5 tips for creatively going green with your business
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Going green is no longer just a niche slogan. It has become an increasingly common part of doing business. In fact, in a recent study, 78% of Americans said they would be more likely to buy environmentally friendly products, with 64% also being willing to pay more for these products.
Clearly, a focus on the environment in business doesn’t just help the environment, it can also have a direct impact on your bottom line. When you make sustainability a key part of your business ventures, you become much more appealing to customers who share similar values.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for your business to go green.
1. Rethink product packaging
Product packaging is one of the main sources of waste. As a Business News Daily report notes, 77% of customers believe that plastic is not environmentally friendly when packaging products. Conversely, paper was considered the greenest packaging option because it is more easily recyclable. Something as simple as replacing packing peanuts with paper can reduce the environmental impact of your packaging.
Smaller packaging design can further reduce your environmental impact, simply by consuming less raw materials. Eco-focused brands often highlight their sustainability efforts (and encourage customers to recycle packaging) right on the box.
2. Source materials from local suppliers
The supply chain can be a major source of a company’s carbon footprint. Mainly because of the pollution produced to transport supplies and materials to your facility. This is most often the case for food, where buy-local initiatives aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And that can be done simply by limiting the number of miles food travels to get to someone’s plate.
However, the same can be accomplished with any other supplies or materials your business may need. The focus on local sourcing will reduce your carbon footprint while supporting your local economy – likely a key factor in the success of your own business. You can further improve the sustainability of your materials by sourcing from environmentally conscious suppliers who have adopted their own green initiatives.
Related: 9 easy ways businesses can save money by going green
3. Minimize the impact of your products
For companies that manufacture their own products, identifying ways to minimize the waste potential of their products should be a top priority in going green. Using biodegradable or recyclable materials ensures your products don’t add to the millions of tons of landfill waste generated in the United States each year.
4. Reassess your energy sources
The energy sources you use to power your office and run your most vital business processes have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. Renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar and wind power have become more accessible than ever. Both can be valuable long-term investments for going green.
Many utility providers use coal and natural gas, which combine to produce billions of metric tons of CO2 emissions each year. Switching to solar or other renewable sources is your way to ensure your electricity comes from sustainable sources.
In the United States, these green investments also allow companies to benefit from tax credits that offset the cost of installation. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit currently provides a credit of 26% of the cost of a new system that begins construction in 2022. However, this credit drops to 22% in 2023 and 10% in 2024. best .
5. Find sustainable solutions to common service needs
Another option for going green is to offer a green version of a service-based business. For example, an eco-friendly landscaping company would avoid the use of chemical herbicides and use electric equipment instead of gasoline-powered equipment. An organic catering business would use locally grown organic food for area events. Sustainability consultants can advise other businesses on key steps they can take to go green.
These examples are just a few of the ways a service-oriented company could provide a more sustainable offering to its customers. In this case, your efforts to go green become the main differentiating characteristic that sets your business apart from other competitors in the niche. Many opportunities exist for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Related: 5 green franchises for eco-centric entrepreneurs
How will you go green?
As these examples illustrate, going green can be incorporated into your corporate identity from the ground up. Consider how you can improve your environmental impact in all facets of your business. You can find creative solutions and carve out a unique niche for yourself within your market.
By proactively striving to go green, you can help the planet and become a valuable asset to those trying to reduce their impact on the environment.
Related: 6 Ways Going Green Can Make You More Profitable