A Smaller Footprint: Why You Should Aim For A More Eco Friendly Business

smaller company footprint eco friendly business

Is an eco-friendly business really feasible in this day and age? We keep getting told that being eco-friendly is the most cost-effective way to run a business over the long term, but the starting costs are so prohibitively high that most companies cannot afford to go green. In this article, you will find out why you should aim for a more eco-friendly business.


Starting Costs Are Prohibitively High

Let us address the elephant in the room. There are epic numbers of online articles telling people that going green saves money, but it is just not the case in many instances. When a business starts and even when a business is medium-sized, it cannot invest in the next 20 years.

When companies invest in going green, they need to know their business is going to be around in 20 years when going green finally starts to pay for itself. Otherwise, all a company is doing is adding more debt to its operation.

Many of the benefits of being green, especially when it comes to things like fuel costs and power costs, are very long-term. They are not suitable for a smaller business.

If you are running a smaller business, your biggest priority should be to avoid waste and set the foundation for a lasting business so that you may invest in being green later down the line.


The Obvious Eco Friendly Business Stuff

We all know that our business premises should be insulated, and have double/triple glazed windows, and should recycle warm air, and shouldn't waste water and so forth. You have already read the many obvious tips for keeping your business green, so let us assume you have done all the obvious stuff before we continue.

If you are stuck for ideas, then here are a few ideas on how to save money on business operations. It includes tips on cavity wall insulation, programmable heating systems, timed power strips, and so forth.


Promote Your Green Initiatives

It is mind-boggling how many companies are coy about how green there are. For example, have you tried finding Forest Alliance coffee? It is almost impossible because very few coffees are forest alliance and there are overly too many that hide the symbol on the back of their jars like they are ashamed of it. Pity the shopper who has to keep picking up and turning around jar after jar just to find an ethically-conscious coffee company.

Another brain boggler is hosting companies. There are very few hosting companies that are all green. 

Yet, there are some hosting companies that are almost all renewable, but they do not advertise it because they are not 100% renewable. Wouldn’t you pick a hosting company that was 80% renewable over one that was 0% renewable? Promote your green initiatives because you are losing sales if you do not.


Re-purpose and Re-Design Your Products

It may sound like a big step, but many of the best products have been re-purposed and re-designed to benefit the environment and the company doing the producing.

For example, printing ink cartridges used to be disposable and then somebody came up with the idea of handing them over for a discount on future ink cartridges. The customer benefits with a discount and the company benefits with a warm lead to a future sale. The company also benefits because it can re-use old cartridges and save lots of money.

Coffee machines that come with their own reusable and washable filters may seem like a bad idea because it lowers the sales of filter, but it benefits the customer, and it elevates the value of the coffee machine itself. The customer saves money, and the business earns a little extra from its machine, which is especially important in such a competitive industry.


Redesigning for a Reason

Some ideas are so simple that you wonder why people didn't think of them before. For example, why have people been using round milk bottles for so very long? Why did it take so long for the square carton to be invented? The same amount of fluid can take up to 30% less space if stored in cartons rather than bottles.

LED lights have been around since 1962. They use 90% less energy than a standard CFL, and they last an average of 50,000 hours, which is ten times longer than a standard CLF. Yet, they are only just becoming popular household options. The sad reason for this is because bulb manufacturers shied away from LEDs because they lasted too long, which lowered the number of sales per year.

Yet, forward-thinking companies have finally started churning out LED lights, and not only are they profitable, but they are saving businesses and houses a lot of money, so they do not mind paying a largely inflated price for their LED lights. It is greener, and everybody saves money in the long run.


The Lessons We Can Learn From Coca Cola

Over the last ten years, Coca Cola has had to close several of its bottling plants because of a lack of water. It has happened in Mexico, twice in the USA, and the most publicized was in India where Coca Cola was blamed for causing droughts that affected farmland. Suffice it to say that sucking the land dry is not eco-friendly.

However, what Coca Cola did suggests that not only will your company benefit from being more green, the fact is that capitalism and the market is going to save our planet long before any government initiative or charity.

Coca Cola relocated its plants to areas not only where there was abundant water, but where water was too abundant. In one case they set up a desalinization plant. They have also built infrastructures for commercial water storage to keep water contained for longer, which actually reduces droughts in the area.


Get Something Out Of Being Green

You are in business, and it is dog eat dog out there, so do not let the world’s snowflakes bully you into running an eco friendly business. If you are going to do it, then get something out of it.

If you want to invest in your future, then invest in renewable energy for your business and absorb the high startup costs.

If you are going green, then promote that fact to gain more sales.

If you are going to change your product, then make sure it can be reused or recycled to your benefit. Never shy away from innovative ideas, especially ones that help you and the environment.

If you're looking for ways to save money while bootstrapping your new business, then check out the many money-saving posts on our site.

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