Whilst the global recession was certainly bad news, a silver lining is that it forced businesses to focus on saving money and resource efficiency. Whilst some cynics believe that it’s something that requires significant investment, becoming green is actually a straight-forward way of saving money and can even help win business. Robert Fenn at the British Assessment Bureau puts together the argument below.
Improve the bottom line
By far the biggest myth about going green is that it’s an expensive process. Whilst some initiatives may require initial investment (energy efficient equipment, for example), the idea is that they will pay for themselves over the mid to long-term.
Your organisation’s environmental impact is all about the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Simple measures such as reducing paper use, turning lights and equipment off when not in use and managing office heating can result in surprising cost savings, all which require no financial input! You can find some easy steps in our dedicated green office tips article.
Greenwashing is when an organisation seeks to benefit from promoting green credentials without actually demonstrating an investment in being environmentally responsible.
More details on greenwash
Protect your image
Everyone is well aware that being a ’green’ business reflects well, but being proactive protects you from the more pertinent issue of brand protection. Media scandals have shone a bright light on cases of (a lack of) corporate responsibility, from the horsemeat debacle, to the factory collapse disaster in Bangladesh. These stories gain enormous traction extremely quickly thanks to the growth of social media.
So you don’t fall foul, it’s important that you back up any green claims with substance to ensure you aren’t accused of greenwashing. With consumers drawn to green businesses and products, it’s important that you promote your efforts in the right way. Likewise, in a difficult financial climate, demonstrating you are a forward-thinking green business helps justify existing clients that yours is a company worth sticking with.
Motivate your staff
For green initiatives to work, it involves collaboration. You may be surprised by how many people at work are already ‘greenies’. Get these people involved and it helps to foster and spread enthusiasm for reducing usage and waste.
A study by the University of California (UCLA) actually found that engaged green employees work harder as a result, because they feel more committed and communicate better between departments.
Win new business
The environment is an issue on the agenda of governments all around the world. For those who bid for work for government contracts, they will have noticed that green targets are filtering down the supply chain, with the likes of the internationally recognised ISO 14001 environmental management standard being expected.
Likewise, larger businesses are setting ever ambitious environmental targets which involve getting the supply chain on board. As such, proactively taking steps to demonstrate that you are committed to reducing your environmental impact puts you in good stead for winning valuable new business.
Do you have any more ideas for justifying going green? Join the conversation on Twitter @Ways2GoGreen