Operating Your Startup Business

Greening Your Business

Social responsibility not only by individuals, but by businesses has become the new standard in America as more constituents realize the benefits that everyone can gain by being more environmentally friendly and responsible through green and sustainable practices.

The word "green" should be voted this decade's most important word, which you actually can vote for at the American Dialect Society website.

Greening Your Business

Through the turn of the century, more consumers and businesses have not only become of aware of what green means, but have taken the steps forward to becoming greener and have become proactive in implementing more sustainable and environmentally practices.

The great thing about using green practices in your businesses, is that not only are you helping create a more healthy and sustainable environment, but you're also helping improve your bottom line. It has surprised me to hear of how many individuals are reluctant to implement green practices within their organizations because of the false perception that a high cost is involved in doing so. In fact, the opposite is more likely true.

Using less paper and less electricity are both substantial cost saving measures that also follow a green practice. Have you noticed the little icon and blurb at the bottom of emails now asking "Please don't print this email unless you have to"? Paper and ink can run as a surprisingly high percentage of your office costs and simple measures such making your employees aware that reducing the amount of wasted paper that is printed is a green and environmentally friendly practice.

Some longer term investments such as installing solar panels on your buildings are short-term investments, but will most likely save you and your firm substantial money on energy savings over the next 10 years. The government recognizes that some small businesses may be more reluctant or unable to invest substantial money into energy reducing and long-term cost saving measures today, so they took it upon themselves to offer small businesses a host of tax credits, loans, and grants providing small businesses the capital they need up-front to invest in energy savings projects that will undoubtedly pay off over time. To learn more about the government offered tax credits, loans, and grants, you can visit their site at Financing Energy Efficient Projects.

As an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to build your company green from day one and implement those practices into the culture of your company. Change is never an easy practice, especially when trying to get all individuals within an organization to change at once. However, with all these changes, small incremental and daily changes are the best way to generate long-term results. Starting off with simple practices such as reminding employees not to print every email or paper that comes their way, or by installing energy efficient lighting, or ensuring you seal all drafts in your office space to keep heat in, can have a big impact over time on the amount of paper and energy you are saving as well as reducing your spending costs in your office.

Below are 10 other green practices that your business can implement:

1. Digital Documents
2. Transportation Emissions Reduction
3. Solar Power
4. Teleconferencing
5. Recycling Programs
6. Sell Green Products
7. Carbon Footprint Monitoring
8. Build Eco-Friendly Stores
9. Purchase Green Power
10. Reduce Packaging Waste

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