These days, we all know we should be aiming to go a shade or two greener to protect our planet, but our good intentions may fall by the wayside when it comes to our business, where the focus is on surviving and thriving.
Don’t let them fall. Drag ‘em up on their feet and give them a shake, because going greener may benefit your business just as much as it does the polar bears! Here are our four reasons why going greener can be great for your business:
- It Will Raise Your Public Profile
Many of your potential customers or clients will aspire to a greener lifestyle and some will want to check out your green credentials before buying your products or using your services. Even those that don’t check specifically will be reassured by reading that environmentally-friendly mission statement you’ve included in your company biography. It’s a weight off their mind; they’ve gone greener with minimum effort just by choosing your business to supply their requirements.
In a poll of 2070 British adults undertaken by Social Enterprise UK and the Cabinet Office last year, 73% of those surveyed said they were less likely to buy from a business that damages the environment. Interestingly, this rises to 83% in those respondents over 60. Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented: “Every product and service you buy has a social or environmental impact, so why not make it a good one?… Consumers care about how their spending decisions affect the world they live in.”
- It Can Save You Money
While some greener products, such as recycled paper, still tend to be more expensive than their less environmentally-friendly alternatives, going greener can genuinely save you money. Energy-saving devices and measures can reduce your utility bills and running greener vehicles may make significant savings too, with reduced congestion charges, car tax and fuel costs.
Think about more than just energy-saving, though. Buying locally could save you money on delivery charges and see products arrive more quickly, as well as reducing your carbon footprint. Reducing your waste could cut the amount you pay for waste removal and increase income through selling reusable products to recycling or reclamation centres. Of course, you could use and purchase reclaimed or recycled products yourself, too. Green Works, aSocial Enterprise UK member, operates country-wide, diverting 60,000 tonnes of furniture destined for landfill and renovating it for schools, charities and small businesses.
- It Can Reduce Sick Days and Raise Your Employee Profile
Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are often less irritant, which can be a big benefit to employees with respiratory problems or skin sensitivities. Giving employees an incentive for, and access to, greener ways to get to work – such as cycling, walking or car-sharing – can improve their fitness and save them money too. A greener workplace is often a healthier, happier workplace, and surveys show that as the general public become more environmentally aware, they’re favouring environmentally-friendly employers.
- You Can Get Grants And Tax Breaks
If you have energy efficient, low or zero-carbon technology energy systems installed in your business premises, you should be able to claim these as capital allowances, while installing electricity-generating technology that uses a renewable or low-carbon source, such as solar PV or wind turbines, should mean you receive money from your energy supplier via the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariffs scheme (FITs) – up to date tariffs can be found here, on Ofgem’s website.
You can also get a grant towards the cost of each new green vehicle you buy, including electric vehicles (EVs, which run completely on batteries and are plugged into the mains for recharging), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs, which combine a petrol or diesel engine with a battery that plugs into the mains) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. You’ll receive 35% off the cost of a car up to a maximum of £5,000, and 20% off the cost of a van, up to a maximum of £8,000. The Government website has a list of vehicles currently included.
As you can see, environmentally-friendly can mean business friendly too. So why not look into how your business could go greener?