7 Ways to Green Your Business
Recently, it may seem like every business is going green. But it’s not just a trend that’s good for the environment; It’s good for your business, too.
Greening your business enhances your brand’s image and reputation. Being socially and environmentally-responsible creates goodwill in your community and improves the public perception of your business. In fact, a recent study reported that 87% of consumers have a more positive image of a company that supports social and environmental causes.
87% of consumers have a more positive image of a company that supports social and environmental causes
Customers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing habits and want to support companies who share their values. They engage more with companies that share green content on social media, and 87% would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit if given the opportunity.
Customers are also willing to pay a premium if it means that they are able to support a good cause; on average, consumers are willing to pay 30% more. On the flipside, 90% of consumers claim they would abandon a company with irresponsible business practices. Needless to say, being proactive with your green initiatives will benefit your business and reinforce customer loyalty.
Going green is also an effective way to boost morale and improve employee retention. Employees who believe in their company values have higher workplace satisfaction, higher productivity, and lower turnover, which translates to lower hiring and training costs for you.
Finally, making eco-friendly changes can actually save your business money over time. Although there is often a significant initial investment to make these changes (ie: changing to energy efficient light bulbs and windows, insulating, energy efficient equipment, etc.), it can reduce your business’ electricity and heating/cooling costs. Make sure you explore any possible grants, incentives, or tax credits for making sustainable changes to your business.
With this said, there are plenty of small changes that can help make your business more environmentally sustainable.
Some easy tips to make your business more eco-friendly:
Change to LED bulbs
Changing to LED bulbs and motion-activated lights can save a lot of energy. Although LED bulbs are more expensive than traditional fluorescent ones, they use 75% less energy and last five times longer. If your building has a lot of windows, consider using natural light, too.
Consider going paperless with statements and bills, company memos, and other reports. Another way to reduce paper waste is by using a payment solution that gives you the option to email receipts to customers. Why not try a sleek, smart terminal with receipt flexibility?
Encourage a green culture
Cultivate a green culture at work by encouraging your team to carpool or bike to work, recycle, and reuse. Let your employees work remotely one day a week to reduce their transportation-related carbon emissions (this usually results in happier employees too).
Source eco-friendly and local supplies
Switch to eco-friendly products and source your materials from local, eco-friendly companies. Consider making easy swaps like post-consumer waste paper products, recycled pens, and green cleaning products.
Use eco-friendly packaging on shipping orders
If your business ships a lot of packages, try using eco-friendly packaging. This could include recycled post-consumer boxes and packaging paper, biodegradable packing peanuts, and using minimal plastic packaging.
If your business is upgrading electronics and other tech equipment, do some research to find your local electronics recycling drop-off. This ensures that toxic chemicals (like lead, cadmium, and mercury) are safely disposed of, and other raw materials and precious metals can be recycled. Currently, nearly 80% of global e-waste ends up in landfills.
Partner with green causes or organize a green activity
There are tons of ways to partner with a green organization. Consider donating a percentage of your sales on Earth Day. You can also try to organize your own green activity, like tree planting or a community cleanup, to engage your employees and customers. This is an opportunity to generate positive publicity for your business, engage customers, and share your efforts on social media.
Now that you’re excited to make some eco-friendly changes to your business, a final note: beware of greenwashing. Greenwashing is the practice of making misleading claims to make your business appear more environmentally-friendly than it really is. If you over-promise your “green-ness,” your company will have to manage negative PR, and your customers will likely lose trust in your brand. Instead, make small steps to green your business and maintain your transparency with customers.