Once upon a time the reputation of a business was based on size, number of employees and the positive figures on the balance sheet. However, in recent years there has been a big environmental wake up call. With global warming an ever present threat and the severe weather warnings we have had from nature in the last decade, we have all been passed the responsibility of becoming more ecologically aware. This increased public awareness in environmental matters and being green, mean that the factors that attract consumers to a business have changed. Savvy customers are now taking a greater interest in how environmentally aware the businesses that they choose to deal with are and they may even refuse to deal with a business that doesn’t appear to care about the environment.
Going green is here to stay. Everyone is now recycling, buying organic produce and becoming more aware of the impact that our lifestyles are having on the environment. To ignore this growing trend would be detrimental to the connection between your business and your customer. Going green is a way of showing that your business is aware of the changes that are happening around it and are in touch with and care about the needs of its community.
The phrase ‘going green’ would have once conjured up images of peace loving hippies and ‘The Good Life’ style of living. These days it’s a much more accessible concept to put into action in our everyday lives. Like any investment, it may take an initial commitment to put some cash up front, but each step will earn you a return; some will take a few months, others you will be counting up way into retirement.
A ‘green’ transport strategy is an essential part of any business’ green credentials. Creating a green travel plan for your business will encourage employees to commute in a more environmentally friendly way. The rising cost of fuel mean that greener company cars have started to become an easy way to make significant savings. Encourage employees to travel to work together to reduce the number of vehicles used making their way into the workplace. Consider allowing employees to work from home to reduce overheads and commuting costs.
To make overseas business travel ‘green’ consider the journey. Flying non-stop reduces emissions. Make sure trips are planned wisely, fly to your furthest point and work your way back by train if possible. Make sure you have sorted out the right budget travel insurance, so any delays or cancellations do not result in expense.
There are other ways that you can make positive changes within your business: make a commitment to reduce paper waste, encourage communications by email, use a recycled paper supplier and install recycling bins in the workplace. Check the energy efficiency of electrical equipment and run an energy audit.
All these changes have obvious positive benefits for the environment, you and your employees; but make sure that you advertise your green credentials to your customers so they can support your business.