How to go green in your small business.
  • Category:
    Small Business Energy Savings
  • Published:
    July 18, 2022

How to Go Green in Your Small Business

These going green strategies will help you adopt eco-friendly business practices that customers increasingly expect. This might even save your company money, and have a positive impact on the environment. The benefits of going green for businesses make the effort worthwhile for most companies.

10 ways for businesses to go green

Whether you adopt one strategy, develop a plan to incorporate some over time, or pursue all of them, these strategies for green businesses work. No matter the size of your enterprise or industry in which you operate, these strategies will improve your bottom line and your reputation with customers.

1. Schedule an energy audit

Knowing where to start and which actions will have the greatest impact will make the process of implementing green strategies more effective. That is why an energy audit is so helpful. Having a professional come in to analyze your energy patterns and usage will help you find the best areas for improvement. An energy audit can also provide a roadmap to becoming a greener, more ecologically-minded business.

2. Purchase eco-friendly products and materials

Replacing products you frequently use in your business with eco-friendly alternatives can help reduce your business’s environmental impact and become greener. You might choose different cleaning products, refillable printer toner cartridges or paper with a greater percentage of post-consumer waste that has been recycled.

When you look for eco-friendly alternatives, you will be surprised by the number of options–many of which might even save you money.

3. Go paperless

Eliminating paper documents and files can reduce your business’s impact on the environment. You will save trees by going paperless in your business and cut down on waste. Eliminating paper and going through a digital transformation does more than reduce waste, however. It can improve efficiency, eliminate errors and give you the ability to measure and analyze your operations.

4. Switch to renewable energy

Relying on a renewable energy source for some or all of your power can relieve pressure on the public electrical grid. A few solar panels, wind turbines or even hydro-power, can supply energy to your business. You can also sign up for renewable energy contracts with your energy supplier in many areas.

5. Use energy-efficient lights

Today’s energy-efficient lights are affordable, safe and offer high quality light. For many companies, lighting makes up a large portion of a small business’s energy consumption. Switching to CFL or LED lights can reduce the energy used to light your place of business, reduce heat, which is helpful during the hot days of summer, and help make your business more eco-friendly.

Ways for businesses to go green.

6. Upgrade to high-efficiency appliances

Many appliances and electrical devices have been engineered to use less power. Switching to these high-efficiency appliances can slash your energy consumption. When it comes to going green strategies, the initial cost can seem high, but the amount of energy and money you save can offset the initial investment. In many cases, they quickly pay for themselves.

7. Involve your customers and employees

Some of the best ideas may come through engaging your customers in sustainability and involving your employees in energy-saving practices. When you empower people to contribute ideas and get them involved in new processes, you might be amazed by their creativity and their willingness to take action. You can connect with employees through workplace sustainability signs and motivate them with rewards. Some companies have had success with employee commuter benefits programs.

8. Recycle old electronics and office equipment

Keeping old equipment and devices out of landfills will reduce your business’s impact on the environment. When recycling your old office equipment, you are playing an active role in the circular economy. You also prevent polluting toxins in old electronics from leaching into the ground and water table.

9. Unplug electronics or use the “sleep” feature

Many devices continue to use power, even when turned off. By unplugging your electronics and appliances or using the sleep feature when not in use, you can eliminate this waste. Leaving devices on all the time shortens their useful lifespan, contributing to more waste, resource usage, and pollution.

10. Limit water consumption

Using water uses power. It takes energy to pump it to your business, energy to heat it, and even more energy to clean it after you use it. Reducing the amount of water your business consumes is an environmentally friendly work practice and one of the most effective strategies for green businesses. Among the tips on how to reduce water usage are switching to low-flow fixtures and fixing any leaks.

Why is it important for companies to go green?

You might wonder: How much does it cost a business to go green? The costs should be balanced against the benefits of going green for businesses. It can make economic sense as well as ecological sense to think about and address the impact your company has on the environment.

The benefits of going green in your business

Adopting strategies for green businesses may pay off for your company in many ways. Running an environmentally friendly business can benefit you, your employees, customers and community.

  • Reduce operating expenses. Saving on energy use and cutting down on consumables can help you trim costs.
  • Increase efficiency. When you pay attention to what you are using and spending, you can be more productive and reduce waste.
  • Protect the natural environment. A healthier and more beautiful community benefits everyone.
  • Improve your business’s reputation. Customers increasingly expect businesses to play a role in protecting the environment.
  • Demonstrate leadership in your community. Adopting going green strategies will model good practices for other businesses.
  • Qualify for government contracts. Many opportunities for government work require eco-friendly practices and standards.
  • Tax incentives. Certain strategies for green businesses can qualify you for rebates and deductions.

Is going green expensive for small businesses?

When calculating how much it costs a business to go green, the ultimate cost depends on the specific going green strategies you choose.

Some strategies, like recycling, can even make money for your business. Others, like changing products used in your business or conserving power, probably cost nothing and can even cut expenses. For others, like installing solar or upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, may be an expensive initial investment. Those costs, however, can be recovered and offset with the long-term savings that these investments provide.

Adopting green strategies is something that most businesses should consider. You can help save the planet as you save your company money, benefiting employees, customers and your community at the same time.

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