How to Make Your Business More Green and Sustainable
Steps to Greenify Your Business
Implementing sustainable practices in your business doesn’t just benefit the environment — going green can have a positive impact on your business financially, socially, and internally. The benefits of making business decisions with the earth in mind are immense and, now more than ever, absolutely critical. With this guide on greenifying your business, you can learn how other businesses are promoting sustainability and how you can make eco-friendly changes at your own company for lasting, positive change.
Making Your Business Environmentally Sustainable
What Does It Mean to “Greenify” Your Business?
With sustainability at the forefront of many people’s minds, many businesses are looking for ways to make their business more “green.” But, what does it mean to “greenify” your business in an authentic way? Essentially, making your business “greener” entails decreasing the negative impact your business has on the planet by implementing changes that make your products, services, and production more sustainable.
Just starting your new business? Check out these Green, Eco-Friednly, Sustainable Business Ideas to help get the gears turning.
Benefits of Your Business Going Green
Making changes to your business to make it more eco-friendly isn’t just good for the planet; it can benefit your business in several ways as well. For example, reducing your environmental footprint will, in many cases, reduce your overhead costs and improve workflow. Here are the top ways going green can benefit your business:
Waste reduction can benefit the earth as well as every company, regardless of the type of business it is. Fortunately, reducing waste can come in many forms, such as reducing energy waste or material waste. By simply replacing standard light bulbs with LED light bulbs or utilizing a paperless filing system, you can cut costs and reduce waste — a win-win!
Swapping your standard business management operations for eco-friendly options can actually streamline your business — giving it a big boost in efficiency. Today, there are many digital options available to optimize daily operations, order processing, and even completely replace paper filing systems. Replacing current systems with these digital options can improve productivity and streamline workflow, which results in a more positive customer experience and a happier staff.
Not only does implementing eco-friendly practices fulfill a moral responsibility, but it can also be a financially rewarding business move. Green swaps can help reduce overhead costs and leave you with more capital to grow your business.
It’s no secret that the cost of materials to manage and operate your business alone can be costly. Fortunately, there are green business management solutions that allow you to bypass expensive office supplies and cut costs. A great example is cloud-based platforms that can store and organize your important business documents securely without the need for a paper filing system.
Improves Brand Image
It’s simple, a business that puts customer’s values first communicates that they care — and that’s good for your brand. It’s no longer enough to make a usable product or provide a service; businesses need to make a positive impact in order to improve their brand image.
Prioritizing sustainability in an effort to make cleaner products and support the planet makes a statement to consumers about who they are as a company. Moreover, the customer’s health, safety, and values are at the forefront of their business practices.
Inspires Customer Loyalty
Now more than ever, consumers are looking for businesses that align with their values — especially when it comes to the environment. Greenifying your business not only draws more environmentally conscious consumers to your business but can also increase customer loyalty.
Essentially, when you show your customers that you care about their values, they will be more likely to continue giving you their business.
Provides a Healthier Work Environment
Caring for your employees and their health is not only a valuable trait of any employer; it can also result in higher employee retention and satisfaction. Greenifying your business is a great way to do just that.
Sustainable, non-toxic materials and eco-friendly products can increase the air quality in your workplace, whether it is an office or a warehouse. Basically, healthy employees equate to a healthy, thriving business.
Boosts Eligibility for Grants and Tax Benefits
The government, IRS, and other organizations provide incentives for businesses that choose to “go green” through grants and tax benefits. If you’re like most business owners, lower taxes and free money sound like great reasons to introduce some sustainable swaps into your business practices.
Clean swaps such as energy-efficient appliances, electric or hybrid vehicles, and renewable energy sources are all green incentives that can result in tax benefits for your business. Additionally, organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy offer small business grants to qualifying businesses that are prioritizing sustainability.
Examples of Green Businesses
These businesses have not only prioritized sustainability, but they’ve also made it the center of their business. If you’re looking for motivation, inspiration, or a great green business idea — these companies have you covered.
Recover Green Roofs
Recover Green Roofs is a company that blends its experience in horticulture and landscaping to produce sustainable “green roofs.” Rather than leaving building roofs as empty, vacant space, Recover Green Roofs designs eco-friendly rooftop gardens and other environmentally-focused spaces with expert craftsmanship.
The goal of this Michigan-based eco-friendly business is to perform audits on home energy use, air quality, and insulation to provide solutions that are installed with expert care. Ecotelligent Homes's priority is preserving natural resources by identifying any problem areas in customer’s homes that could be optimized using sustainable alternatives.
Homeboy Electronics Recycling
Homeboy Electronics Recycling believes in an alternative to tossing used electronics in a landfill. Its nationwide recycling program demanufactures electronics that are no longer usable to salvage reusable plastics, metals, as well as other materials that can be recycled. Better yet, security is a priority for this business which provides a high level of trust and comfortability for its customers.
Entomo Farms creates flours, snacks, pet foods, and protein powders out of a surprisingly sustainable source — crickets. This insect is a nutritious and eco-friendly food source containing protein, fibers, and minerals. Not only is its business green, but it also stands out from the competition and provides an alternative to otherwise wasteful food industry practices.
7 Ways to Make Your Business Eco-Friendly
Ready to take action in making your business kinder to the environment? We’re happy to hear it! These seven eco-friendly business practices and green swaps are easy to implement and will make a positive impact.
Assess Your Resources
To start, you need to assess the areas your business could be greener and determine the eco-friendly swaps that work for your company. Potential resources to evaluate are water usage, energy consumption, and waste. Simple swaps such as LED light bulbs, motion sensor lighting, or using alternative energy such as solar power are great options to start minimizing your business’s resource consumption.
Encouraging and incentivizing proper recycling practices for both customers and employees is an important step to disposing of your business’s waste, limiting what is added to a landfill. The best way to encourage recycling is to make recycling options easy and accessible as well as providing incentives such as discounts for customers that recycle.
Office supplies, while useful, can also be incredibly wasteful (and expensive). Swapping your paper filing, customer management, and order processing systems for digital alternatives such as cloud-based technology isn’t just a great way to greenify your business — it can also streamline your business and provide a better customer experience.
Implement Eco-Friendly Technology
Hold your business accountable and track your sustainability efforts using eco-friendly technology that will monitor your practices, providing valuable feedback to help you improve and reevaluate as needed. Tools that monitor your energy use or carbon footprint, for example, can give you a better understanding of where your business can improve and spark ideas to implement more sustainable practices in those areas that are most impactful for your business.
Sourcing supplies locally reduces the amount of transportation required for goods to arrive at your business, lowering your carbon footprint and supporting your fellow small businesses as well as your community.
Build an Eco-Friendly Mindset
Change starts with you. As the business owner, your attitude towards sustainability and the culture you cultivate within your business can drastically affect your business’s eco-friendliness. Start by encouraging more recyclable materials, plant-based products, and compostable items that are easy swaps for your staff. Then, lead by example and prioritize sustainability yourself.
Take your greenifying efforts outdoors by enabling the biodiversity of your local environment. Start by planting native species and avoid resource-draining landscaping practices such as ornamental lawns.