Adopting environmentally-friendly and energy efficient business practices provides numerous benefits to new business owners looking to control costs, attract customers, and become socially responsible.
This guide provides you with some important information on implementing an environmental strategy for your business, including steps to becoming energy efficient, compliant with environmental regulations, and a recognized “green business.”
Step 1: Comply with Environmental Regulations
As a green business, you should practice what you preach. This means complying with all environmental regulations relevant to your business. Compliance not only protects the environment, it protects your business from fines and legal action from the government.
Step 2: Develop an Environmental Management Plan
Running a green business means creating an environmentally-friendly, energy efficient workplace. A sound environmental plan will help minimize your company’s eco-footprint, and encourage green business practices throughout your organization.
Step 3: Build Green
If you are opening a business in a new or remodeled building, make sure you build green and install energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems, appliances, equipment and lighting.
Step 4: Buy Green Products
Consider buying green and environmentally friendly products that are
- Made from post-consumer, recycled materials
- Energy efficient rated products, such as ENERGY STAR®, Renewable and recyclable
- Locally produced, such as food that is locally grown and organic
Step 5: Adopt Energy Efficient Practices
Good energy management is good business. The prudent and conservative use of energy is one of the easiest and most cost effective steps you can take to cut costs, increase profitability, and create shareholder value. Given the potentially high returns and minimal risk, implementing energy efficiency practices is at the core of most business environmental management strategies.
Conduct an Energy Audit. Whether you are opening a home based business or moving into an existing commercial building, having an energy audit conducted on your facility will help you quickly identify areas where you can save energy costs. Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and office equipment Provide energy saving tips to your employees Look for green power and renewable energy sources
Step 6: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Wastes
Most businesses can save a substantial amount of money by reducing waste. In addition to lower removal costs, waste reduction measures help cut costs on raw materials, office supplies and equipment. Furthermore, by streamlining your operations to reduce waste, you may also be able to enhance your overall efficiency, productivity and public image.
Develop waste management procedures throughout your operations that includes:
- Use of post-consumer, recycled products
- Elimination of excessive product packaging materials
- Optimized use of paper products
- Participation in recycling programs, such as EPA’s WasteWise.
Step 7: Conserve Water
The increased demand on our nation’s water supply is threatening human health and the environment. By implementing a water efficiency program, you can not only help conserve this precious resource, but cut your costs associated with buying, heating, treating and disposing of it.
- Have a water audit conducted at your facility by your local water agency
- Conserve water using best available technology and water saving equipment utilities
- Minimize discharges to sewer/wastewater
Step 8: Prevent Pollution
Every business generates waste. For some, it may be only waste paper or dirty water; for others, it may be hazardous or toxic wastes that require special handling and disposal. Whatever the type or volume of waste your company generates, it is costing you money. You pay for what you use twice – once when you buy it and the second time when you throw it away. The bottom line is that preventing waste will save you money.
Step 9: Create a Green Marketing Strategy
If you are starting a green business, you need to market yourself as one. Adding “green” claims and eco-labels to your marketing strategy will enhance your brand image and secure your market share among the growing number of environmentally concerned consumers.
Step 10: Join Industry Partnership and Stewardship Programs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsors a wide variety of industry partnership and stewardship programs that aim to reduce the impact of industrial activities on the environment. These partnerships will help you build relationships with other green business owners in your industry, and build a brand that’s credible with your customers.
For more information, please contact one of our professionals today.