Going green doesn’t have to cost the earth, in fact there’s many actions you can take that not only benefit the planet but also your bottom line.
Here’s five ways that going green can save your business money:
1. Reduce recruiting & HR costs
This might seem an unusual place to start and you might be asking ‘how on earth does going green affect recruitment’?
However there is an increasing amount of research and stats showing that employees who work for a company which is purpose driven or considers its impact on the environment to be happier and more likely to stay.
In one survey nearly 70% of respondents said that if a company had a strong sustainability plan, it would affect their decision to stay with that company long term.
Potentially more worrying, another 30% said that they’ve left a job in the past because of the company’s lack of a sustainability plan.
So if you want to reduce staff turnover, keep hold of your talented staff and save on your recruitment costs then taking actions to make your organisation green and sustainable is a win-win for you and the planet.
2. Save money on your energy & utility bills
Back to a more obvious saving, reducing your energy & resource usage also reduces your bills.
There are so many ways you can do this from simple actions of turning the thermostat down, changing to LED lighting and turning your computers and monitors off at night. (These apply just as much at home as at the workplace).
All the way up to through to changing your processes & systems to improve efficiency, limit wasted energy and resource use.
Any of these activities are going to directly save you money on your energy & utility bills, bringing you savings each month, even if there is an initial cost it’s easy to see the down the line savings & benefits.
3. Switch your energy provider and save
As well as reducing the amount of energy we use, choosing where we get our energy from is a big step we can take to reduce our impact on the environment that can, again, save you money.
There are an ever growing number of renewable & green energy providers available and they’re not just for those who can afford the luxury.
As the price of renewable energy continues to fall and these companies grow you can now find a provider that competes with or is even better than the big players on price whilst helping to fund new renewable energy projects.
Many are offering deals for new customers so see if a switch of energy provider can save you money month after month.
4. Buying less “stuff” (or buy once to last)
Another direct way to save money and help the planet is to reduce our consumption and the amount of “stuff” we buy (again this applies at home & in business).
More practically, as there are some purchases we can’t avoid, can we buy a reusable product once instead of buying disposable over and over again, saving money and waste ending up in landfill.
Again like the LED light bulbs or energy saving measures there may be an increased initial cost but the savings down the line mean they pay for themselves and if you want to find out how quickly they will do so, you can do a cost-benefit analysis.
Adopting a conscientious mindset to your purchases to consider if you really need it, how long it will last and if there is a better alternative for the environment can help you find plenty of areas to make savings
5. Turn your waste into profit
Could your company’s waste be someone else’s gold? The rise of the circular economy has seen a range of creative solutions to repurpose and reuse waste from one industry’s processes into a useful raw material in another.
I’ve seen used coffee grounds used to make excellent compost for growing vegetables & mushrooms to old tyres shredded and sold as the rubber crumb on sports fields or even used to build new roads.
If your company produces waste of any kind, there could be the opportunity for another company to use that as a resource and even pay you for it. Especially if you are currently paying to dispose of, remove or treat your waste, considering circular, reuse & upcycling could stop money going down the drain.
The best place to start is to see if anyone is already doing something with your waste product or are there any reuse or upcycling initiatives within your industry.
If not, is there anything you could do with it yourself? You may need to get creative and speaking with others from different industries & companies can come up with some new ideas and opportunities.
This is just a small number of the opportunities available to take to make your business more green and sustainable whilst saving you money. There are of course many other things you can do and a great many other benefits of going green (which I’ll come to in future posts).
My advice with these, and almost any sustainability changes, is to “just start”. Whatever it is, just start somewhere and you will discover many more opportunities and solutions once you have begun, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference you can make and also at how much you can save.