of the big companies, in a sense, because only the most established companies go green.