Going Green is very often the headline associated with the world’s 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 demonstrably 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. Still, we are determined to be as sustainable as we can be, and we were quite surprised 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 products wherever possible and practical. 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 blueprint for how we work, not only as a business but within our community.
The latest step to going green was making sure we purchased our electricity 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 sustainability credentials, but when all else is equal, it may indeed 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.