Going green is not just a fad, if well executed; it will not only be beneficial to the environment but could also prove to be worthwhile for your business. Going green will protect your resources and reduce wastage and save your business some money.
When you experience the benefits of going green, the entrepreneur in you may be enthused to explore further the possibility of expanding your business into production and marketing of green products.
People are increasingly becoming conscious of the need to consider the impacts their business has on the environment. Consequently, opportunities have opened up to produce and market environmentally friendly products to meet the desires of customers who are ecologically conscious. And going green is not just about the environmental benefits, it can save you money
Consider the following examples
- A print client of mine built their business around their green credentials. Operating in a commoditized and highly competitive market, differentiating themselves in the market was difficult. Going carbon-neutral, arranging the collection of reusable packaging and pallets implementing Lean across the organisation allowed them to not only appeal to businesses with an ‘environmental conscience’ but also led to reduced operating costs so they could compete with cheaper offshore manufacturers.
- A manufacturing client reduced their electricity bill by 90% by ‘going green’
- The owners have installed wall space insulation and energy-efficient lights that are very effective
- The business became almost 100% self sufficient through solar and appropriate batteries to capture power during the daylight hours
- They have windows that are specially designed to reduce the loss of heat.
- They have reduced the need to cool indoors by planting trees for shade.
- They reduced the need to heat their factory in winter by capturing the heat generated by machinery and ‘recycling’ this within the plant
- Automatic, fast operating roller shutters were installed that opened for delivery vehicles only when needed saving the recycled heat in winter and keeping out the heat in summer
A little goes all the way
Do not underestimate some emissions that even businesses release, even SMEs, into the environment. Although the direct gas emissions may seem to be insignificant for a small business, consider all the other activities: use of electricity to operate machinery, emissions from the use of oil and other chemicals, use of fuel for transportation. By the end of the day, the total emission is impactful. Going green will help an organization not only to lower their expenses but also reduce their contribution to this mega pollution.
You do not have to put in place sophisticated measures to enjoy the benefits of the green business. Undertaking simple measures will go a long way to reduce wastage.
- Use laptops in place of desktops which consume more power
- Install motion detectors in bathrooms
- Ensure your water heaters, and water pots have timers
- Install programmable thermostats in the building to reduce power usage when the premises are not in use.
- Always ensure that all equipment is performing efficiently.
- Cut back on paper usage by resulting to electronic means where possible.
Scrutinize your business, and you will find a lot of opportunities to reduce wastage. Cumulatively, you will have earned your business substantial savings
It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when.’
Research shows that SMEs consume the largest share of natural resources; oils and natural gases. This in effect means that SMEs share the greatest culpability in the emission of greenhouse gases. Within no time, the extent of global warming will warrant mandatory limits and penalties for organizations that do not comply, including SMEs. It is ironic that surveys indicate that the biggest challenge that SMEs face is increased energy prices and yet very few are willing to take measures to improve energy efficiency.
This gap must be closed. Ensuring energy efficiency is the surest way to eliminate greenhouse gases. Why have you not embraced this win-win solution?