For many business owners, the words “going green” can send them into the realm of the unknown. While going green has never been so significant as it is now, rather than asking “how can we go green?” some business owners are asking “can we even afford to go green?” A better question may be, can you afford not to?
There’s no doubt one of a business’ top concerns is maximising profits. Hot on the heels of that today would have to be operating your business in such a way that it has minimal impact on the environment, and the health and safety of the community we operate in.
How can going green be affordable, achievable and deliver better results for your business?
There’s a common misconception that changing business habits to be more sustainable can be cost-prohibitive. Perhaps that was the case 30 or so years ago, however it’s safe to say that today’s more eco-conscious society has proposed more realistic and convenient ways to be sustainable.
Going beyond environmental compliance makes good business sense. Improving the sustainability of your business allows you to be less dependent on raw resources, which demonstrates a greater chance of long-term success. Additionally, businesses of all sizes, in all industries, have a responsibility to their customers and to the environment.
Being more attractive to consumers
According to a 2018 Nielsen study, 46% of global consumers are willing to ditch a brand name in order to purchase a more environmentally-friendly alternative. Consumers are caring less about loyalty to traditional brands if it means aligning loyalty to more sustainable and socially-aware brands. This is especially relevant considering that, as of 2015, millennials (the generation that is, arguably, most open to change and most eager for environmental action) surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation and consumer group, both globally and in Australia.
The study also revealed that 62% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products or services from sustainable companies, and 55% for brands that carry social responsibility. So, in circumstances where going green may cost a few extra dollars, gone are the days that this scares your customers away. Consumers are simply more educated about environmental impact and how to protect it, and are now buying into that, rather than turning away from it.
Going green can improve a business’ reputation. In fact, some consumers are now demanding it from businesses.
You may not be aware that the Australian Federal and State governments, as well as some local governments, offer grants and other funding assistance to businesses in a range of industries who go green. This includes the warehousing, education, food and hospitality, and health care industries.
Additionally, each state and territory celebrates awards to recognise sustainable businesses. This includes the National Carbon Offset Standards, which recognises businesses dedicated to reducing emissions and the Premier’s Sustainability Awards in Queensland and Victoria, which highlights business leaders and companies that are setting benchmarks for protecting the environment.
Efficiency saves money
There are also many circumstances where going green, especially by reducing waste, can save your business money. Reducing expenses is all about maximising efficiency, and vice versa. This means optimising your waste management solution so that it is both cost-effective and sustainable.
One way to optimise your waste management solution is to adjust your bin sizes and collection frequencies. If you notice that collections are coming too often, or when your bins are only half full, cutting down will not only save money, but also transport energy.
Another way to optimise your solution is to ensure your staff are segregating their waste correctly, especially if your business produces specialised waste, which is always more expensive to collect and dispose of. This could be as simple as ensuring your staff are recycling properly (as recycling is one of the most cost-effective waste methods), or if you’re in the medical industry, ensuring that your staff don’t dispose of regular waste in your medical bins. Segregating waste correctly is one of the easiest ways to act sustainably.
Honing down on these simple sustainable changes can do a great deal to reduce your business expenses in the long run.
Is your business ready to go green? Nationwide Waste Solutions is a leading Australian waste management company, providing general, recycling, and industry-specific waste management services. We provide sustainable solutions, with the most competitive prices on the market. For more information, speak to one of our friendly experts on 1300 729 922, contact us here, or request a free quote here.