Advantages of Green Business Management
Green business management is directly related to the environment. You may wonder why anyone would care about the environment when businesses are meant to make profits. The answer is two-fold: a) customers are now more conscious about the environment and prefer companies that employ methods that return to and save the environment; and b) green business management means increasing your customer base while also saving a considerable amount on your day to day expenses, thereby increasing your profits! In short, going green means you help the environment, become more acceptable with your customers, and save and profit from your endeavors.
One of the main factors of going green is the logistics. As per a study conducted by University of Michigan, edibles move an approximate 1500 miles before being consumed. Imagine the amount of fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance, and driver costs in addition to the effect on the environment. Another study says that traffic emissions contribute up to one fourth of atmospheric pollution in the US.
To make it clearer, let us check out Pizza Fusion, a pizza house with a stunning 70 franchises and a strong and loyal customer base – all because it is green. The word “green” creates enthusiasm among customers looking at environmental friendly goods. Using strong green business principles, the pizza restaurant and its franchises save 30 percent on energy when compared to a normal pizza store. While their foodstuff has its own standards, it also offers 40 percent off on each empty box returned for recycling. This may be viewed both as a business discount and environmental consciousness.
Businesswise, the discount helps increase the customer base and customer retention rate while saving the pizza house on buying more pizza containers. They recycle these containers to save on costs. They use hybrid and alternate energy vehicles for deliveries: further saving on fuel expenses. Pizza Fusion’s green business management proves that “green” sells more than normal businesses in similar lines. Pizza Fusion has adopted the slogan - “Saving the Earth, one Pizza at a Time.” Check the References section for more information on the green business management practices of the popular pizza restaurant.
As per the founder of Zimmer Advisory Group (a business consulting firm), Karl R Zimmer III, the possibilities of going green to save on expenses are endless. He asks entrepreneurs to study all the aspects of their businesses: office supplies, furniture, production, waste recycling, byproducts, and transportation. He further asks entrepreneurs to consider the impact of these factors on the environment. As entrepreneurs focus on the environmental impact of these processes, they will get endless ideas for processes that help them cut down on day to day business expenses while creating a brilliant image of the business in the market. This further boosts their profits as well as the goodwill of the business - resulting in customer base expansion and increased customer retention rate.
Though it is better to consider a green business while starting a venture, you can start applying green principles at any time. The following section offers some basic tips to begin with going green to cut down on business expenses.
Tips on Saving Money
Recycling is the buzz word in green business management. To save on costs in a business, switch to products that can be recycled. Even if you are not concerned about the state of your immediate environment, using recyclable products will get you much better returns when you opt to resell them when compared to non-recyclable items.
You can save more than 60 percent on energy costs by using Energy Star Certified appliances. CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs reduce your energy needs by a further one-third of what you spend using conventional bulbs.
Switch off equipment that is not in use and you save energy to the tune of 25 percent. If you switch off a computer for the entire day, you save 50 percent more. To save a significant amount on energy expenses each month, manage your employees. Place a ban on overtime while making project deadlines stricter with penalties in case of delays. This also makes your employees utilize the office time efficiently with less time on unscheduled breaks and personal work on office computers.
Use emails for almost all conversations. When you get an e-mail message, decide if it really needs to be printed. Prints should be allowed only when required absolutely. This will not only save your expenses on paper but also saves trees, helping the environment.
Use a fax-modem to reduce costs of thermal paper. A fax-modem enables you to send documents from computers - without having to print a copy. You again save on paper and printing costs. Wherever possible, print on both sides of the page. For economic printing, employ laser printers against inkjets. Inkjet printers are notorious for their heavy consumption of chemical liquids when compared to other types of printers. Draft mode printing further saves on printing costs.
Look for green services and green products locally. The closer they are to you geographically, the better sense it makes in green terms to associate with them. An example of savings is the fuel required to commute to the distance.
Does your office need new furniture? Decide only after taking a good look at your present furniture. Again opt for recyclable furniture that is more durable, offers your employees a sense of satisfaction, and gives you considerable returns upon resale.
Cut down on travels to meet your clients. Host a teleconference or a webinar. You save traveling costs, hotel bills, and other sundry expenses. There are several options on the Internet for webinars that enable you to organize a conference that can be attended by a maximum of 150 people for several hours, often free of cost.
If you want to send out your company newsletter or reports, tie up with newsletter companies. Some examples of such companies are Constant Contact and AWeber. While you save on paper, printing, and distributing, you also reach a wider audience using the Internet.
Marketing campaigns can be converted into PDF files and saved as DVD kits. This saves you printing and shipping costs.
If you need to print business cards, check out firms like PrintingForLess.com for getting the work done for less money using recycled paper and other kinds of base materials.
Allow your staff to telecommute. Not only do you save on rentals but also on carbon dioxide emissions. You also save on other factors including parking costs, etc. Setting up a home office is also tax deductible, further reducing your business expenses.
As explained in the first page, look around at your office and the different processes therein. You will find one way or another to further reduce costs by implementing green business management.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
This post is part of the series: Small Businesses, Big Profits
This is a five article series aimed at offering you information on saving money in the long run, thereby producing more profits. It also offers tips on how to evaluate own credit and buy own business so that you get better returns.