Everyone knows by now that going green and adopting sustainable business practices is socially and environmentally responsible. But there are many more advantages, and it's not just the planet that benefits.
Going green rewards sustainable small and medium businesses where it matters most – in their bottom line. Read on to find out how.
Going green will enhance your reputation and increase revenue
A recent study by consumer research giant Nielsen proved that sustainability sells. It found that products with key sustainability attributes (e.g. being carbon-neutral, ethically sourced, made with renewable energy, involved in fair trade) significantly outperformed their competitors in both unit sales and dollar terms.
To help you make those important sustainability claims, you could start by getting an environmental audit of your business, to work out how it affects the environment and set goals for improvement. Then set up a certified environmental management system to establish appropriate operational plans and procedures. Finally, make sure your customers are aware of your green credentials.
Going green helps your employees
A green workplace is not only healthier and happier, it costs less. If 2020 has hammered home one truth, it's this: employees can be just as productive and contented if they work from home - at least some of the time. When they're not commuting, they're not adding to carbon emissions, and you need a smaller office with lower bills for electricity, cleaning and waste removal.
Scrap the vending machines in the workplace and promote healthier, organic snacks to improve employee health and reduce your carbon footprint. Encourage staff to cycle to work by providing shower and change room facilities. Educate and involve your staff in your sustainability decisions. You may find that employee satisfaction increases, improving retention rates and lowering your recruitment and training costs.
Going green will reduce your carbon footprint and slash your bills
Consider managing your energy and other utility usage by:
Installing insulation, double glazing, door and window draught sealing, automatic doors
Using energy efficient light bulbs
Adopting smart meters, timers, on-site power usage displays
Investing in energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling
Buying fuel-efficient vehicles, including gas or electric vehicles
Replacing business travel with virtual meetings where possible
Installing rooftop or ground-mounted solar energy panels
Switching to a renewable energy provider
Fixing leaky taps and toilets
Using rainwater tanks and other water-saving or recycling systems
Adopting the three Rs of waste management – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Your reduced energy and other utility bills should soon recoup the time and money you invest in sustainability.
CEFC partners with commercial lenders to help you go green
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) helps cut carbon emissions by investing $10 billion, on behalf of the Australian Government, in agriculture, energy generation and storage, infrastructure, property, transport and waste. The CEFC has a strong focus on driving investment in smaller-scale clean energy projects from small-scale rooftop solar, to energy efficient manufacturing and farm equipment, as well as improved building insulation, heating and cooling, demand management systems and low emission vehicles.
CEFC finance is available through participating banks, specialised lenders and funds. Participating banks will pass on the CEFC discounted finance to customers investing in eligible clean energy technologies. Your broker can help guide you through the funding options available for your business and the application process.