Just a couple of years ago, it seemed like every other company was touting the effect of going green and promoting their increased energy efficiency. While some companies still promote these practices – like NBC that features a Green Week every year – we don’t see nearly as much marketing around businesses going green anymore. This brings us to an important question – was going green just a fad whose time is long gone?
Well, if you take a closer look, you’ll immediately realize that large corporations are still placing an emphasis on green practices. For instance, last year, Apple spent nearly a billion dollars on solar power. Moreover, companies like Starbucks and Chipotle pride themselves on using organic ingredients and sustainable energy. Even though marketing yourself as a green company may come across as dishonest, in reality, many of these companies have embraced these practices for many reasons.
1. Legal Advantages and Lower Taxes
Going green has many practical advantages, but there are also some financial benefits as well. Today, the US government is providing American businesses with more green deductions and tax credit than ever before. For instance, the state of Florida allows businesses that sell electricity from a renewable-energy facility to take a corporate income tax.
What’s more, the Solar Energy System Incentives Program in Florida allows green businesses to take rebates. The IRS also enables organizations that provide their employees with environmentally-friendly, company cars to take an alternative vehicle credit on federal taxes. Finally, according to the Department of Energy, if your company starts using solar or wind energy in any capacity, you have a chance to take a tax credit of up to 30%
2. Improved Public Image
No business owner wants to find himself holding an emergency press conference, defending his company against bad publicity. However many people have found themselves in that position. But being environmentally-friendly can create some great PR opportunities and even a few cost savings. Even though your company’s image doesn’t seem necessarily like the best motivation for going green, you may look at it as just a good side effect.
But that’s not all, because in addition to improving your brand image and attracting new customers, going green can also help you help you attract top candidates. The fact is, a large number of millennials wants to work for a green business. According to research conducted by Global Tolerance, almost half of the workforce today (roughly 42%) wants to work for a business that has a positive impact on the environment, and the world in general.
3. Increased Sales and Revenue
For the last couple of years, the environmental impact of your company has become one of the major selling points for modern consumers. According to a recent Nielsen survey, 42% of global consumers said they would pay more for products from green companies. And that is why companies across a wide range of industries are now toting ways that they’ve become more sustainable in their operations.
And while some of these efforts seem motivated by short-term sales goals, going green can also help you in long-term growth. A Harvard Business School study published back in 2011 that examined 180 US companies concluded that businesses that classify themselves as “highly sustainable” routinely outperform those classified as “modestly sustainable.”
4. Reducing Waste and Pollution
It is clear by now that running a green company can improve the overall efficiency of your business, but we now come to, perhaps the most obvious entry on our list. The biggest reason you should go green right now is, of course, to protect the environment. The state of our planet affects every kind of life – from endangered species in rainforests to CEOs in offices. Simply put, you cannot do any businesses if there’s no planet to do your business on.
By going green, you’ll also ensure that your facility is a healthy place to work, which will show your employees that you care about their wellbeing as well as the environment. This will also be a good opportunity to examine the land around your offices, because if they are contaminated, it can potentially harm your employees. This is where geotechnical engineering firms can conduct an environmental assessment, and if necessary, deal with the contaminated soil.
These are just a couple of reasons why so many businesses chose to go green in today’s day and age. And if you embrace this concept, you have to keep one thing mind – it is not just about the bottom line, going green is good for our planet. However, it is still something that can make your conscience, as well as your shareholder, ultimately happy.