Greening your business can be a great way to reduce costs, win business and inspire your staff.
In this article we discuss green business ideas, drivers and benefits of green business action in the hope that some of them will resonate with you and your business!
If you are finding it hard to convince people in your business to take green action then this article should help you articulate your rationale.
Having worked with many businesses we are always struck by the varying motives for taking green business action. In our experience these typically fall into 5 main drivers.
Many businesses start to green their performance due to external pressures from government and regulatory bodies. These pressures have grown in prevalence over the past decade or so due to an increased awareness of businesses role in addressing environmental / climate change concerns.
Nowadays it is nearly impossible to read a tender which does not have environmental questions. In fact, the environmental section of a tender sometimes constitutes 20% of the tenders evaluation criteria.
Moreover, the general public have become much more selective on the types of products that they are willing to buy.
For many consumers, environmental and/or health attributes are important features which they value in their purchasing decisions.
Most employees want to work for a responsible employer. Lots of research in this area shows that employers that take their environmental responsibility seriously are better placed at attracting and retaining quality employees. This is largely due to the impact of aligning personal values with those of the organisation.
Many investors and funding bodies seriously consider environmental performance in their decisions to invest money in a business. This is particularly true of governmental funding bodies who often reward higher evaluation points to businesses that can demonstrate superior environmental performance.
Finally, businesses should take action to improve their environmental performance as it is the right thing to do, and in the long-term makes sound business sense.
More and more businesses are starting to see the link between improved financial performance and sound environmental behaviour.
This link is driving a movement toward increased environmental stewardship for business – in fact, for some industries, good environmental performance is part of normal practice (e.g. printing industry)
The benefits of taking environmental action and greening your business can be profound. Here are the main green business benefits that I have seen from organisations taking action.
Energy and resource prices are only going to get more expensive. For many organisations I work with, energy has gone from being about 1% of operational cost to upwards of 5%.
This can be a significant cost! Taking environmental action to identify energy and resource inefficiencies can save loads of money and help you become more competitive.
Being able to demonstrate your environmental performance should be seen as a unique selling point.
This is particularly true when it comes to retaining customers who might continue to work with you based predominately on fact that you can differentiate yourself from your competitors with your superior green credentials.
Moreover, selling your green credentials to new customers either through tenders or in your sales pitches may provide the additional ammunition you need to close that sale.
Taking green action is a great way to engage your staff and improve levels of motivation and productivity.
This is largely because doing something good for the environment at work makes one feel good about their wider job role.
It can also help bring an organisation together around a universal theme.
Either way, green business action, will help stimulate debate and provide a welcome break for staff members to explore other areas of interest outside their job role.
I hope this article has provided you with some food for thought in terms of why you should take environmental action in your business. I have tried to provide some useful links to green tips in this article – hopefully you will find these useful.
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.