Going green is not only good for the planet, it’s good for your bottom line — particularly if you own or operate a small business. Adopting greener technology and greener attitudes towards how your company conducts business can save you money on energy costs, as well as strengthen your small business’s reputation. Here are just a few ways in which going green can help your business — and the world around you — to thrive.
Work “Smart”er… Not Harder
Employing energy efficient technology can save your company hundreds — even thousands — of dollars in the course of a year. Simple tweaks such as using energy-efficient space heaters and smart power strips can have a positive impact on your small business’s overhead costs.
Although powering down your computer at the end of each work day appears to conserve energy, many office appliances including laptops, desktops, and printers all have standby modes which leach significant amounts of power. Smart power strips are one of the latest advances in technology that can reduce your office’s power usage by cutting power to appliances that go into standby mode. Not only does this help whittle your energy costs, it can also help lower your business’s carbon footprint as these devices account for 1% if carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
Shed Some (Energy-Efficient) Light On the Situation
More pennies can be saved via installing energy efficient lighting in your office. New standards put in place by the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 require that light bulbs must use at least 25% less energy. As a result, since 2012, nearly every incandescent, CFL, or LED light bulb now sold uses 25%-80% less energy. These are common, everyday bulbs you see in stores and require no costly overhauls to your daily operations. However, ensuring that old lighting sources are properly discarded and replaced with more energy-efficient ones is a great way to save your business money.
Red, White, and Green: Tax Breaks for Greener Measures
Depending on your industry or which state your business is located, you may be rewarded with a break on your federal and/or state taxes for your business’s greener initiatives. Locating your offices within a commercial building that meets or exceeds a certain level of energy efficiency can afford your business a tax deduction. Companies that create energy-efficient products — such as construction companies who build energy-efficient properties — may also receive tax credits. Check with your accountant to find out whether your business qualifies for any state or federal tax credits for taking great, green strides.
Good For The Planet, Good For Your Business
Transparency, particularly in the digital age, is often a defining factor in how a business is perceived by the public. The pressure is on for businesses to be more accountable for their actions and show shareholders, clients, and customers that they indeed “walk the walk.” As a younger, more eco-conscious generation ascends to the consumer platform, they are more mindful of investigating the business practices behind the products they choose. Very often, they will opt to go for the company whose values more closely mirror their own. Companies who engage in “greenwashing” tactics are almost always exposed and run the risk of alienating an influential customer base. Adopting greener technology not only helps the planet, it can help grow your business by fostering good will and a sense of trustworthiness with the public and those you conduct business with.
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