Green Business Bureau green benefits
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How green is your business? Do you show a commitment to helping the planet as well as hitting your targets? Well, it’s a pledge that more and more organisations are making to help promote a more sustainable, eco-friendly way of conducting their work.
Some larger organisations work in partnership with charities and donate a considerable percentage of their profits to green causes – such as The World Land Trust, which helps to save hundreds of acres of rainforest from destruction.
Other companies focus on minimising the impact their activities have on the environment. Remember, your green efforts can start small – even little changes to your everyday routines can make a positive difference.
Here are top ten ways to make your business greener:
1. Create a green policy in your business that involves a long-term commitment to green issues. Make sure this is well promoted within the organisation and that all staff receive adequate discussion/training around the aims and objectives of the policy.
2. Completely turn off equipment when it is not in use. Switch it off rather than put it on stand-by.
3. Minimise the amount of paper you use by printing double-sided wherever possible.
4. Whenever you’re able, email documents rather than printing them.
5. Try to use recycled paper in all areas of your business.
6. Try to choose suppliers who have strong green credentials.
7. Implement adequate recycling facilities for the size of your company – ensure that bins are clearly marked and that employees understand what materials can be recycled.
8. Help reduce fax-related paper waste by getting a fax modem. A fax modem enables a computer to transmit and receive documents as faxes.
9. If disposing of electrical equipment, make sure you comply with The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive).
10. Help promote eco-friendly ways of getting to work. If you’re an employer you could set-up a Cyclescheme in your office. This enables your employees to buy bikes tax-free which saves them around half the cost.
The benefits of running a green business cannot be stressed enough. It offers a lot of advantages and at the same time eliminates potential risks within your community.
As more and more individuals and companies realize the impact of global warming all over the world, the need to institute green businesses has never been more prevalent in the consciousness of many. A trivial example would be the hotel industry. Hotels particularly with stars appended on their brand names consume a great deal of water and other natural resources every single minute. But there are already a number of hotels that are beginning to take environment-friendly steps. Green hotels institute water and energy conservation and implementing the 3R’s, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle among other green business methods.
What are some other ways to run a green company? Here are seemingly unimportant steps that would significantly decrease your company’s monthly expenses.
1. Turn lights off when not needed. This actually saves you almost 15% of your monthly electric bill. Implement a buddy system within your company so that a colleague can remind the other of his/her responsibility to turn off unnecessary lights.
2. For every one degree Celsius overheating over the maximum recommended of nineteen degree Celsius, you increase your monthly bill by about 8%.
3. Issue hybrid cars to employees rather than gasoline or diesel cars to hybrid cars. You not only save on costs as the government provides huge discounts to purchase one. At the same time, your employees enjoy equivalent car mileage and lesser fuel maintenance costs.
These are just a few examples your can implement to become a certified green business.
At the macro level, you unknowingly help save a lot of lives. You can help save properties, belongings and homes. In fact, you might actually be saving your own life and that of your family.
The environment today is not only unpredictable but more so unstable. Surely, you are aware of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which claimed many lives, damaged homes and surrounding property. Year by year, a good deal of typhoons, flashfloods, earthquake and the like strike the entire world. No one is exempted.
The best time to take steps in becoming a green business is NOW. Your mission and goals state that you are concerned for the welfare of your community. Put your concern into concrete actions. Set up an eco-friendly program for your company today. If you do have this capability, hire an eco-consultant. Although the cost may be significant, the end results will definitely benefit your green business so much more.
Apart from being good for my retail and wholesale conscience, spring cleaning has green benefits. It is a time to de-clutter (reduce), re-discover (the ‘aha!’ when you find something you purchased and completely forgot about) and re-cycle all the plastic bags and containers you have managed to hoard over the year. You may be one of those who keep their homes clutter free all year, diligent and disciplined. And then there are the rest of us slobs. I procrastinate and procrastinate till spring is here. Of course, in the meanwhile I make copious lists and detailed plans of what to do with all the stuff I thought I needed but actually did not. If you find spring cleaning an exercise in misery, join the club. So did I till I found these simple ways of making life easier and justifying my manic retail and wholesale shopping. If you have left things to the last minute, categorization will make it less scary.
Start with the pantry. Throughout winter I stock up ‘cold wet miserable weather’ foods which I mostly ignore the rest of the year. This adds to clutter, the food sits there getting older, may even reach expiry date before you touch it again. Sometimes foods like nuts and grains can get moldy without you realizing it. I usually collect it all and deposit it at the End Hunger bin at the super market. When I am done I leave the plastic bags at the recycling bin at the super market. Voila, a clean pantry and a warm fuzzy feeling inside that you have done one thing right.
Next on my list are papers, books and magazines. Old wrapping paper rolls, gift bags that I have no use for and tissue also come in this category. Books gather dust and mites which pollute our homes and make us sick. Simply giving away or selling those of our books (public library/ craigslist/ half-price books and so on) will de-clutter our homes and make them greener without really lifting a finger. Most of us do not read the same paperback twice. It helps to do up similar sized books and magazines in like-sized bundles tied up with string. It is definitely easier to cart around and kind to your back.
Clothes are another health hazard at home. Left uncovered, they gather dust and mites. On the other hand, their plastic covers attract fine dust by virtue of their static charge. The best green option here is to do away with all unnecessary and unwanted items.
Once you have dealt with your ‘stuff’, we come to the actual cleaning. It makes good sense to turn off the air conditioning when you start surface cleaning. This will prevent dust and mites from getting sucked into the air ducts. Open the windows and let the accumulated dead space air in your home get replaced with clean fresh spring air. Most household detergents and deodorizers contain harsh chemicals like monoethanolamine and quaternary ammonium compounds which have shown correlation with the incidence of asthma. Nowadays there are green friendly, less hazardous choices as far as housecleaning products go.
