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Going green is no longer just a niche slogan. It has become an increasingly important part of doing business. In fact, in a recent study, 78% of Americans said they would be more likely to buy environmentally friendly products, with 64% willing to pay more for these products.
Clearly, environmental awareness in companies not only helps the environment, but can also have a direct impact on profits. When you make sustainability a key focus of your business ventures, you will become much more attractive to customers who share similar values.
Fortunately, there are many ways your business can go green.
1. Rethink product packaging
Product packaging is a major source of waste. As a Business News Daily report notes, 77% of customers believe plastic is not responsible for the environment when packaging products. In contrast, paper was considered the most environmentally friendly packaging option as it is more easily recyclable. Something as simple as replacing packaging peanuts with paper can reduce the environmental impact of your packaging.
A smaller packaging design can further reduce the environmental impact by simply consuming fewer raw materials. Environmentally-focused brands will often highlight their sustainability efforts (and encourage customers to recycle the packaging) right on the box.
2. Materials sourced from local suppliers
The supply chain can be a major source of a company’s carbon footprint. Mainly due to the pollution produced by the transportation of supplies and materials in your facility. This is most commonly seen with food, where local buying initiatives aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And this can be done by simply limiting the miles that food travels to get to someone’s plate.
However, the same can be achieved with any other materials or materials your business may need. The emphasis on sourcing locally will reduce your carbon footprint while also supporting your local economy – likely a key factor in your business’s success. You can further improve the sustainability of your materials by purchasing from eco-conscious suppliers who have their own green initiatives in place.
Related: 9 simple ways businesses can save money by going green
3. Minimize the impact of your products
For companies that manufacture their own products, identifying ways to minimize the waste potential of their products should be a top priority for going green. Using biodegradable or recyclable materials ensures that your products do not add to the millions of tons of waste generated in landfills every year in the United States.
4. Re-evaluate your energy sources
The energy sources you use to power your office and run your company’s most vital processes have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind on rooftops have become more accessible than ever. Both can serve as valuable long-term investments to go green.
Many utility providers use coal and natural gas, which combine to produce billions of tons of CO2 emissions each year. Switching to solar or other renewable sources is your way to ensure that your electricity comes from sustainable sources.
In the United States, these green investments also qualify companies for tax credits that offset the cost of installation. The federal solar investment tax credit currently provides a credit for 26% of the cost of a new system that will begin construction in 2022. However, this credit drops to 22% in 2023 and 10% in 2024, so before that. you implement the best.
5. Finding sustainable solutions to common service needs
Another option for going green is to find a green version of a service-based business. For example, an environmentally friendly landscaping business would avoid the use of chemical herbicides and would use electrical equipment rather than gas-powered equipment. An organic catering company would use locally grown organic foods for events in the area. Sustainability consultants can advise other companies on key steps they can take to go green.
These examples are just some of the ways a service-oriented company could provide a more sustainable offering to its customers. In this case, your efforts to go green become the key differentiating feature that sets your company apart from other competitors within the niche. There are ample opportunities for both B2B and B2C companies.
Related: 5 ecological franchises for environmentally conscious entrepreneurs
How will you go green?
As these examples illustrate, ecology can be incorporated into your company’s identity from scratch. Consider how you can improve your impact on the environment in every aspect of your business. You can find creative solutions and carve out a unique niche in your market.
By proactively striving to go green, you can help the planet and become a valuable resource for others who are trying to reduce their own impact on the environment.
Related: 6 Ways Going Green Can Make You More Profitable