Green Business

San Jose Green Business Academy: Impact Investors PanelEven if your business does not deal directly with green issues, there is good reason to make your business more sustainable. From cutting costs to building a stronger reputation, conserving the environment is good business. Here are some of the areas to bear mind to ensure your business does its part for our environment, while still remaining profitable.

Be Energy Efficient

Reassess how your business uses energy. There are two aspects to this point, reduce excess energy use, and make use of renewable energy as much as you can. Most local utilities offer businesses free on-site consultations, or energy audits, to show you where you can reduce usage and save money. Among the frequent suggestions is improving insulation, installing timers to turn lights off automatically, using energy efficient LED lighting systems, and installing solar panels where you can. Check in with your local authorities to find out what financial incentives there are in your area for reducing your energy needs.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

This applies to the supplies, equipment, travelling and more that your business needs to run. Conserve our forests by minimising your paper trail, like eliminating unnecessary photocopying, printing on both sides of paper and reusing packaging for shipping. Even something simple like utilising EFT payment services or a debit order facility reduces your paper needs while making banking easier.

Telecommuting and teleconferencing will reduce your carbon footprint from travelling. Provide web-based training, online videos, email documents and implement shared online workspaces.

Recycle where you can, because not only does this help the environment, but can save you money. For instance, General Mills used to pay to have its oat hulls, a Cheerios by-product, hauled off to a land fill. Then the company realised it could be sold off to be burnt as fuel. In 2006, General Mills recycled 86% of its solid waste, earning more from that than what was used to be spent on disposal.

Support Other Green Enterprises

Make it part of your policy that you work with other sustainable businesses and support green initiatives. This lets people know that you’re serious about conserving the planet. People are becoming more and more conscientious about eco-friendly products and services, and this will build up goodwill, as well as motivate other businesses to be greener.

Know the Regulations You Need to Comply With

Communicating about your commitment to the environment can inspire others to do so as well, as well as let the public in on your efforts. However, if you make claims about the environmental impact of your products or services in your advertisements, marketing or product labels, these need to be in line with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules prohibiting deceptive acts. Read the Code of Federal Regulations for guidance in appropriate green marketing, or the Guides for the Use of Environmental marketing Claims.

These are just some of the main areas to consider when going green in your business. As society becomes more and more concerned about the planet, which is what we are already seeing, it will be more and more important that your business is making the effort to promote sustainability.