The ‘green’ wave is fast taking over the business space as more people are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability even in the workplace. The central idea is to utilize techniques that promote the healthful existence of current and future generations.
Green businesses are modern business models that prioritize sustainable eco-friendly practices. They use sustainable materials and processes to make their products. A green business could be your regular business with a unique standard of products and production processes such that there is no negative impact on the environment, the community, or the economy.
Green Business Practices
- Green Products and Services
You need to conduct a life cycle assessment to quantify the environmental impacts of your entire production process. This begins from your raw materials stage down to the point of waste disposal. If any phase of your production cycle has a significant negative environmental impact then it’s not green and you need to work on it.
- Remote/Hybrid Work Model
Remote work provides energy savings, reduced expenses on electricity bills, reduced equipment use, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions from employees driving separately to work. Since not every company can afford a remote system, a hybrid model is more sustainable for the business and the environment.
- Green Supplies
Sustainability must be given priority when sourcing office supplies in a green business. Your equipment, raw materials, packaging etc must come from reliable green suppliers. Your printers should be ink-efficient and use refillable cartridges. You need to use sustainable items such as towels, cleaning chemicals, packaging bags and trash cans. How about employees bringing in reusable water bottles instead of single-use paper cups?
- Reduce Paper Use
The digital era of information transfer and storage is here to stay but businesses still need hard copies sometimes. You could use e-receipts, emails etc to reduce paper use. Paper use can be limited to important documents, recycled papers and the strict use of eco-friendly paper types.
- Less Waste
Waste and pollution are huge challenges that green businesses must tackle. They must start by producing less waste, investing in equipment and materials with longer life spans, implementing recycling technology and ensuring that the waste produced is properly disposed of.
- Energy Conservation
Green businesses are conscious of their energy consumption and carbon footprint and thus, invest in clean energy such as solar, wind, geothermal and other forms of clean energy. They implement strategies such as the use of LED light bulbs, insulated buildings and energy-efficient certified appliances.
- Water Conservation
Most Businesses require water to operate effectively. Green businesses use conservation measures such as rain harvesting, waterless urinals, water-saving faucets, waste-water treatment and other devices to save water.
- Recycling and Donations
How does your business handle old and obsolete office equipment? Old devices can become toxic and messy when left to clutter in a storehouse or trashed indiscriminately. Green businesses donate their old devices to the community or donation centres; you could also refurbish them with companies that accept such items. The use of remanufactured cartridges helps to reduce waste and save costs.
- Flexible Dress Codes
The norm of strict dress codes is fast fading out to a more flexible and casual dress style. Employees in green businesses could be given colour or outfit codes to represent the organisation however, comfort and flexibility are put into consideration. It helps to reduce dry cleaning expenses and the use of office climate control systems.
Plants help to purify the atmosphere to create a greater ambience. They absorb carbon in exchange for oxygen which is good for health. In addition, they beautify the environment, giving the office space a distinctive look. Reports reveal that employees have shown improved mood, less stress and higher productivity in such workplaces.
Running a green business can be daunting. The transition or start-up phase may be rough and it may take some time, hard work, consistency and patience. Employees need to be trained, every process needs to be vetted and changed or revamped to meet your objective of environmental protection. You may need to make huge purchases of equipment and devices that meet the desired standard. You would also need to find affordable suppliers who share the same vision. Sometimes, green products are more expensive than regular products and the market may not be as broad as the others. Many entrepreneurs would rather avoid trouble.
But why should you consider a green business still?
Sustainable branding Strategy: The idea of environmental protection places your business in good light with the public in addition to your branding strategy. Green Businesses appeal to customers who will, in turn, recommend your brand to others. This translates to a positive brand image which is good for business.
Revenue: As an entrepreneur, starting an eco-friendly business may be a huge capital investment from the onset however, you will certainly get your revenue in good time. You can be sure of patronage from households, governments, non-profits etc who share in your passion for environmental sustainability.
Tax Waivers: Many governments offer tax waivers, incentives and grants to companies running by the eco-friendly model. However green businesses have to follow certain criteria to be eligible for these benefits.
Healthier Operations: Green businesses offer a safe and healthy environment for both their workers and consumers. Employees are more productive as they have fewer health challenges and consumers are satisfied with the safety and quality of their products.
Green businesses are very important to the environment’s present and future generations of inhabitants. It is quite fulfilling to be able to save the planet no matter how little. Start making those choices and implementing business practices that are profitable not just for you alone but for the planet. Go Green!
Photo: people matters
Writer: Christiana Ugbem