There are some serious issues in the world when it comes to the environment and sustainability. Our throw-away culture has meant that our planet is filling up with trash; and the problem is only getting worse, particularly when it comes to energy consumption and plastic fouling the planet. Of course, if businesses could be part of the solution rather than the problem, there could be a huge change in how things are done. That’s why you should be thinking about sustainability and environmental policies – it can make a big difference to you, your customers, and the planet.

Cost Saving

walletAlthough working on your company’s sustainability is primarily something that is done for the greater good, there are some bonuses for the company as well, and one of these is that your new policies can save you money. For example, if you stop buying plastic cups to use for the vending machine, you’ll save. Use mugs instead that won’t be thrown away after just one use. Do away with straws altogether (and if you’re not buying them, you’re saving more money) and use real cutlery instead of plastic versions.

More money can be saved by using environmentally friendly light bulbs. These don’t need to be replaced as often as standard bulbs, so although they may cost more, to begin with, they will save a lot of money over their lifetime.

You can even adopt a practice of re-using waste paper. Rather than throwing something away because it didn’t print correctly, or you made a mistake, use it for scrap and for making notes. More money will be saved, and less trash will head to landfills.

More Customers

If you can show that you are being as environmentally friendly as possible and putting time and effort into researching the most sustainable ways to go about your business, you will certainly gain customers. Those people who are passionate about environmental issues will be happy to use your green company even if they have to travel further to you, pay more for your goods or services, or even wait longer for their items once they have ordered them.

You can use your environmentally positive credentials in your marketing to ensure that everyone knows how important you feel the issue is. Being greener in the way you work will attract new customers, and it certainly won’t turn anyone off using you.

Mitigate The Risk

Energy costs are rising, and the supply is becoming uncertain. At some point, businesses who only use traditional energy will have an issue; they may not be able to function as well as they once did. This could be some time in the future, it could be soon, it’s hard to tell, and advice seems to change often. Therefore, by using environmentally sustainable energy methods such as solar heating, for example, you can mitigate the risk and be ready for when the problems come. Your competitors may not have thought so far ahead, and that means you can continue working while they battle against the traditional energy companies. 

Ensuring everyone is on the same page

Staff motivation is important in business. If you have good employees who can promote what you’re doing, and also have an understanding of the importance of sustainability, then you are on your way to having a successful business. In order for staff to be able to work like this, they need to be aware of and be able to contact the right people when an environmental cleanup is required (you can find more info here). When there is a cause to get behind, your employees need to trust you and understand the company’s stance on the environment. They also need to be independent. Being at the forefront of environmental issues is one of many ways that you can do that.

A cutting-edge company with productive, happy staff is one that will continue into the future without having to change what it is doing, unlike companies who lag behind and who will have a lot of catching up to do.

Not only this but working for a company that is doing something to help, no matter how big or small, is exciting for many employees. They want to be part of something new and bold. They want to be proud of the place they work and not ashamed to mention the company when they are asked what it is they do. That means you are more likely to attract better candidates when you advertise for vacant positions (or you are more likely to attract larger numbers of candidates, meaning you can take your pick rather than having to settle) and you will also have better staff retention.

The Tax Benefits

As with many things in life, you will need to look at the tax implications. When it comes to sustainability and green issues, there are often tax benefits to take into account. This will depend on the federal, state, and more local county tax incentives for those companies that take their environmental responsibilities seriously, but whatever the result you should be able to offset many of your sustainable efforts. Speak to an accountant or tax specialist because there could be many cost-savings that you are simply not aware of.

Some of these include grants for further sustainable efforts, tax exemptions, or production-based income tax credits to name just a few.

Your Reputation

A company’s reputation is what it succeeds or fails on. You can have the best products and services in the world, but if your reputation is poor, you will still find that your customers prefer to buy their goods elsewhere. Building a good reputation will help you enormously, and one sure way to do that is to be environmentally friendly. Positive customer relations go a long way in business; people who are happy using you will tell their friends and families and so word of what you do and how well you do it will spread.

With a positive company image, you can even do more to help the environment. You can be the leader, showing other people and even other companies how to help the planet and be sustainable.

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