If you think that implementing green measures is only something that large corporates need to consider; think again! All 20th-century businesses need to have a sustainable strategy in place in order to survive and thrive into the future.
Sustainable businesses benefit more than the environment; in fact, businesses in the UK are experiencing tangible commercial benefits after investing in green technology. Research by Barclays revealed that 75% of UK businesses enjoy commercial benefits after going green. This includes both large corporates and small businesses.
The evidence suggests that:
- investing in green, sustainable measures is both an ethical and a profitable decision
- over one-third of businesses reported a drop in business costs thanks to green investments.
- 27% also believe that their actions would help their company gain “environmentally responsible” status in the marketplace.
Although there can be costs involved when implementing greener infrastructure and business processes, these have shown to be more than offset by the resulting economic benefits over time.
3 (of many) benefits of going green
- Using your resources more efficiently reduces waste and saves money (An example would be unplugging devices when not in use).
- Your business can qualify for tax breaks and government grants – such as reducing your Climate Change Levy by up to 90%.
- Improving your company’s reputation by showing dedication to sustainability can have an indirect effect on your bottom line by generating positive PR. Many customers of today care about the general behaviour of the brands they choose to buy from.
What holds businesses back from going green?
The Barclays study suggests that more can be done by the authorities to make green investment more attractive for smaller firms:
- One third said that financial concerns are a barrier to implementing sustainable
- Only 19% of survey respondents cited regulatory demands as a driver of investment
- 19% said that they hold back on green investment due to a lack of funds
- 16% cited concerns over returns on investment
Where to start when going green
When it comes to implementing green practices and processes in your business, using energy more efficiently is a good place to start.
Energy efficiencies can be realised through quick wins, such as:
- Replacing all light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives
- Switching off appliances and lights when not in use
- Unplugging chargers when not in use
- Longer-term strategies identified through close energy management and monitoring over time
Looking for ideas for saving energy at your business?
Read these guides from Smarter Business for helpful hints and tips: