Going green can give you an edge over your competition.
“If you are already competitive in terms of price, quality and performance, adding sustainability and green marketing to your business strategy may enhance your brand image and secure your market share among the growing number of environmentally concerned consumers”, says the Small Business Administration. Also, many times making environmentally friendly choices can help reduce overhead costs.
Here are 5 tips to make your business more green.
1. Reduce Energy
Choose LED lighting over incandescent light bulbs. Changing to LED lighting can save 75% more energy than incandescent light bulbs according to Energy Star. LED lights also last 10-25 times longer, which means you have to worry about replacing your light bulbs less often, help save the environment and decreasing your energy bills.
Hotels have done a terrific job of convincing guests to be more eco-conscious through asking and/or incentivizing guests to reuse their towels and in some cases their sheets throughout their stay to conserve water. This example of sustainability not only helped the environment through water conservation, but also helps businesses bottom lines.
Sustainable Brands has a great example from Switch of how adjusting your language on the cards in the hotel rooms can increase adoption of more environmentally friendly practices. To support sustainability efforts a hotel placed signs in each hotel room that read, “Please help us protect the environment and conserve water by reusing your towel.” But, there was a low adoption rate. The hotel was able to change this through adjusting the cards in each of the hotel rooms to read ” The majority of guests at the hotel re-use their towels at least once during their stay.” This card changed guest behavior as they decided if everyone else is going green, I should too. Towel reuse increased by 26%.
I recently attended a strategic planning session, where our facilitator shared that in Indian slum they take plastics and repurpose them by cutting up the plastic, turning it into pellets and melting the plastic into blocks that can be resold. They also take discarded fabrics, clean and upcycle them through batiking fabrics.
This is taking repurposing to the next level, but there are also things you can do in your home and small business as easy as repurposing your grocery bags into garbage/recycling bags, or if you own a paper shredding factory, reuse the shredded documents as pet bedding through a donation to your local animal shelter.
Adding a recycling bin into your shop or office is easy. But how can you make a difference recycling?
Origins, a US based, natural skincare company, used recycling to differentiate them from their competitors. Origins created a recycling program aptly called the Origins Recycling Program, where they will accept ANY empty cosmetic container at their locations for free. But how they differentiated this program was through incentivizing their customers. As an introduction of the program, anyone who brought in an empty cosmetic product gave them a sample product in return. The Origins Recycling Program generated goodwill among customers, generated PR, and drove customers in-store to get a free sample in exchange for their empties. The program also resonated with Origins brand identity, Orgins: Powered by Nature. Proven by Science.
5. Promote Digitally
There are over 3 billion people online, which is over 42% of the population. If they are online, promote digitally (website, email, mobile and social media), instead of using traditional offline media (direct marketing, print media, billboards). Not only is online promotion more targeted and measurable, it will also decrease paper waste, production and mailing costs reducing your overhead.
Going green will decrease overhead, earn goodwill, save the planet, and help you beat the competition.
Originally posted on the Acesse Blog.