7 Reasons Why Businesses Need to Go Green or Get Out

Sustainability has become a buzzword in the business world. However, embracing eco-friendliness isn’t a temporary trend like lava lamps or pet rocks. If you hope for ongoing viability in a changing world, you must adopt environmentally healthy practices.

Today’s customers demand green initiatives and will pay more for sustainability. Plus, playing catch-up with changing regulations stifles innovation as you scramble to keep up with applicable laws. Discover seven reasons to embrace protecting the planet — if you haven’t already.

1. Customer Demand Drives Innovation

Around 73 percent of millennials claim they’d pay more for green goods across a variety of industries. Though the economy proves challenging, their commitment to leaving the planet a healthier place for future generations supersedes financial worries. Today’s youth have less disposable income overall, and they carefully consider which companies deserve their hard-earned dollars.

Instituting eco-friendly practices creates an instant marketing campaign. Let the world know your commitment to sustainability. You’ll keep your existing base happy while attracting new customers.

2. Going Green Offers Tax and Legal Benefits

Federal and state governments offer businesses significant tax incentives to go green. Your accounting team can keep you advised on rapid-fire changes to available credits and deductions.

For example, you can claim a 30% credit for investing in solar or wind. If you need to upgrade the HVAC system for your organization, you can save considerable cash by exploring these options. Credits offer a dollar-by-dollar reduction in your overall tax bill. Converting to a green-certified building, for instance, creates a tax deduction.

3. Sustainability Saves Money on Supplies

If you’re printing handouts for an internal meeting, do you need to use a clean sheet of paper for each one? Many businesses go through reams of paper unnecessarily, and this practice destroys a lot of trees. Put recycling boxes next to all copy machines and printers. Institute a policy of printing all non-client correspondence on repurposed sheets.

Likewise, if you hand out single-use water bottles with your logo to clients, you’re spending a small fortune — and wasting plastic. Plus, once your customer tosses it into the recycle bin, they lose your contact information. Instead, gift repeated clients a reusable water bottle or coffee mug. You save money in the long run and keep your name front and center.

4. Eco-Friendly Measures Cut Utility Bills

With solar technology, you can reduce your electric bill. Small businesses with little need for backup generators can eliminate this bill, freeing up significant money each month. Even large firms who stay on the grid to preserve continuity save considerable cash.

Switching to low-flow faucets and toilets can save you money on your water bill. If your facility contains amenities like laundry areas and kitchens, appliances with a high Energy Star rating further reduce expenditures.

5. Green Companies Attract and Retain Talent

Most people spend half or more of their waking hours at work. Considering the time investment, they want a company culture that shares their values and visions. Many seek companies that embrace sustainability.

According to one study, 64% of millennials consider a business’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. The same number is also willing to turn down a job without a strong corporate responsibility. If you want to attract talent and retain top producers, commit to going green.

6. Environmentally Friendly Policies Improve Health Outcomes

Pollution can kill. An estimated 4.6 million people die each year from air pollution. That staggering figure doesn’t include the number of days lost to upper respiratory and chronic health conditions stemming from breathing particulates and toxins.

Because the U.S. lacks a universal system of health insurance coverage, employers get left footing the bill. This system comes with a hefty price tag, more than $6,000 annually for an average person. This number pales beside the $15,000 needed to train a replacement, but it’s hardly a minor expense.

Embracing greener practices improves health outcomes overall. Healthier employees call out sick less often and seek care less frequently, driving costs down for everyone.

7. Sustainability Is Key to Ongoing Viability

With apologies to those in the non-renewable energy sector, certain resources will begin to dry up. At the very least, fossil fuels will become harder to acquire, making them pricier. If you use hemp packaging when this occurs, production can continue as usual. However, if you’re stuck using plastic, you’ll need to halt operations to invest in new material.

Climate change also impacts your future customer base. Some people are even refusing to bear children due to concerns about the planet’s future. Increased competition for business is coming — if you’re an innovator, you want to get ahead of the trend.

Why Businesses Go Green or Risk Extinction

Green initiatives offer a host of benefits. Organizations that embrace sustainability will thrive in the coming economy. Eco-friendly practices and profits are increasingly going hand in hand. Those who fail to realize it will eventually fade into obsolescence.