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Going green is no longer just a niche phrase. 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, and 64 percent are willing to pay more for those products.
Clearly, the focus of your business is not only on the environment, it can also have a direct impact on your results. When sustainability becomes the main focus of your business intentions, you become much more attractive to customers who share similar values.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make your business green.
1. Rethink packaging of products
Packaging of products is one of the biggest sources of waste. According to a Business News Daily report, 77 percent of customers believe that plastic is not environmentally responsible when packaging products. In contrast, it was considered the most environmentally friendly option for packaging paper, as it is easier to recycle. Simply replacing peanuts with paper reduces the environmental impact of your packaging.
Designing smaller containers can further reduce your environmental impact by consuming less raw materials. Eco-friendly brands will often highlight their sustainability efforts (and encourage customers to recycle packaging) in the box.
2. Materials sourced from local suppliers
The supply chain can be the main source of a company’s carbon footprint. Mainly due to pollution caused by the transportation of supplies and materials to your facility. This is mostly seen with food, as local purchasing initiatives aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And that can be done by simply adding a few miles of food to get to someone’s dinner.
However, the same can be done with any other supplies or materials your business needs. Focusing on local supply will reduce your carbon footprint and at the same time help your local economy, which is likely to be a major driver of your company’s success. You can further improve the sustainability of your materials by taking green suppliers who have done their green initiatives.
Related: 9 Easy Ways to Save Money by Turning Companies Green
3. Reduce 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 greening. The use of biodegradable or recyclable materials ensures that your products are not added to the millions of tons of landfills generated in the U.S. each year.
4. Re-evaluate your energy sources
The energy sources you use to power your office and run the most important processes in your business significantly affect your carbon footprint. Renewable energy sources, such as sun and wind on rooftops, have become more accessible than ever before. Both can be valuable long-term investments for green.
Many service providers use coal and natural gas, which generate billions of metric tons of CO2 emissions each year. Switching to solar or other renewable sources is a way to ensure that your electricity is obtained in a sustainable manner.
In the U.S., these green investments also qualify companies for tax credits that offset the cost of the facility. Today, the federal solar tax credit provides credit for 26 percent of the cost of a new system that will begin construction in 2022. However, that credit drops to 22 percent in 2023 and 10 percent in 2024; so the sooner you set this up, the better.
5. Look for sustainable solutions to common service needs
Another way to go green is to create a green version of a service-based business. For example, an environmentally friendly landscape business would avoid the use of chemical herbicides and use electrical equipment instead of gas equipment. An organic hospitality company would use local organic food for events in the area. Sustainability consultants can provide advice on key steps you can take to help other businesses achieve greenery.
These examples are just a few ways in which a service-oriented business can offer its customers a more sustainable offering. In this case, your efforts to become green become the main distinguishing feature that sets your business apart from other competitors in your niche. There are a wide range of options available for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Related: 5 green franchises for eco-focused entrepreneurs
How will you turn green?
These examples show that greenery can be embedded in the identity of your business from the ground up. Consider how you can improve your environmental impact in all aspects of your business. You can find creative solutions and create a unique niche in your market.
By striving to become green, you can help the planet and become a valuable asset for others who are trying to reduce their impact on the environment.
Related: Going green can be 6 more profitable ways