It should come as no surprise that the US economy is in the midst of a major slump. The May jobs report, released by the Department of Labor, was incredibly disappointing and revealed that employers added a measly 69,000 jobs, far fewer than analysts had forecasted. The unemployment rate also surged to 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April. This figure does not even begin to tell the story of real unemployment in America. The unemployment rate does not include a growing number of people who have simply left the labor force. The European financial crisis has the potential to send shockwaves to the US and further impact our already fragile economy.
If there is one piece of good news to come out of this economic slump, it’s that businesses have increasingly gone green to cut costs and increase profits. Let’s take a look at three ways businesses can and have gone green to accomplish this measure. This should illustrate the point that environmental concerns and business success need not be mutually exclusive.
Invest in Alternative Energy
Businesses may not be making as much money as they want to and so they are looking to find ways to cut costs. A popular cost-cutting option many large corporate companies are turning to is investing in wind energy. This is an excellent green investment for larger companies because, while it is costly at the outset, it can save companies in long-term energy costs.
Embrace Green Printing Practices
Businesses can immediately go green and simultaneously accomplish cost reduction by embracing green printing practices. All companies should adopt duplex, or two-sided, printing to drastically cut paper usage and reduce their costs. Businesses should eliminate utilizing separate printer, copier, fax and scan devices, and instead purchase all-in-one equipment. This green measure would help businesses save substantially in energy costs. It would also reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Finally, businesses should also switch from using petroleum-based inks to using vegetable or soy-based inks, both of which are ultimately more cost-efficient. These inks are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to the environment.
Transition to LED Light Bulbs
Businesses can easily help save the environment and cut their costs by replacing existing light bulbs with LED light bulbs, which use far less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs convert energy to light instead of heat, which allows them to shine brighter. Businesses will be very happy to learn that switching to LED bulbs can save them between 75 and 80 percent on their electric bill, according to the US Department of Energy.
Going green helps companies cut costs and save the environment. Environmentally conscious consumers may appreciate such efforts and reward companies with their loyalty.
Sarah Peters is a freelance writer, web content strategist for BabyChangingStation.com. Sarah is very passionate about the environment and has written extensively on the importance of greening the corporate world.