You’re probably always looking for ways to help your business save money.
Many major companies, like Google and Disney, are environmental stewards. As such, they require constant innovation, which keeps them fresh as a company while they do good for the world. Even Levi Strauss and Company, which is well over a hundred years old, has adopted their own “Water<Less” system for their manufacturing process. Since 2011, they’ve saved more than 1 billion liters of water, 30 million of which are recycled. Think of the cost savings on all that water!
If the American standard Levi thought it worth the investment, perhaps your business, even a small or one-person shop, can save money through environmental practices. Some of these ideas may carry a cost up front but will save in the long run.
Save on Hiring and Training Costs
We all know it costs more to hire a new employee than to keep an existing one. So do what you can to keep employees around. A 2012 study by UCLA and University of Paris-Dauphine found that workers at eco-friendly companies were more motivated, better trained and formed more interpersonal relationships, which in turn increased efficiency.
Increased efficiency also equals increased profits. The researchers said, “employees at eco-friendly companies are 16 percent more productive than average.” Relatedly, practicing and promoting these ideas can also draw more customer loyalty and expand your company.
Save on Office Supplies
Paper adds up, even for small companies. Switching to a cloud-based or digital storage system reduces paper consumption by at least half annually. Cloud storage also allows for employees to work from anywhere else, which cuts the company’s utility costs because they’re not using the utilities or whatever else you might provide them, such as food or drinks. Rather than making copies to stick in a full filing cabinet, employees can take an extra few moments to scan and save the document.
When you buy less paper, you’ll find you also need fewer pens, staples, paper clips, and other office paraphernalia that just clutters desks!
Boost Brand Visibility and Even Make Money
Plastic bags increasingly litter the streets and water sources. Retailers that offer reusable bags find many benefits from them. Your company will see more exposure as customers use it to carry to other places to carry items. (And that looks better than your logo on a plastic carrier bag tangled among the brush next to the sidewalk.) Additionally, the bag reminds them of your company each time they see it. It’s an investment for customer loyalty.
Many customers will gladly pay for reusable bags, as people become more conscious of their power to help the environment. That means you can actually MAKE money! Providing corporate totes to employees can do the same for your own company. They can use them as work material transports, as well.
Install Renewable Energy Systems
The renewable energy market continues to grow and for good reason. More companies and governments are investing in solar, wind and thermal energies all over the world. Businesses can access tax credits by installing solar power and see savings instantly on their utility costs. Imagine what you can save in the long run, saving your profits while saving the environment!
Look for Environmental Certifications
Getting an Energy Star product may seem like a heavy cost, but, like solar, it will pay you back. Energy Star-certified products give many benefits to businesses, including cutting costs on water consumption in the bathrooms.
Incentivize Green Transport
When companies pay for or provide discounts on alternative transportation to cars, they save money. If you pay for employee parking, you can cut costs by offering public transportation reimbursement instead. If you reimburse for gas, encouraging less gas consumption just makes sense!
And you may see benefits in other ways that saving money. With your employees riding the bus, they can talk to strangers or strangers can see your company logo on their shirts. They can even see other employees on the bus and increase internal relations among co-workers. Carpools can produce a similar effect for increasing social well-being and productivity in the office by building relations during a car ride. Offering incentives for bicycling also cuts general costs on employee health care with employees increasing physical activity and mental acuity.
So what do you think? Is it time for your company to GROW green? You don’t need to adopt all of these practices. Try one or two and then calculate your long-term ROI. If you want to take next steps, there is plenty of information out there to help you get started.