The following blog post was contributed by Elliot Waterhouse from Selectra.
We’re all aware of the declining state of our planet, but sometimes putting preventative measures in place is just not viable in business. Despite us trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible at home, the large majority of the world’s carbon emissions come from businesses. A report in 2014 stated that around 65% of all world carbon emissions came from just 90 business entities, generating more than 8 megatons (9 billion kg) of carbon emissions every year. That is why it is now more important than ever to focus on your company’s green status. Is it viable, though? Here’s 4 key reasons why your business should go green.
Great for public relations
Showing that your business cares for the environment can open up all kinds of opportunities in public relations. Not only can it make your company more desirable to potential clients and customers, but to skilled employees as well. Raising your public profile is extremely important in today’s business density. Those who aren’t showing their commitment to a sustainable future are potentially damaging their brand. According to a world survey conducted by Nielsen in 2015, 72% of those aged between 15 - 20 said that they would pay more for products and services that were not harmful to the environment.
Building your brand around sustainability and eco-friendly business is a great way of increasing customer loyalty and can deconstruct the untouchable corporate image that many companies seem to have. Having a content plan for your marketing that incorporates your green status can also expand your demographic and build a larger online presence for your product or service. You might want to look into a government scheme that will allow you to be officially recognised as a green company. Not only will this give you more credibility amongst your audience, but some schemes will also award grants to companies to improve their energy efficiency rating.
Save the company money
Using less energy is a direct route to spending less money. By implementing small energy saving measures such as sleep mode on computers and upgrading old light bulbs, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds per year. There is a million and one ways that can be easily adopted by your business to save on your energy bills, meaning more money for the things that matter. Not only can you save money by using less energy, but by reducing things like printing too. By encouraging digital copies of unnecessarily printed documents, you could save huge amounts of money on paper, ink and, once again, the energy your printer uses to print the documents.
As mentioned above, government grants are available for those companies that meet a certain green criteria in which you’ll receive a 30% price cut on the overall price of solar panels, which, if you have the money to invest, could save you an extreme amount of money in the long run by generating part of your own electricity supply. Depending on your business size it is pretty unrealistic to think that you could generate your entire electricity demand with solar panels, unless you have a couple of football fields free, but you can definitely reduce your reliance on your provider and save yourself some money.
Do your bit for the environment
In an era when anxieties regarding climate change, pollution and fossil fuel depletion are higher than ever, it is important that we all do our bit towards helping the planet, especially businesses. As mentioned above, the large majority of the carbon emissions destroying our environment come from business entities, and this rate doesn’t seem to be slowing up. There is an abundance of reasons why we should be reducing our carbon footprint and saving on energy used, but really all we need to focus on is making sure that we have a future that is sustainable and healthy.
Promotes and facilitates a healthier lifestyle
It is estimated that the average commuter in the UK travels 4,343 miles to and from work every year according to British Gas. If you are one of those who travels solo in the car, your carbon emissions would be a massive 1.07 tonnes of Co2, whereas if you take the train, a much better 0.48 tonnes. Now, if you walk or cycle to work, this is going to be greatly reduced, if not zeroed.
Going green in your office can have a great effect on the wellbeing of your employees. Promoting the idea of an active commute can greatly reduce the carbon emissions of your company and grow a healthy ethos that will increase the fitness of your employees and increase productivity.
According to a study made by the ‘Population Health Management’ journal, eating unhealthily increases the risk of low workplace productivity by 66%. Rare exercise increases this risk by 50%. Negligence of one's health is one of the primary triggers for productivity loss in the workplace accounting for around 77% of all such losses. Promoting a healthy lifestyle, namely through the way in which employees commute to work, is a great way of increasing your general working atmosphere and productivity.