Being an environmentally friendly business can have benefits reaching far beyond simply keeping Mother Nature happy.
It can have positive effects in terms of reducing costs, boosting your business reputation, improving employee performance, gaining marketing benefits, avoiding penalties, and much more. From a business perspective, you should consider all of the benefits and weigh them against the costs of improving your environmental performance to determine what is the best strategy for you.
When we think of improving environmental performance in business, we often think of increasing costs, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are many opportunities for cost-saving that you could take advantage of. Here are some examples:
- Use energy more efficiently: Saving energy is a great way to save money whilst also reducing your carbon footprint. Some ways of achieving this include changing employee behaviour, using more efficient equipment, and establishing more efficient processes. You may also gain tax breaks too.
- Reduce your waste: Waste costs are twofold – you pay for materials you don’t use, an then you pay to get rid of them. Reduce your waste costs by using materials more efficiently, recycling, and using efficient production processes.
- Reduce insurance costs: If your business has good environmental policies and procedures in place, you will have a much better chance of getting competitive insurance premiums. If your business is exposed to environmental risks (e.g. pollution, product liability, etc.) the costs can be huge, so you will often need to insure yourself against such risks.
Improving employee relations
Your employees are arguably the most important asset of your business so it is important to get them on board with your efforts to improving your business performance. This can have significant benefits in terms of employee performance and relations.
It is amazing what a difference becoming a more sustainable business can have on your employees. It is common to see increases in employee productivity, as people often feel good about working for an ethically motivated employer. Other benefits can include a reduction in staff turnover and recruitment cost savings.
The environmental performance of your business is an important factor in developing a good reputation. It can also be crucial for your branding. Having a good reputation can have many benefits:
- Attract and keep customers.
- Attract more and higher calibre employees.
- Improve relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, shareholders, etc.
- Improves chances of gaining financial support from banks or investors.
But these benefits will only be realised if people know about your environmental performance. Therefore, you should communicate the positive environmental aspects of your business through your marketing. In particular, inform people about:
- What steps your business has taken to become energy and water efficient,
- How you minimise waste,
- The environmental credentials of your materials and processes,
- How you minimise the environmental impact of your products and/or services.
Being an environmentally friendly business is an excellent credential not only for the benefit of our environment, but also for your business success. Having an effective environmental performance strategy in place is often overlooked, but the many benefits of it should not be ignored.
Do you have any other advice about being environmentally friendly in business? Share with us below.