With global warming and the state of the environment constantly weighing on everyone’s mind these days, many business owners are beginning to wonder how they can make their businesses more eco-friendly. Not only is it good for the environment, but showing you operate under some level of consciousness in regards to the environment can do a lot to drive your sales and improve your customer retention. Whether you work from home, have a small to large size store, or own and operate an establishment like a restaurant, here are seven ways for you to make your business more environmentally friendly.
1. Measure your Carbon Fingerprint
There are many services out there now that will allow you to measure and monitor your carbon fingerprint on the environment. Once you have a better understanding of how your business is affecting the environment, you can begin to take steps towards implementing new policies and/or changing old policies that will allow for a more environmentally friendly business. Some free services that you can use to monitor your carbon emissions include conducting a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions test. Other free services can be found at EarthLab.com and CarbonCounter.org.
2. Reduce your Energy use
Cutting back on your air-conditioning and heating during the summer and winter months respectively can do a surprisingly great amount in working to reduce your GHG emissions. You can also have a third-party company provide your building with a rating as to how well you are keeping your carbon emissions to a minimum. Such rating certifications are available through various companies, and include (but are not limited to) Energy Star Target Finder and NetZero Energy Building Certification, among others. These programs have been known to help reduce building emissions from anywhere between 12-100%.
Another step you can take to make your business more environmentally friendly is by adhering to the United States Carbon Cap and Trade Plan. This policy works by putting a price tag on a company’s CO2 emissions by auctioning off permits for emitting such gases. This means that your company, and all others that participate, will literally have a cap on the amount of CO2 emissions they are allowed to emit. As the limits become stricter overtime, the goal will be to ultimately reach the carbon reduction level set in place by the EPA and the US government.
4. Consider Alternate and Renewable Energy Sources
Many companies, like Hotmelt.com & Gluegun.com, now offer rather affordable installation of solar power technology in order to reduce the amount of energy your business consumes from standard operation and open-door hours. Wind and water turbines are also useful sources for generating energy, but these are much less common among city-based businesses, and therefore also not as effective.
5. Carbon Offsetting/environmental Exchange
Generally speaking, environmental exchange occurs when a company or organization replenishes the resources it consumed in order to make their specific product or provide their service. This could be something as simple as a tree-removal company planting two new trees for each one that they tear down. In the case of carbon exchange, an exchange is purchased in order to mitigate climate change that was created by your own company’s carbon footprint. Your company can, for example, purchase offsets or credits from another company (say a garbage removal service) that will allow them to mitigate your carbon footprint for you, rather than you going out and doing it yourself.
6. Bus/bike to Work/carpool
It may not be as comfortable to ride a bike or even stand and wait for the bus during the winter months, but carpooling is something that can be done year-round, and a great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Encourage your employees to offer each other transportation to work and even participate yourself. Reducing the amount of cars going to one place on the road is a sure-fire way to do your part for the environment.
7. Donate to Environmental Organizations or Charities
Giving to a charitable environmental association like The Nature Conservatory is a great way to 1) contribute to a safer, healthier environment, and 2) draw more customers to your business. Many shoppers tend to use their personal politics when deciding on which stores to visit and what companies to do business with. If you can show that your business is doing everything in its power to help the go-green movement, you will be surprised at just how much more business comes into your store.
Regardless of whether or not your reasons going green are entirely selfish, or you do have a legitimate concern for the environment, making some effort to stay environmentally conscious can go a long way for you and your business. So make a small investment in your company and Mother Earth, and go-green today.