Two weeks ago, the United Nations reported that climate change is putting the world on track to being unlivable. Sadly, this is not hyperbole.
We are currently living in an era of environmental turmoil, which means that going green has become crucial. The deterioration of our natural resources and other environmental concerns like global warming has called for us to embrace a way of life that ease the burden on the environment caused by human activities. Examples of environmentally friendly living include purchasing organic groceries to using natural resources for power generation.
The entire world is going green. Since businesses and industries are major contributors to various environmental concerns, there is pressure on them to adopt eco-friendly business practices. Other than tackling environmental issues, going green offers various benefits to businesses. This is one of the reasons that green businesses are growing over 26% a year.
Since we are living in an era of mass connectivity and technical advancement, people are more informed and aware of the importance of adopting sustainability practices in their everyday life. These conscious customers want to ease the burden on the environment, which is why they are supporting green businesses. They wish to prioritize working with companies that are committed to environmental concerns and are socially responsible.
But, to make a living as a green entrepreneur, you will have to make the right investments. The term green investment refers to investment opportunities that help reduce the negative impact of business on the environment and seek to use resources sustainability. These investments can either be practices or technologies like solar power that will help in the efficient use of resources.
For running a green business, the entrepreneur must know where and how to invest. Here are some of the practices or avenues where you can invest to ensure the success of your business.
1. Go Paperless
You can encourage your employees to go paperless. Instead of using paper, ask them to store documents digitally to reduce the printing for the business needs. Ask your employees to store files, documents, and other paperwork digitally, and insist they share it online.
By following this practice, you will be able to reduce the number of papers used for your business, and will also be able to cut the cost of printing. Digital documentation will also help you to save space and resources needed for storing them, thus helping in cutting the expenses of managing the documents. It will help you to cut the cost of expensive toners, papers, and inks, and will enable you to save money that is required to recycle and dispose of papers.
One of the major reasons for various issues like climatic changes is due to the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which results in global warming and other drastic changes in climate. So, by going paperless you will be able to save many trees that absorb carbon dioxide. According to various researches, a mature tree can absorb about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, thus reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, paper manufacturing is the third-largest consumer of fossil fuel, so, going paperless will reduce its excessive consumption.
2. Promote Telecommuting if possible
In 2020, we saw various benefits of telecommuting, which is good for the planet. Starting from the flexibility remote working offers, they also boost the productivity of the employees and provide money-saving advantages as well. It is observed that remote working provides better work-life balance, saves time, boosts productivity, and cuts the cost of transportation. On the employer’s end, the reduced downtime boosts the employee’s productivity which results in better quality work and enables the businesses to save money that was needed in operating a brick-and-mortar office.
Telecommuting is a win-win situation for both employees and employers, but its biggest benefactor is the environment. Telecommuting has various positive impacts on the environment, such as a substantial reduction of greenhouse gases, improving the quality of air, and decreasing the use of fossil fuels.
3. Reduce the amount of electricity used
One of the biggest expenses of any business is the energy bills. Running a physical office will require a lot of energy. Energy is required in running various appliances like AC, heater, microwave, lights, and other equipment needed in operating the business. Thus, electricity bills take a significant toll on your business’s overhead. To reduce the electricity bills, you can compare business electricity prices and see whether you are offered the best deal. If you see that your deal is not competitive enough, then you can consider changing the supplier.
- Replacing the conventional bulb with low-cost CFLs and LEDs
Businesses can also switch to more energy-efficient alternatives to reduce wastage. For instance, in the place of the conventional incandescent light, you can use LEDs and CFLs. Since they have a longer lifespan and use less energy, they will help you save energy as well as money.
- Program your thermostat
You can control or save energy by efficiently using a programmable thermostat. These smart thermostats will save energy by automatically reducing energy consumption during heating and cooling. They will manage the temperature after office hours, thus reducing the wastage of energy.
- Educate your employees
Educate your employees on the relevance of saving energy and encourage them to follow energy-efficient practices in their day-to-day life. Also, having your roof replaced by a more energy-efficient roof can greatly reduce energy expenditure on business buildings.
4. Generate your own energy
One of the most effective green investments can be solar panels and wind turbines, which will help you in generating alternate energy for your business. You may have to invest some amount initially, but it will prove to be beneficial in the long run. They last long and require low maintenance, which will help in saving money. Along with generating energy, they also store energy, which will reduce your electricity bill significantly. Also, many government and private agencies are providing loans and other monetary incentives to promote sustainability. So, green businesses can avail these benefits and effectively cut their bills.
5. Invest in Green marketing
Investing in green marketing has various benefits. By investing in green marketing, you will be able to reduce the negative impact of your business on the environment during development, marketing, and packaging. In green marketing, you will highlight how your product or services benefit the environment, thus increasing demand. But green marketing should not be reduced to greenwashing, instead, your business should be environmentally responsible. For this, you need to make eco-friendly products, choose sustainable packaging materials, create green campaigns and advocate environmental awareness, and many more. Other than environmental benefits, green marketing will help in gaining the consumer’s trust and loyalty.
To make the most out of green businesses you need to know where to invest. You can follow these strategies to make your green investment decision and gain profit along with keeping the planet healthy.