Green has moved past the stereotypes and into the C-Suite’s psyche. Smart companies have realized that there’s no magical point where all the check boxes are filled and a company suddenly becomes “green.” It’s a roadmap that needs to be developed, nurtured, and sustained for the long haul. So, what are the benefits of going green at your business?
Efficiency Equals Cost Savings
One of the best ways to upsell green benefits is to frame the discussion around efficiency. From processes and supply chain tweaks to resource utilization and facilities management, there’s plenty of areas to find the low hanging fruit that can be optimized or eliminated to create savings. Watch for this area to explode in 2014 as more businesses become aware of energy costs, and buildings and office environments become better equipped to monitor and report electricity usage. An added bonus for efficiency evangelists is the consumerization of smarter infrastructure. Companies like Tesla and Nest have brought clean energy and smart technologies into the American household. It’s just a matter of time before that infiltrates offices everywhere.
Push The Paperless Mentality
If there’s a no-brainer initiative, it’s moving toward a paperless model. With today’s technology, you’ve run out of excuses for not doing it.
Paperless projects usually end up being much larger than companies anticipate. That’s because once things are digitized, there’s an organizational epiphany that occurs. One department is suddenly efficient, better organized, and less dependent on paper, so, why aren’t we all doing this? Exactly.
Get with a vendor that can help you analyze which processes are best suited for a digital upgrade. It can be as easy as installing some software and a few scanners to capture documents as they’re created or enter a workflow. The trick is to start small and work your way through the organization. One of the nice things about paperless projects is how they amplify process bottlenecks. So not only do you carve out efficiency gains, you reduce the costs and resources associated with big paper trails and print jobs. Use your “going green” initiatives to build an airtight business case that puts paper in the rear view mirror.
Recruitment and Retention
The lifeblood of your company is your people. Use your green commitments as a recruiting tool. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that has a conscience? The key is to market your sustainability roadmap as well as you market your products and services. A business needs to exemplify how “going green” means baking practices into its service and delivery model. It’s not so much the why, but the how. Get good at explaining the how.
New Business Opportunities
Lucky businesses or entrepreneurs probably weren’t lucky at all. They made their own breaks. In other words, they saw opportunities that were out of sight to competitors. Companies that adopt green practices have the same opportunity. Every industry is being reshaped by the need to mitigate risk. Whether it’s climate change, resource scarcity or energy costs, organizations that understand what it means to be resilient will be the ones to uncover new business opportunities. When a company becomes skilled at managing a resource, there are probably others willing to pay for that expertise. Make it a point to scrutinize your company’s sustainability management plan. There’s a good chance you might uncover opportunities to expand a business line or service offering.