Going Green is very often the headline associated with the worlds largest corporations, who recognize not only the environmental benefits of taking a more sustainable approach to business, but also the commercial too.
In the same way that households seek out more organic produce at the market, commercial buyers are becoming more and more attracted to companies who have demonstratably greener credentials. Research across the globe confirms the benefit of going green to businesses and customers, putting any question of the approach beyond doubt.
So what if you’re not a billion dollar business like Apple or Microsoft, what can you do and how do you start to make a difference?
Vervantis is a relatively small business with less than 50 employees, but we are determined to be as sustainable as we can be, and actually we were quite suprized at how little going green cost our business.
To start we looked at all the consumables in the workplace and put in place a policy to only buy recycled or sustainable product wherever possible and practicle. Next we introduced energy efficient technologies (lighting, HVAC etc) and began a process of education for our employees to reduce our use and consumption of everything from paper to power.
We introduced recycling with dedicated trash cans for employee work stations and created a company sustainability statement to cement our goals and make our intentions clear. It is a living document and now serves as a blue print for how we work, not only as a business but within our community too.
The latest step to going green was making sure our electricity was purchased from renewable sources. In our case that is solar, and regardless of when we use our energy, we know that 100% is attributable to solar generation.
So what has been the cost of going green?
The truth is very very little, so little in fact that we have seen no real measurable change in our costs. Yes, some products cost more if they are renewable, but the education of staff and reduction in consumables seems to have more than made up for it.
Is Going Green helping us win more business?
That is a good question. I don’t think our customers select us based purely on our sustainablity credentials, but when all else is equal, it may certainly help to tip the scales in our favor.
What we do know is that we have kick-started the conversation and motivated our employees so they are now engaging much more internally and externally on sustainable topics and making suggestions to enhance our journey toward going green. As for our business, I can not understate the value of having a positive message to take to market.