Spring cleaning cleans not only cleans our homes, it also jumpstarts our jaded souls. Go green this spring! “Reduce, re-use and recycle!”
Conventional wisdom might dictate that in these tough economic times, going green is a luxury to be avoided.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
While sustainability may have once been viewed as a frivolous “niche” venture, numerous surveys and studies show that pursuing sustainability is an increasingly intelligent strategy, potentially leading to greater efficiency and more powerful brands. This, of course, leads to greater fiscal rewards.
Greening your business is essential if you want to keep up with changing demographics. With anxieties about climate change and the future of the environment constantly on the media’s radar, sustainability and green living are now mainstream concerns. This means that the economic climate, once dominated by a cavalier lack of concern for the environment, must shift to keep pace. As consumers become increasingly concerned with the ethical ramifications of purchasing decisions, brands that reflect and respond to these concerns will reap the benefits on the bottom line.
Not only consumer relations, but also business-to-business relations are increasingly speaking the language of sustainability. As the profile and profitability of green branding rises in the marketplace, green businesses stand to benefit by establishing brand synergy with like-minded partners and associates.
The economic climate is, at the moment, rather arid. But one sure way to ensure that your brand can face the challenges that lie ahead is to incorporate sustainability and green thinking into your business model. And joining the GBB is one way to guarantee that your commitment to doing green business is rewarded in the marketplace.
The benefits of going green are motivated by a combination of personal and business rewards. Individuals realize that going green usually starts as a small, personal commitment to save the planet. The corporate commitment begins with a desire to save the planet, green the work environment and boost morale. Whether the green initiative is personal or business-based, what starts as a small effort is quickly adopted by others in the home or workplace and escalates to a broader, more involved process.
The commitment to go green is accompanied by a gratifying sense of unity and accomplishment. The power of this positive commitment cannot be underestimated. It spreads from house to house and from business to business. Now that the federal government has embraced the effort and supported it with job creation, financial incentives and multiple green initiatives, the sky seems the limit for the green movement.
Common Benefits of Going Green
The most obvious benefits of going green are:
- Save the Earth – One of the primary reasons to go green is the benefit to the planet and to the world in which our offspring will live. The environment has been abused for so long that we tend to think it more resilient than it is.
- Health Benefits – The use of green products and organic foods reaps health benefits for everyone. It is never too late to start a healthy green transition. Prepare the young to carry on the effort so that it becomes a way of life.
- Good for The Economy – Despite the efforts of those that would resist change, the current recession has provided a great opportunity to add jobs as well as capitalize on the many government initiatives that will reduce emissions and energy levels. The Obama Administration and the EPA are serious about the green movement and about addressing climate change.
- Reduce Reliance on Foreign Oil – The improvements and reduction in energy use results in more energy independence. In these economic times, we should be spending money at home not abroad.
- The Right Thing – Once businesses and individuals start their own green efforts, it becomes a passion. Individuals and businesses find ways to improve efforts like recycling, reduction in energy use, emission reduction and reduction in the use of products like aerosols. When entities get involved in the green effort, they inevitably wonder what took so long. Going green looks and feels right, plain and simple.
Businesses Coming On Board
The world of business is finding additional benefits to support their green initiatives.
- Fewer Sick Days – Some companies report that the healthier workplace has reduced sick days by as much as 20%. Consistent attendance improves productivity.
- Customers Support Going Green – Businesses are also discovering that customers appreciate and support companies that go green. The green market product share increases every year.
- Improve The Bottom Line – The 2009 stimulus plan has underscored the government’s commitment to going green with hefty tax incentives. The government has also encouraged the development of new green companies, especially in the development of alternative energy sources. The use of electric vehicles, renewable energy and many other green programs are rewarded with healthy tax credits.
Today’s business climate wants healthy work places and solid bottom lines that assure job security. The green movement has so many positive effects on individuals and businesses. Isn’t it time for you and your businesses to expand your green commitment?
The program is being funded with $300 million in federal stimulus money, but each state is operating its own program and has different start dates, budgets, and rules.
In general, buyers can earn rebates of $50 to $250 for replacing older, inefficient appliances with Energy Star qualified products.
If it’s as popular as “Cash for Clunkers,” money could run out fast. So if you want to participate, start now by finding out what the deal is in your state.
All the rest begin over the next couple of months, according to a Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored website. Look for these start dates:
- February: Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
- March: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, American Samoa, Northern Marianas Islands
- April: Alabama, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Guam
Check the links above for your state’s info before you head to the store. Each state has different rules, such as which appliances are eligible, whether you have to recycle your old appliance or prove that it was hauled away, and how long the program lasts.
Some states require that you buy from a participating retailer. Most programs have mail-in rebates, but some require you to apply in person for a rebate voucher or allow you to reserve your rebate online before the program starts.
For more info, check out EcoRebates, which links to local retailers and tracks the latest rebate news.
An Energy Star stamp of approval doesn’t guarantee that you are buying the most energy-efficient product in a category — some appliances go beyond Energy Star criteria. Since Cash for Refrigerators offers an opportunity to cut down on monthly electric bills, it’s worth it to do some research to find the most energy-efficient appliances that work for you. In fact, some states base rebate amounts on how efficient your particular product is, so you’ll save more up front and over the life of the appliance.
Ultimately, how much you save on operating costs by switching to a more efficient appliance depends on which new appliance you buy and the appliance you are replacing. Some examples from the DOE: Save up to $135 a year by replacing a clothes washer that was made before 2000 with a new Energy Star model. Replacing a refrigerator made before 1993 with a new Energy Star model can save you up to $65 a year.
Consumer Reports offers tips for finding appliances that perform well and save money on energy.
Source: Lori Bongiorno