We’ve all heard the buzzwords of the moment: sustainability, eco-credentials, green, environmentally conscious, etc., but what does this actually mean from a business perspective? Going green sounds expensive. Swapping your financially competitive supplier to one that could cost you a significant amount more simply because they use less packaging on their ball bearings sounds ludicrous. But could this ever make financial sense? The answer is an emphatic yes. There are many reasons why making a conscious and sustained effort for your business to be greener could see you reaping the financial rewards.
With the reliance on social media and the Internet for our reviews and recommendations of companies, you need to ensure that your startup is providing exceptional customer service. It’s not simply the case that you should be under promising and over delivering. Nowadays, people are tweeting their latest delivery of a kitchen whisk or a fountain pen from Amazon that has come packaged in a washing machine-sized box complete with yards of brown paper and a lifetime’s supply of bubble wrap. These images have been retweeted thousands of times, and on every occasion Amazon is forced, yet again, to promise to revisit their packaging policies.
Society as a whole is becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and consumers are going out of their way to purchase products from companies with sound eco-credentials. Even if it means passing some of this cost onto your customer, they will be willing to pay. Take eateries for example. A restauranteur looking for a fine orchard apple for his latest dessert creation will be more inclined to opt for the slightly more expensive home-grown variety than a run of the mill import because he knows that his diners will be willing to pay.
Keeping Your Costs Down With Technology
Is there any point taking that five-hour round trip simply to meet a client for half an hour? When introducing yourself for an initial meeting or trying to secure a lucrative contract the more personal face to face approach may be appropriate. However, for all other eventualities, you may be better off Skyping or having a conference call. Even arranging to meet halfway can be time-consuming and highly inefficient. Slack & Davis state that the FAA suggests that air travel will rise drastically over the coming years. There is very little point of you adding to the stress of your employees and forking out for plane tickets when your team could be enjoying the comforts of their office chairs and still achieving the same objectives from their meetings via WebEx. All the while, you will be saving money and reducing your carbon footprint as a company.
Engaging Employees To Get Healthy
While it might not seem like your place to encourage your employees to take up a healthier lifestyle, it could be if this strategy sees your team becoming more productive in the office. By implementing a cycle to work scheme, you could subsidize their new healthier mode of transport. As a staff team, you could strive to become healthier, improving camaraderie, teamwork and morale. With fewer staff utilizing their gas-guzzling cars and allowing unknown damage to permeate from their car exhausts into the atmosphere, you can indirectly do your bit for the environment.
A knock on effect to seeing your staff commute to work by cycling or walking is to see increased energy levels and alertness that can be transferred into their work. The post-lunch lull may be a thing of the past as your team use their newfound fitness to kickstart their healthier and more productive lifestyles eating whole grains, hummus and plenty of fruit and veg instead of chocolate, candy and refined carbs. You may also want to swap the ‘cake Friday’ for a ‘fruity Friday’, and you could remove the fizzy drinks vending machines from your office to prevent your employees succumbing to temptation. As the boss, it’s vital that you lead by example so it may be time to whip on your bicycle helmet and high vis vest and get cycling.
It can be difficult to see the merits of employing a more sustainable way of working in the office. However, as society becomes more emphatic about being eco-friendly it’s vital that your business echoes this sentiment. By exploring the indirect benefits for your staff team, productivity at work, efficiency and the all-important financial rewards, it becomes clear that by going green, your business can remain firmly in the black.