Friday, October 25, 2013

What It Takes to Make Your Business Green {Guest Post}

Make Your Business Green

Businesses are going the green way. Up until recently “Tree-hugging” was considered the domain of environmental activists but it has now wooed its way into the hearts of those who run multi-national conglomerates as well as the small business owner. As global climate changes and environmental issues take center stage in our rapidly changing world, consumers have taken it upon themselves to be responsible world citizens and conscious buyers of green products. And in this scenario, businesses are left with little choice but to follow the “green” road.

Apart from following environmental regulations laid down by governmental agencies, big and small businesses across the country are engineering a green revolution of sorts. Initiatives such as Coca- Cola’s community water program and Marriott’s green hotels are some resourceful, environmental-friendly drives among many others spearheaded by major businesses. Right about now, you may be thinking: is my business doing enough to promote a greener environment? Judge for yourself …

How Can your Business Go Green?

Save energy one watt at a time

Simple steps for a greener businesslike turning off machines after use, using CFL or LED lights, swapping old appliances for more efficient ones, conducting energy audits in your office and using renewable sources of energy to light up your machines go a long way in energy conservation. Small alterations in the way your businesses functions in terms of using up energy can make a huge difference.

Go Paperfree!

No business is complete without paper- business cards, important documents filed away, bills, receipts- the list can go on. While it’s not possible to make your business entirely paper free, why not try to go paperless wherever you can? Technology has made web applications easier to access with financial transactions, file sharing, conferencing and other business-related services all available online. There are a number of ways to go paperless- it is not impossible!

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle- make this your business environmental mantra! Recycling old machines and other business equipment is a great initiative. Also, investing in older office furniture or refurbished equipment can help save the environment, while cutting costs for your business. If it’s difficult for your business to function without paper, try to use recycled paper and paper products as much as possible.

As an ethical business practitioner, environmental protection holds great value to you, but while you’re busy with business and protecting the environment, make sure your business is protected against forces of nature or common risks that could put you out of business, even temporarily.

While Preserving the Environment, Preserve Your Business

Too many small businesses have been forced to close shop because they were not insured or adequately covered. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable. What options do you have? Some business insurance is mandatory and you’ll have to check your state laws to find out which ones apply to you. Business insurance for general liability, property, data breach, worker’s compensation are just a few of the options you have for protecting your assets and minimizing your risks. But in addition, here’s something to consider:

• Small businesses can be liable to lawsuits by unhappy customers, suppliers or even their own employees.

• Climate changes in recent years that have caused unusual flooding and natural calamities across the globe. Are you in a natural disaster prone area? What steps have you taken to protect your business property?

• Cyber crimes, particularly against small businesses, are on the rise with more and more dependence on the Internet and computer systems. A report by The Hartford offers small businesses some tips on protecting their businesses not only through insurance but also by implementing computer security initiatives that will protect digital data on your computer systems.

• Many businesses have lost property and personnel as increased terrorist activity continues to mushroom across the globe. Metropolitan cities across the world and areas that are heavily populated are likely targets.

As a business owner, profitability is topmost on your mind. Environmental initiatives may not be the money-spinners in your business plan, but they can help you save money by reducing waste. Going green may not reap immediate benefits for your business, but can impact the bottom line in the long run and earn credibility for your business. Research shows that 73 per cent of consumers believe that it is important for companies to have good environmental records. Does your business have a green thumb? Are you a strong supporter of a greener planet? It’s time to go green and be safe. Go all out with putting into action environment-friendly initiatives while making sure your business is adequately insured. It’s sure to pay your business rich dividends.

Author Bio: Elvis Donnelly is a father of two who works from home and lives with his wife. He is a voracious reader and likes to keep abreast of current affairs on personal finance, technology and innovation, and takes a keen interest in environmental issues. In his spare time, he loves taking on home improvement projects and considers himself a closet chef.

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