Times have changed, and green business practices have become more profitable and in-demand. Studies* show that more than half of consumers will accept higher price tags from eco-conscious companies, and that they are actively pursuing green materials and products.
There is a fear among business owners that making eco-friendly changes will shrink their profit margin. However, the sooner you adopt green practices, the sooner you’ll see the benefits.
- It makes you a desirable option for over half of active consumers.
- It can lower your overhead costs, such as gas, electricity, office supplies—even rent!
- Your business will be more sustainable and independent.
How to get started:
You don’t have to do a massive overhaul to improve your green score. Take it one wasted post-it note at a time and, pretty soon, you’ll have made significant and marketable changes.
1. Step back and take notes.
There are a lot of resources, including the Green Business Alliance, which offer practical ways for business owners to incorporate green practices. Before you dive in and order a fleet of hybrid vans, calculate your current carbon footprint and tap into these resources to see where you can make the most effective and reasonable changes.
2. Green up your office.
You may be surprised, when you calculate your carbon footprint, how much of it comes from simple operations. Obvious green upgrades include recycling and energy-efficient lighting, but one of the most beneficial changes you can make is going digital and paperless.
- Digital filing reduces paper waste.
- Storing in a Cloud reduces energy consumption of servers and computers.
- Digital meetings reduce travel and expenditures for meeting rooms.
3. Digitize your customer communications.
Apply the same theories of digital filing and communication to your customer interactions. It is a major convenience, in the world of smart phones and instant gratification. Your customers will appreciate being able to e-sign and access their documents from anywhere.
4. Repurpose and recycle.
Finding a better use for construction scraps seems more challenging than tossing them in the dumpster. But the truth is, once you’ve found those better uses, your work is done. You can use those resources again and again. Support your local charities and organizations, many of which do free pick-ups, by donating anything from sinks to stair railings.
5. Source sustainably.
In order to market yourself as a green, it’s important to use sustainable materials and source from local and/or sustainable companies. Talk to your current suppliers about the advantages of sustainable practices or find an additional supplier from which you can procure eco-friendly materials.
6. Learn it to sell it.
Learn about the benefits of greening the home, so that you can have an honest conversation with your customers. You need to be able to discuss the value of sourcing eco-friendly materials and using sustainable practices—not just for the environment, but for them and their wallet.
7. Take credit.
The best way to benefit from greening your business is to spread the word. This is how you reach the majority that is demanding eco-conscious services. Use your internet presence to promote the practices you adopt and pursue certifications from reputable organizations like the Green Business Bureau.