Are you a property manager who is unsure about how going green can impact your business?
A study carried out by Xerox has shown that the number of businesses in the US with formal green programs has increased by 54%. This is to meet the needs of customers who would rather buy from a sustainable company.
The green movement is not moving very fast in the business community. This is partly due to the outdated misconception that most environmental practices cost a huge amount of money.
The major concern of most business owners and property managers is how they can maximize profits while operating the business in a way that will have a minimal impact on their immediate environment and the health of their workers.
Logically, many business people are asking, “Can our business afford not to go green?”
Sustainability has become more relevant now than ever before. Going green helps to do more with less, thereby saving both physical and financial resources.
Investing in products and services that will help reduce the ongoing energy costs of your business and increase sustainability will have a lot of financial benefits for your business. It also pays to get reliable experts like Waste Control to help you manage and control your waste.
To help you understand the reasons why you shouldn’t be left out of the green movement, we’ll take you through the following:
- Financial benefits of going green
- 5 Green practices for any business
- How are other businesses going green? – 3 Case Studies
Financial Benefits of Going Green
Taking a business in an environmentally-friendly direction allows retailers, manufacturers, and all manner of corporations to reap numerous financial rewards.
Your business can profit from tax breaks to government subsidies, and the increased popularity of your brand.
So, whether you run a restaurant or an insurance agency, your eco-friendly business practices can help you increase profits.
Here are 5 financial benefits of being an eco-friendly business:
1. An increase in the demand for green goods will yield more profits
Consumers are demanding vendors and suppliers to be more socially responsible by providing more natural products as a way of practicing sustainability. More importantly, they are willing to pay extra for this.
The global Nielsen online survey reported that 66% of its global study respondents are committed to eco-friendly products and services.
2. The use of smart energy, as well as organic and natural raw materials increases savings
Naturally, environmentally-friendly business measures will lead to savings.
Industries are looking for ways to make their manufacturing process cost-effective by using sustainable and organic materials.
The founder of the first organic cotton farm in Egypt, Ibrahim Abouleish, succeeded in using sustainable growing and harvesting techniques to stand out as one of the best producers of cotton in his country.
From his farmable land in the Sahara region, he improved the ability of the soil to absorb carbon-dioxide, while simultaneously reducing water usage by about 40%. As time went on, his crop yield rose by about 30% and he spent less on necessities.
3. Tax benefits and financial incentives
Companies receive financial incentives like tax benefits for using renewable energy and other sustainable practices. These incentives help to inspire change, and everyone should find out what the government in their state is offering for environment-saving efforts.
Here are some financial perks your business stands to enjoy:
- Grants and tax credits, so that you can easily afford to install renewable energy.
- Business tax deductions when you reduce facility energy usage by installing energy-saving lighting, air conditioning, water treatment, or heating.
- Bonus depreciation for businesses that engage in recycling practices or reuse certain equipment.
- Subsidies and tax credits to buy vehicles that meet fuel efficiency standards.
5 Green Practices for Your Business
Are you keen on creating a business environment that is as healthy as it is profitable?
Even the seemingly small steps can positively impact the Earth and your business. Let’s look at 5 green practices you can start with:
1. Use environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions
Cleaning is essential for maintaining a clean, fresh, healthy, and attractive workplace. A clean office can improve the health and safety of your workers and encourage them to have a positive attitude towards their work.
But are you aware that conventional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can harm the environment, your workforce, and the earth?
Well, now you know. Some cleaning products contribute to indoor pollution, which has a negative impact on you and your employees. As much as they clean, they have a devastating impact because of the chemicals used when manufacturing them.
Consider switching to more environmentally-friendly cleaning methods for your business. Green cleaning uses sustainable manufacturing processes and less packaging, which helps to reduce the waste in landfills.
Here are the 5 principles of green cleaning:
- Minimization of waste
- Reduction of costs
- Minimization of risks and hazards
- Efficient use of energy
- Efficient use of cleaning materials
Here are some of the major ways you can benefit when switching from conventional cleaning products to green cleaning products:
- You and your workers will be healthier.
- There are fewer risks associated with them since they are made from gentle ingredients that won’t harm your skin.
- You won’t have to wear protective clothing to protect your eyes, nose, and skin.
- They contain products like baking soda, lemon juice, and other less expensive and readily available ingredients.
- They are less abrasive and won’t remove the paint or damage the texture of any surface you use it on.
- They are safe for the environment as they keep your workplace clean, healthy, and toxic-free.
2. Implement a corporate recycling program
Recycling involves collecting and processing materials that would have been thrown away as rubbish and then turning them into new items. The recycling process involves 4 crucial steps:
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 75% of waste is recyclable, while only 34% is being recycled.
Also, according to Planet Ark, the rate for recycling commercial and industrial waste is 60%. Meanwhile, most office bins contain more than 94% recyclable waste. Despite this, most businesses still think they are doing more than enough to manage waste and recycle.
Is your business serious about sustainability?
You can initiate a recycling program to bridge this gap. This program will help to formalize the commitment of your business to the environment, provide your employees with clear guidelines to follow, quantify how well your business is reducing waste, and is great for the bottom line.
These are some of the benefits of implementing a recycling program in your workplace:
- Reduces costs.
- Conserves natural resources like minerals, water, and timber.
- Reduces the amount of waste that is sent to incinerators and landfills.
- Supports American manufacturing and helps to conserve valuable resources.
- As a property manager, it helps to improve the reputation of your business.
