You probably know that going green is good for your business reputation. But did you know it's also good for your bottom line?
Good news: there are five steps you can take that will actually save your business money right away! So you can protect the 3 P’s of a sustainable business: people, planet and profits.
You can save the most energy if you find out where you’re wasting the most. Many electric companies will give you a free energy audit to uncover hidden energy leaks. According to the Department of Energy, simply sealing cracks could reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 20%. You may even be in one of the many lucky states that also pays for repairs. (Fair warning – we may be moving in next door) Just in case you’re not able to find a free energy audit, a DIY energy audit is a good start.
You may still think you can’t afford upgrading to LED lighting. But combine the recent improvements in LED technology and lower prices with state and utility company rebates, and the cost might be lower than you think. You’ll soon see savings on your energy bill and maintenance costs (LED bulbs last 10-25 times longer than halogens and 10 times longer than CFLs). Many companies offer cash flow positive financing (you pay them back with part of your savings) so you’ll save money as soon as you flip the switch!
Make sure you're not doubling up efforts in spaces that have good daylight by leaving the lights on. Encourage employees to turn out the lights when leaving their office and other spaces. Put fun, friendly reminder signs near bathroom and meeting room doors.
Encouraging your team to carpool, ride a bike or work from home (when it’s feasible) will help them save fuel and money. As an added bonus, studies show that carpooling fosters stronger bonds between employees, while biking boosts employee health and allowing work from home days enhances job satisfaction.
Back to LEDs. There’s some pretty amazing tech available if you really want to modernize your workplace. LED controls have become so advanced that they can react to daylight by dimming and even slightly changing colors to mimic natural light patterns.
You may also be able to set your climate control system on a schedule to reduce waste when your building is unoccupied. If not, enlist a team member to turn off lights and turn down the thermostat at the end of the day.
Another free bonus: these are great selling points for recruiting forward-thinking employees.
Go paperless whenever possible. A few friendly tips:
Send PDF documents and use an online contract service. You’ll save paper and time.
Use a company-wide cloud service to store documents.
Encourage use of reusable water bottles, coffee cups and lunch containers.
Purchase post-consumer waste (PCW) paper, paper products and packaging. Did you know only products labeled 100% PCW are 100% recycled? Making PCW recycled paper uses 45% less energy and creates half the waste of the traditional papermaking process.
The easiest way to go green might be to let someone else do it for you! Check your supply chain and find out how eco-friendly the companies you do business with are. Don’t forget to look for local options. (You’ll save on shipping costs.) Did you know our food travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to plate, burning up fuel along the way?
A really easy choice you may not know about is green web hosting. Data servers use up huge amounts of energy! Green web hosts offset their energy consumption by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that pay for renewable energy projects. They cost about the same as traditional hosts, and you get the peace of mind of knowing you’re supporting renewable energy.
Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Insurance carriers are hip to going green too! Many now offer discounts for green activity (like driving less or having environmentally-friendly vehicles or buildings) and provide specialty coverages for businesses and industries that want to go green. Read more to find out if your green upgrades can get you discounts!
Think your industry doesn’t have a specialized green coverage? You might be surprised!
If you’re greening your business (or car or home), talk to a friendly licensed Mylo advisor to make sure you’re getting the most savings back from the good-for-the-planet things you do! They’ll shop around and find you affordable insurance tailored to your business.