Disregarding green measures within our homes and businesses as being ‘hippy’ and ‘tree-hugging’ is becoming a thing of past. More and more people are finally beginning to realise the severity of our worldwide energy crisis. As fossil fuels are coming to an end, the search for alternate energy supply is heating up, seeing more investment and support than ever for renewable generation methods such as wind turbines, hydropower dams and solar farms. In the meantime, it’s our responsibility as businesses to lower our energy usage and generally be more conscious about our impact on the environment.
This might all sound like a lot of work for no reward, but that could not be further from the truth. There are many reasons why you should be going green as a business, today more than ever. These reasons are mostly financial, but can also contribute to the general growth of your company and brand awareness. Read on and see just how and why you should become an eco-friendly company.
Great for PR
Going green is a great move for PR. A study conducted by Nielson found that 72% of young people, aged between 15 – 20 were more likely to pay more for products if their products and services were not harmful to the environment. Although these surveys can’t always be trusted, the facts are these: having your brand marketed as a company that respects the environment certainly will not lower your company’s customer trust and is likely to surpass that of a non-green company.
Regardless of the industry that your business is in, it is almost guaranteed that you will be subject to the extreme market density worldwide of products and services in all areas. As such, it is important to find a way to stand out, outside of your general superiority (of course!). One way of doing this is showing that you are a caring company. Making an effort to show that you are an environmentally responsible company will go a long way, especially seeing as though if your competitors have already made this effort, you are going to crowded out and seen as the company that doesn’t make an effort.
Save on expenditure
Reducing your energy usage is one sure way of reducing the amount of money that you spend per month on utility bills. Putting energy saving measures in place not only reduces your carbon footprint, but will physically reduce your monthly usage, meaning you aren’t paying as much. You can do this in a number of ways. These include:
- Decrease amount of printing
- Decrease standby time on your appliances by adding timered plugs
- Switch to LED light bulbs
- Make sure your office temperature is between 20-21°C
- Install motion sensors in meeting rooms
- Switch your gas and electricity tariff
- Make sure that your white goods are energy efficient
- Generate some of your own electricity through solar panels
- Increase your office’s insulation
For companies who take this obligation seriously, the government provide a variety of grants that can act as an incentive to improve your company’s eco-friendliness. One of the long term schemes that may be of huge use to your company is the 30% discount on solar panels offered to those company’s with green status, checked by the government. Installing solar panels on your grounds could be a great way to physically display your commitment to renewable generation whilst also reducing your energy bills significantly.
Promote a green commute in the workplace
Encouraging green schemes such as carpooling and public transport discounts can be a great way to reduce your carbon emissions through your employees. The average commuter in the UK is estimated to travel around 4,343 miles every year. The subsequent Co2 produced by this solo drive is around 1.07 tonnes, which is huge! If you made this journey on the train, however, your emissions would be roughly halved. Whereas if you cycled or walk, you’d be pretty much zeroed out. I realise that this impossible for some people who live a rather large distance away from their workplace; however, the alternatives are certainly a lot better than a solo drive.
If you live within a few miles of your workplace, an active commute is certainly a great way to stay in shape whilst not using up any more of your time. Starting your day with a run or a bike ride not only wakes you up, but increases your productivity throughout the rest of the day. Studies show that eating unhealthily on a regular basis and not exercising frequently increases the risk of low productivity by 66%. This is an easy risk to prevent. Maintaining a happy and healthy workforce is the key and encouraging them to take an active commute is a great place to start.