- Gives your business a competitive edge.
- Improves staff morale.
- Reduces the environmental footprint since every ton of office paper that is recycled can prevent up to 0.67 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions, 731 kWh of energy, 0/37 kL of water, and 0.96 tons of waste.
- Prevents pollution.
- Increases economic security.
- Helps to create new jobs in both recycling and manufacturing companies in the US.
3. Ditch single-use plastics
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2018, the country generated 35.7 million tons of plastic, translating to 12.2% of the MSW generation. With landfills receiving 27 million tons, translating to 18.5% of landfilled MSW.
As Verisk Maplecroft noted, “The US is the only developed nation whose waste generation outstrips its ability to recycle, underscoring a shortage of political will and investment in infrastructure.”
We still have a long way to go with regard to plastic recycling in the United States. Since the US refuses to accept its waste, it now contributes to the plastic piling up in our oceans. Based on the way we use plastic, global plastic production is likely to double in 20 years.
By reducing single-use plastic in your office, you are making it more eco-friendly and helping to make a positive impact.
Wondering where to start?
Here are some ways you can use less plastic at work.
- Ban the use of single-use plastic water bottles.
- Provide your staff with reusable cutlery.
- Talk to your suppliers about their single-use plastic packaging.
- Provide incentives to employees that go plastic-free.
- Encourage the recycling of plastic.
- Start a lunch club and encourage your employees to bring homemade lunches or invest in a workplace kitchen.
- Centralize your office supplies.
- Go local and get involved.
4. Switch to recycled paper or go paperless
Looking for the simplest ways to make your workplace greener?
Changing the type of paper you use to something more sustainable could be the best thing you can do for your business.
Recycled paper, like other green products, might be significantly pricier than non-recyclable paper. However, the long-term environmental and financial benefits far outweigh the problems associated with not using it.
You can transition into a paperless workflow by doing the following:
- Store your files and documents digitally, preferably in the cloud.
- Avoid using notepads and printed presentations.
- Consider using electronic communication instead of traditional mail.
- Use phone apps and scanners to copy documents.
- Digitize your financial and business processes.
- Because going paperless will increase your energy consumption, you should invest in energy-efficient office equipment, such as LED lighting, and energy-efficient printers.
- Lease the more expensive office equipment.
- Use electronic signatures for POS transactions and contracts.
The moment you start digitizing your files and going paperless, you will start enjoying these benefits and many more:
- Your workspace will be freed up since you will no longer need bulky filing cabinets, industrial-sized printers, boxes, or an archive room. You will have extra space to do more exciting stuff with.
- As a property manager, you’ll get instant access to your documents.
- You will save more money since you no longer have to buy copier paper, printer toner, paper-organizing office supplies, and other supplies.
- Increases employee flexibility and productivity.
- Limits physical contact.
- Business data will be more secure.
- Improves your customer service.
5. Use less energy and encourage the use of renewable energy resources
Does your business require you to use a lot of energy in your daily operations?
Do you spend too much money on meeting the energy needs of your business?
You can consider the more cost-efficient option of using renewable energy resources like solar panels for generating electricity. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by using wind and geothermal energy.
Reducing your energy and electricity use can also help to save money. So, learn to turn off the lights when you are not using them, invest in automatic lights, and turn off or hibernate your computer when not in use.
How Are Other Businesses Going Green? – 3 Case Studies
Are you running a small business and are still unsure of whether or not you can afford to go green?
Take a look at these three big companies and the part they are playing to ensure an eco-friendly work environment.
Nike’s way of contributing to a more sustainable environment and ensuring a waste-free future is by making sustainable shoes from plastic bottles and other material scraps.
They also started a “Reusable Dishware Program” that bans workers from using disposable lunch containers at work.
This has allowed Nike to reduce the waste per employee to 11.5% while decreasing the use of single-use plastic cups and bottles by 16,000 pounds in a quarter.
Disney has come up with hundreds of sustainability practices for their employees in the workplace. These include the use of recycling cans with funnels to collect liquid waste while collecting 20 different commodities to help divert landfill waste by up to 99.8%.
They retrieve oils and food scraps from their parks and mix them with biosolids, creating biogas for manufacturing electricity and fertilizer.
This has helped Disney’s biogas facility produce up to 5.4MW of heat and electricity annually from 120,000 tons of organic material. Their power consumption has reduced, resulting in a positive impact on the environment.
You too can convert your food waste into electricity or fertilizer by creating a visible food recycling program in your workplace.
Intel’s sustainable work culture is one that has been consistent, ambitious, and highly commendable. Despite recycling 75% of their total waste, they are working towards having zero waste in their company through their reward program.
A segment of their company’s employee compensation is linked to their recycling metrics. Hence, their employees get rewards for upholding their recycling ethics.
They have e-waste bins at their California campus and other business premises for employees to easily get rid of their digital waste.
As a result, Intel’s employees are highly motivated in contributing to making Intel a zero-waste company.
Do You Still Think Your Business Can Afford Not To Go Green?
In the words of Keivan Zokaei, “When we prevent physical waste, increase energy efficiency or improve resource productivity, we save money, improve profitability and enhance competitiveness. In fact, there are often huge opportunities which we can call “quick wins”.”
Is your business losing too much money due to your efforts to go green?
Waste Control is here to help you evaluate your waste and recycling efforts so that you won’t miss out on opportunities to make your company more sustainable.. Because we care about our customers as if they were our own family, our team is dedicated to improving the efficacy of your business.