Has your business gone green? It seems these days, certain aspects of doing business are almost a necessity. Treating your employees well ensures they’ll do their best work, and treating your clients well ensures they’ll remain loyal and let you turn a profit. But what about how you treat the very land you do business on? Sure, you may already have a recycling bin next to your garbage, but truly sustainable business practices can have benefits that you may not know about. Here’s what going green can do for you:
You’ve probably heard this one before: sustainable practices, while sometimes costly up front, can actually save you a considerable amount in the long run. Things like going paperless may not be feasible immediately, but sometimes even switching to recycled paper or printing everything two-sided can be a step in the right direction. No matter what, all these practices cut done on your company’s footprint as well as paper costs.
There are also other ways going green can save you some green, such as the incentives offered by state and federal governments for sustainable practices. This article from business.com includes more information about these tax breaks, and other ways that working sustainably can cut down on your costs.
Broaden Your Appeal
We’ve written before about defining your target audience, but sustainable practices might actually help you expand your potential client list. Multiple surveys have shown that consumers are more likely to choose companies with green reputations and willing to pay a little bit more for environmentally responsible goods and services. That means your target audience will diversify and you can connect with customers who also have the best interests of the planet at heart.
Round Out your Brand
Adopting sustainable business practices can also give a boost to your web presence, content, and marketing strategies. Some companies have a whole section of their website dedicated to highlighting their sustainable initiatives, and this is a great way to stand out from competitors. From a marketing standpoint, it’s another way to tout your company’s achievements and another line that will sweeten your sales pitch. If your brand identity includes sustainability, you should harness that to let your clients and potential clients know. It can be an important part of your company culture and personality.
Consumers want to know the people behind the goods and services, and showing your love for the planet is a great way to instill your business with a sense of compassion and human empathy. In other words, the more someone learns about what you’ve done, the more they’ve learned about you, and the more they’ll want to work with you.
So Where to Start?
Becoming a more sustainable business can seem like a daunting task, but never fear. There a lot of ways to reduce your environmental footprint, and many of them come down to simple changes executed over time. For example, as mentioned before, going paperless is a process that doesn’t need to happen overnight. Searching for more sustainable facilities can take time, but will be worth it in the end; even changing to LED bulbs only happens one light at a time!
For many businesses, a one-size-fits-all approach simply isn’t going to cut it. Instead, different sized companies working in different industries at different levels of the supply chain must find unique solutions to these challenges. A good place to start is the guides we’ve found here from the Network for Business Sustainability. After hitting home again why sustainable business practices are good for your company, NBS outlines three different strategies for Small-to-Medium sized businesses in different sectors: Manufacturing, Service, and Retail. These guides break down the many challenges, opportunities, and resources available for any business, and can be a great asset if we’ve convinced you that going green really can help.