27 Feb A Greener New Business
If you find you’ve finally come up with that great idea which will make you a millionaire, or you simply are tired of working for ‘the man’ and want to be your own boss, you should definitely consider ‘going green’ from the ground up, so to speak.
Starting a new business is the perfect time to create a sustainable, socially conscious, and energy efficient ‘green’ business. It’s important you map out an environmental strategy from the beginning. There are several ideas you can use, together or separately, to at least get started in the right direction.
First, practice what you preach by making sure you comply with all environmental regulations dealing with your business. Compliance protects the environment and protects your business from fines and legal action by the government. Second, develop your own tailored environmental management plan. This minimizes the eco-footprint of your company and encourages green business practices company-wide. Also, if you’re opening a new business or remodelling an existing building, make sure to build green. Install energy-efficient air and heating systems, appliances, equipment and lighting. Consider buying or using environmentally-friendly products. This includes products made from post-consumer recycled materials, energy efficient rated products, renewable and recyclable products, bio-based and non-toxic materials and anything produced locally, such as locally grown organic food.
Implement energy-efficient practices from the get-go. Energy conservation is one of the easiest and most cost-effective solutions to cut costs, increase profit, and create value for the shareholders. With a high return on investment and little or no risk, energy-efficient practices are at the core of the environmental management strategies of most businesses. Conduct an energy audit to find and identify areas where energy costs can be cut. Purchase efficiency rated appliances and office equipment and make energy-saving tips and hints available to your employees. You can also look for, and use, green power and renewable energy sources such as solar or wind-generated electricity.
Often a substantial among of money can be saved just by eliminating waste. Waste reduction cuts costs on raw materials, office supplies and other equipment. Streamlining operations also improves efficiency and productivity. Use post-consumer, recycled paper products, reduce the use of product packaging materials, optimize paper product usage by eliminating or reducing the office paper-trail and by going digital with correspondence, and participate in recycling programs for paper, aluminum and plastic. You can also conserve water by performing a water audit to identify any conservation opportunity.
If you’re just starting a business and you want to be green, let people know you’re a green business by marketing yourself as one. Add ‘green’ claims and eco-friendly badging and labelling to your marketing strategy only enhances your brand image and establishes your business in the growing arena of sustainable corporations and concerned, environmentally conscious consumers.
Also look to join an EPA-sponsored industry partnership or stewardship program aimed at reducing the impact industry has on the environment. These are the type of partnerships which build relationships with other green business owners industry-wide. It also adds brand credibility with your customer base.