Making Commercial Sense of running a ‘Greener Business’ and Caring for the Environment
“It’s unfortunate that all business gets painted as wanting to oppose the environment and slow change.” – Robert J. Fisher
We all know that running a business is not about altruism, so focusing on caring for the environment and looking after ecological matters will have to wait for another day. Right?
Perhaps it would surprise you to find that there are sound commercial motives to pursue an agenda of actively building sustainability into your value proposition. These drivers fall into two clear categories; Direct Benefits and Indirect Benefits. Let’s look at just a few of the direct benefits in this article.
Direct Benefits of Caring for the Environment
1. Energy Saving Measures
We all need to reduce our energy consumption in order to counteract ever more tangible effects of Climate Change. Installing energy saving technology, for example efficient lighting, with short payback periods, being the most obvious one. A review of your energy consumption can reveal further ways of shrinking your utility bills.
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2. Stay on the Right Side of the Law
Numerous enterprises routinely break environmental law, whether that’s because they are unaware or not up to date. Take for example waste regulation. Up to 67% of companies are not compliant with these obligations and of those, 90% are SMEs. Sending key personnel on the CIWM WasteSmart course is one way to start addressing this issue.
3. Bids and Tenders
The ability to demonstrate environmental commitment is becoming a greater part of tender evaluation criteria, with weighting being anything from 5% to 20%. For those companies with ISO14001, this is simple to establish. But for many SMEs, who have not chosen this accreditation route, having a Sustainability Programme is a viable alternative.
4. Water Saving Measures
Whether you use water in your processes or only in washroom and kitchen facilities, it will be charged by volume consumed and discharged to sewage. Finding ways to save water will reduce these bills too.
The Benefits Add Up
Some of these measures may seem minor, but you’re not in business to routinely throw away small amounts of money. Anyone who deals with accounts will notice how quickly apparently ‘little expenses’ add up rapidly. Equally, lots of small savings affect the P&L positively.
The potential to make a significant difference to your profitability can be brought together within a comprehensive Sustainability Programme. In essence, you will be looking after your business as much as the environment.
Now Consider the Indirect Advantages of Caring for the Environment
Your workforce can support these new measures if the plan includes important the elements of engagement and communication. Additionally, once they are motivated, they will surprise you with new ways in which being green will drive ongoing commercial gain. Their resultant sense of wellbeing is just one of the indirect advantages which will also be achieved.
Developing an environmental policy and caring for the environment is proven to be commercially beneficial to a business – so seek out an expert who can support and guide you through the process of gaining accreditation and assisting you to implement a sustainability programme.
Blunt thinking on Caring for the Environment from Yorkshire Powerhouse