You might have long contemplated possibly transitioning to a green business – whether that would be what’s called a “green industry business”, which makes its products through sustainable means, or simply a traditional company taking up a more eco-friendly business model.
However, you might also have been deterred by the perception that “going green” in the enterprise would necessarily incur extra expense. Fortunately, there remains evidence that, even when it does, your company’s newfound sustainable image would more than make up for it financially.
How do a green industry business and a green business model differ?
If you are about to start a whole new business, you would have the luxury of being able to build it from the ground up. Hence, you could comprehensively engineer it for eco-friendliness.
To this end, you could create a “green industry business”: one that uses minimal water, energy and raw materials while trimming carbon emissions – or at least finds environmentally-friendly purposes for these materials.
What if you already have a long-established business? You could still “green” its traditional business model – such as by prioritising the firm’s environmental impact over its profit. For example, you could restrict the company’s use of fossil fuels and source more power from solar panels.
So, is it true that “going green” would be expensive?
Katie Leggett, a sustainability manager at innocent drinks, acknowledges to The Telegraph: “It’s the truth that we’re often charged more to purchase products that have embedded purpose.”
However, she added: “We vote for the world we live in with the products we buy, and people are starting to vote for products that consider the environment and society as they’re being made.”
Therefore, any short-term expenditure your company incurs from green practices can be more than paid for in the longer term. This does not only have to be due to increased revenue from customers, as your increasingly green business could also reduce liabilities and boost employee retention.
“This is all quite new in the business world,” business sustainability consultant Barbara Englehart recently explained to Business News Daily, adding: “They weren’t teaching sustainability in business schools five or 10 years ago.” So, you could give your business a head-start by “greening” it now.
How an eco-friendly business can generate financial savings over time
Obviously, the less carbon-emitting electricity your business draws upon, the lower its energy bills will be. However, another common corporate activity clearly harmful to the planet – at least in many instances – is travelling. Can you really reduce how many business trips your staff must take?
Perhaps surprisingly, yes – by implementing a unified communications (UC) solution that would enable your employees to interact with service customers without necessarily needing to visit them in person. A UC solution is so-called as it combines various communicative functions, including voice calling, video calling and messaging – allowing users to quickly switch between them as required.
It’s also worth heeding that, according to an international survey mentioned in a Forbes article, 80% of people respect businesses and brands adopting eco-friendly practices.