Running a business during an economic downturn is tough. However, running an eco-friendly business during an economic downturn can be even tougher. Some companies are overly optimistic about the outlook of running a green business. The reality is that customers aren’t as supportive of green businesses as they like to pretend. Harvard Business Review talks about this in an article titled “The Elusive Green Consumer.” Although polls show that 65% of customers would pay more for an eco-friendly product, they rarely actually do. As a result, eco-friendly businesses struggle to maintain decent profit margins.
Unfortunately, many green business owners forego environmentally-friendly business practices if these practices risk cutting into their bottom line.
While it’s true that many eco-friendly changes to your business can increase your expenses, you shouldn’t treat them as costs. Instead, you should look at them as long-term investments in your business. So, what are some eco-friendly ways to invest in your business? Read on to find out! You can also read our recent post on eco-friendly business practices here.
Revamp Your Business Sign
There are a lot of great ways to market your business sustainably. One way is to invest in eco-friendly signs.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, signage is key. Not only does it draw the attention of consumers, but it also signifies your brand. Thus, investing in a new and improved sign can help boost your revenue for the long-term. Whether you want a back-lit sign with channel letters or a customizable letter board, make sure that you get an eco-friendly sign. Generally, this is pretty easy to do, as you just have to ensure that you purchase from a supplier that makes their signs out of 100% recycled materials.
Reduce Packaging Waste
This is actually a change that, in many circumstances, requires no investment capital at all! It is one of the reasons that Scandinavia companies maintain strong margins while running eco-friendly businesses.
For example, if you use plastic bags or wrapping to wrap up sold items, that material costs money. Not only that, it’s terrible for the environment. So, simply take the plastic out of the equation. This may require you to find a new way to handle products for customers. However, many customers will appreciate your forward-thinking efforts if you provide recycled or eco-friendly packaging!
Switch to Remote Work
A lot of business owners like to take care of their daily responsibilities in a traditional work environment. Moreover, they often like their employees to do the same. This requires you and your employees to travel, often by car or bus, to a designated place of work. Switching to remote work could significantly reduce your business’ carbon footprint. You may not be able to switch your entire workforce to a remote setting, but if you can even allow one or two employees to work from home part-time, you’re reducing pollution while also improving employee satisfaction!
Create Your Own Energy
Almost every business requires energy to function. More often than not, the biggest drain on energy resources is electricity. So, why not invest in clean energy sources to reduce your carbon footprint? For example, installing solar panels on the roof of your office or place of business could allow you to produce some or all of the energy your business needs to operate. Over time, this could save you thousands (or more) on electricity bills. While solar panels do require a sizable upfront investment, they can more than pay for themselves in just a few years!
Make Eco-Friendly Business Practices a Top Priority
Running an eco-friendly business takes time, dedication, and a certain amount of disposable capital. Fortunately, many forms of ethical investment not only help the environment, but they also help your business. So, be sure to invest in your eco-friendly business today to start seeing the results!
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