If there’s one thing Covid-19 has taught us, it’s that we can do anything; and that includes changing the world – one business at a time.
Businesses have been thrown into the “going green” spotlight for over a decade, and each year the need for environmentally friendly options is becoming more prevalent. If you’re a business owner deciding whether or not you should take the leap, here are some of the ways your business could thrive.
You’ve probably seen the pictures circulating on Facebook. Images of the canals in Venice that are so clear you can see fish swimming in them; or the pictures of China from satellites that show less pollution than the country has seen in decades.
One of the positives to come from everyone in the world is locked down in isolation is that it’s given the planet time to rebirth – and people are loving it! As everyone goes back to “business as usual”, it’s a great time to start fresh to continue on a positive environmental path.
The next generation of employees, keeping millennials happy could be the difference between successful business or failure. More and more often, we’re seeing this generation take to the streets in protest against climate change. And when it comes to business, millennials are taking the environment very seriously.
In 2019, a survey by Deloitte found that more than one in four millennials and Gen-Zs believe businesses need to play a part to help climate-change. The Global Millennial Survey is based on the opinions of over 13,000 respondents around the world. According to the results, 38% of millennials stop or lessen a relationship with a business due to services that negatively impact the environment.
And when it comes to the positives, millennials are noticing the difference, with 73% stating their organisation has changed in the past year in order to generate a positive societal impact. In short, if businesses want to protect the future of their company and staff, they need to also protect the environment.
Green choices allow business owners to save money and there are a number of ways in which you can play a part. Simply switching your lighting to LED lights can reduce the energy output of your lighting by 30% – and many LED lights last decades.
Another way to save money is by purchasing second-hand (recycled) furniture. It is often just as good quality, but you’ll spend less money on it. Allowing your team members to work from home is another way you can save money and the environment.
People nowadays are more willing to invest in larger home renovations such as upgrading their bathroom with more water-efficient showers and improved lighting to help save on the electricity bill over the long run. You’ll be helping to reduce their carbon footprint through reducing their use of public transport or driving their own car, and you’ll reduce your costs for lights, heating, cooling and electricity in the office.
Ethically Sourced Products
If you’re a retailer or manufacturer, using ethically sourced products is becoming more commonplace than ever – and increasingly sought after. Ethical sourcing means products come from a safe and hygienic environment, where people are paid fair wages and receive equal treatment.
An increasing trend in the jewellery industry is the demand for ethically sourced jewellery, as people are more and more conscious with the origins of what they wear. If your business gets on board, you will have a better relationship with suppliers, reduced risks (your products are less likely to fail) and a better market image than your competitors.
If you manage or own a fleet of vehicles as part of your business operations, consider changing the type of vehicle for a positive environmental effect. Vehicles produce more greenhouse gases than any other industry and as people begin to understand the importance of a healthy environment, the demand for zero-emission cars is increasing.
Zero-emission cars don’t produce any exhaust gas, and they use renewable energy to reduce the amount of air pollution. This makes living in a suburban area much more comfortable. Not only is it good for the environment, but it can also reduce your costs for fuel.
Although we’re not travelling much at all at the moment, when life gets back to normal (or semi-normal), environmental travel for business meetings and seminars could help keep climate change on a positive track. When travelling shorter distances, stick to your zero-emission cars, rather than planes – and ride-share (this also applies if you’re simply driving to and from work).
A return flight that covers just a few hours on the plane can produce up to 500 kg of CO2 per passenger, so avoid these where possible! You can also reduce your footprint by booking hotels that are energy efficient and have effective water-saving swimming pools; travel light; don’t use too many towels or have long hot showers where you’re staying; and walk, rather than take cabs.
Going green not only provides you with reduced costs and better peace of mind, but it also creates a competitive advantage over other similar companies. Embrace it and you’re bound to stay one step ahead.