With more and more businesses setting up shop in cities, environmental campaigners are increasingly advocating companies to look at their carbon footprint.
As we know, several aspects of running a company readily contribute harmful greenhouse gases. In fact, a mere 100 companies contributed 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions – in only thirty years.
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With this in mind, CEOs should take the opportunity to reduce their business's harmful waste and emissions. Not only to combat climate change, but to grow their business success. An environmentally friendly company reaps benefits plenty of benefits. Here are the top five.
Legal and Tax Advantages
Electric car owners drive tax free. Similar tax exemptions apply for environmentally friendly companies.
For example, US companies using solar and renewable energy equipment and resources are eligible for tax exemption and, arguably better, tax credits. Legislation introduced in 2015 allows a 30% tax credit for companies installing, developing and/or financing solar energy property.
In the UK, companies using renewable energy do not pay the Climate Change Levy. Energy Intensive Industries – steel, chemicals, engineering and brick-making – can enter a climate change agreement with the Environment Agency. As a result, companies receive a 90% Climate Change Levy reduction for electricity, and a 65% reduction for gas, propane and solid fuels.
Moreover, in some cases companies receive grants for their reduction of harmful emissions.
One of the biggest benefits of environmental friendliness is the improvement in company efficiency, leading to a reduction in costs and waste. For example, simply turning off the light when not in use seriously reduces utility costs; alongside implementing recycling schemes, cutting down on unnecessary printing, and refilling ink cartridges.
As covered extensively in a previous blog post, organizations are ultimately responsible for their own waste management. Especially in industries creating hazardous waste, in other words, chemical, paint and paper manufacturing.
The answer lies in an efficient waste management system which maximises resources, cuts waste disposal costs and meets environmental regulations.
As well as improving the company budget, going green helps lift the workplace environment. It greatly contributes to staff wellbeing, helping reduce time off work and increasing productivity.
Moreover, well serviced ventilation systems helps those with respiratory problems, and releases less harmful chemicals into the air. According to WHO, outdoor air pollution is a major health risk, causing 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide annually in 2016.
However, some companies are using technology to take measures against air pollution. For example, the Smog Free Tower in Rotterdam, Holland cleans 30,000 m3 polluted air an hour using the same amount of energy as a water boiler.
An environmentally friendly company can emote a positive reaction from customers and the public. Green initiatives can even increase profits, proving that customers notice when businesses try to make a difference. Everything from reducing packaging to changing transportation methods can effectively show green methods are in full swing.
As a result, more customers are likely to engage with your business. So much so, one poll found millennials 72% more likely to pay more for environmentally sustainable products.
However, be wary of greenwashing – corporate covering of less than friendly environmental records with proclaims of ‘going green’.
A classic example is oil company Chevron’s 80s television ads portraying their general environmental friendliness. Whereas in reality, the company was not adhering to the clean air act, spilling oil into wildlife refuges, and committing other environmental violations.
An environmentally friendly company's true purpose is to boost sustainability and help the environment. Little things like turning off the light, or larger efforts like using alternative energy resources, are all preserve the earth’s health.
This is an outline of just some of the reasons companies should become environmentally friendly. The smallest of changes can make a large difference and should be something for many businesses to consider. A good place to start is by checking out Pro-Sapien's SharePoint-integrated Environmental Management Software.