Being green is not just about having a focus on the environment. It can also be about being more efficient with the resources you use and having a positive impact on your bottom line.
Quick takeaways if you’re in a hurry
- ‘Eco-efficiency’ involves combining consideration for the environment with initiatives that also drive economic growth
- Developing an eco-efficient attitude opens up opportunities to improve your company profile through awards that will recognise you at both an industry and customer level
- Deciding how green to make your business is a balance between your desire as a business owner; your brand; your customer and your company’s profitability.
Read on: Green Business Initiatives that Improve the Bottom Line
(estimated reading time: 5 minutes)
Whether or not to be ‘green’ is now an acknowledged element of your business strategy that should be considered alongside your target audience, your product, and your brand. You may not have decided if you are going to integrate green initiatives into your day to day activity, or you may have already decided that you want to become environmentally focused in your strategies.
If you’re a new or established small to medium sized business and you’re pondering your relationship with the environment then you might like to read on.
Being green in today’s business world is not just about protecting the environment, it’s also about using your attitude to your environment to drive a leaner and more efficient business model that uses fewer resources to produce more profit. If you want to reduce your impact on the environment while improving your bottom line then you are not alone.
‘Eco-efficiency’ is the practise of combining consideration for the environment with initiatives that also drive economic growth. Increasingly experts acknowledge that it makes business sense to improve your environmental position by doing more with less: adding up to a win-win situation for your bottom line and the planet.
Environmental efficiency puts a focus on making better use of the resources around us with a specific focus on reducing waste and wastage; saving energy; and reducing the carbon footprint of a business. As well as translating into a positive impact on the environment, businesses can also enjoy the economic impact of running their businesses more efficiently.
Examples of environmental efficiency can be found across all industries and businesses of all sizes: from companies that reduce their energy costs by installing windows in the ceiling to capture natural daylight, through to businesses that find a way to turn a waste product into a by-product – increasing productivity, reducing waste and increasing profit in one go.
Understandably approaching waste and resources with a green attitude is proactively encouraged by your local authorities and resource managers. If you’re considering your environmental position and pondering the positive impacts you could expect then you would do well to remember your relationships with those who currently police your waste and consumption levels. Embracing improvement in these areas and proactively engaging support where you can get it at an authority level is a great relationship builder.
Organisations at a private and government level commonly manage specific awards for businesses who focus on efficiency and their impact on the environment. Businesses who strive to protect the environment and minimise their business footprint are often at the cutting edge of process or technology evolution – being able to spot better ways of getting things done and cut through the historical processes to implement greener solutions. Awards can provide great exposure across your industry and customer base as well as financial incentives, so they are more than worth investigating and could serve to give you some direction on your green journey.
Trying to assess how far to move your business down the path of delivering a greener presence can be better understood by considering your target customer’s needs and whether this is a key purchase driver or merely a nice to have. While your bottom line can benefit from eco-efficiency, further initiatives such as investment in new paper sources or more efficient machinery may require a financial outlay that you can evaluate in the context of your brand and business strategies. Your own brand definition could include some strategies on how you interact with your external environment and these can be brought to life through your actions and your attitude towards the environment as a business.
If you are a small business owner then the chances are that your own personal philosophy towards the environment is already influencing the way that you do business. A focus on green initiatives can drive efficiency and improve your use of resources, allowing you to explore new by-products and opportunities to recycle your waste. How far you move in an environmentally friendly direction will probably be driven by a combination of your own desire and external factors such as resource management requirements; customer need; and your own company’s brand position. Being green is a potentially emotive topic that is well considered in an economic context – at the end of the day it is important that your company delivers a profit and has a sustainable business model so any investment will be need to be balanced with cost savings or revenue.
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