3 Pros and Cons of Going Green for a Small Business

As National Geographic reports, by 2050, the world population will reach 9.7 billion. This means that in the span of a hundred years – between 1950 and 2050 – the world population will almost quadruple.

This unnatural grow will only increase the competition for resources even further and in the process, pollute the Earth even more.

And while we’re fully aware that reducing the carbon footprint in the atmosphere is probably not on the top of your priority list, there are still a number of benefits of going green such as saving money and improving your workplace culture.

For instance, one study for a couple of years ago discovered that hospitals could potentially save over $15 billon over a course of ten years by simply reducing their energy consumption and toxic waste. When you look at it from that angle, going green makes perfect sense, right?

But like most things in life, going green comes with a price, and to say that it comes without it cons would be a blatant lie.

So in order to provide an objective look at eco-friendliness and help you decide if going green is or isn’t for you, let’s take a look at three pros and cons of transforming your organization into a green company.

Three Pros of Going Green

1.    Respect in Your Local Community

It’s not a secret that people like to do business with eco-friendly companies. A vast majority of people feel at least fairly concerned about the environment, which is why, according to a recent Tiller survey, around 87% of women and 78% of men in the US plan to look for more opportunities to behave environmentally responsible in the future.

2.    Boost the Productivity of Your Workforce

A recent joint study between the University of Paris-Dauphine and the UCLA discovered that employees in more eco-friendly companies are more satisfied with their organization, more motivated for work and even 16% more productive.

3.    Take Advantage of Tax Credits

Going completely green will not only allow you to save money on your energy bills, but will also make eligible for a number of tax returns. For example, tax credits are available to businesses that utilize eco-friendly business practices like switching to solar energy or using electric cars as fleet vehicles.

Four Cons of Going Green

1.    The Initial Investment is Costly

While going green can save you a lot of money, you have to be extremely patient before you start seeing returns. Also, going green is initially quite costly – according to Forbes, it can cost anywhere between a few thousand to more than a million.

2.    Higher Product Costs

In most cases, a switch to using green materials for your products results to more expensive products. For instance, in UK, green products cost almost 50% more than the regular ones, according to The Telegraph.

3.    Minimizing Paper or Going Paperless

Getting rid of paper documents in the office is one of the most popular forms of going green. But as this Altman IM study points out, what most people fail to realize that costly up-to-date software and hardware is essential for a paperless office. Other costs include employee training, hiring IT personnel and system maintenance, among other.

Extra Tip: Easy Ways Your Company Can Save Money by Going Green

As more and more people are starting to work toward being environmentally friendly, companies are starting to learn that going green can help them save some money in the process.

This will of course leave you more money to stash in your savings account and afterwards, invest it in your business. So here are a couple of cost-effective ways you can save money by going green:

·         Allow Telecommuting and Reduce Expenses

In the last couple of years, technological advancements like video conference calls and cloud networks have allowed workers to finish their tasks from the comfort of their homes. And if your business has implemented a cloud solution, there’s basically no need for most of your employees to be in the office all the time.

Today, almost 50% of US employees work a couple of days from home, according to government research. In this case, the best thing about telecommuting is that your employees will be using their equipment and reduce your utility expenses by a large margin. Just make sure that your staff members have shut down everything using electricity in the office, the day before they go home.

·         Save Money by Installing Dispensing Systems

Most companies offer their employees a bottle or two of water as a courtesy. But the problem is, most plastic bottles either aren’t recyclable or aren’t sent for recycling. Furthermore, according to findings from the Natural Resources Defense Council, roughly 25% of bottled water is just tap water.

Therefore, instead of spending a good chunk of your budget on neatly-packaged tap water, you should simply install a filtration system. This will allow your employees to drink as much water as they want without any worries about their health and of course, help the environment.

·         Increase Your Engagement by Landscaping

Did you know that a simple thing like landscaping around your property will take all of the unhealthy carbon dioxide out of the air? Hire a skip and get started. Well, a small investment like that will allow your employees to enjoy the greenery on their breaks, inhale fresh air and return to their work stations fully refreshed.

This will also reduce the number of sick days in your company by filtering a number of germs and toxins, which trigger illnesses and allergies. This may involve some geotechnical and groundwater engineering, however the benefits clearly outweigh the costs.

The Bottom Line

While we’re not saying that it’s impossible for a company to go green and make millions, we’d be lying if we said it’s easy. Truth be told, it’s a long process and if you’re not ready to be patient and fully committed to cause, you shouldn’t go green.

But if you manage to make necessary changes and stay patient, you’ll start to see a number of advantages just after a few years. In some cases, going green can make a company seem to be revolutionizing its industry by improving green standards and reducing operation costs.

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