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Sustainability in the Workplace: The Next Big Thing for Entrepreneurs

Sustainability in the Workplace: The Next Big Thing for Entrepreneurs

What’s your first association to the word “sustainable? If you answered “line of work, congratulations: you’re up-to-date with latest developments in the business arena. A trend that has taken the business world by a storm in the past couple of years, sustainability is changing the way brands around the world function on a daily basis, and it’s also one of the features that can increase customer appeal, sales, profits, and bottom line. But what exactly does sustainability stand for in the entrepreneurial textbook and how can you make the green switch most easily and with the highest possible ROI?

The Green Business Deal: Corporate Sustainability by the Numbers

Corporate sustainability covers the management and coordination of environmental, social, and financial demands and concerns that allow companies to pursue uninterrupted, responsible, and ethical business. In a recent survey, 73% of respondents across the U.S stated that sustainability will remain a priority in 2017, whereas a Nielsen global online study found that millennials, as a generation of shoppers most sensitive to environmental issues, are most ready to pay extra for eco-friendly offerings. The statistics speak volumes about the importance of a sensible attitude towards the environment and natural resources for corporations and SMEs alike. If you wish to go Eco with your entrepreneurial endeavors, here are a few smart tips you can try when looking to set your business on the green foot.

The Eco Agenda: Green Business Features Worth Your Budget

There are dozens of ways for entrepreneurs to greenify their business and increase brand value in the eyes of end users and potential partners. As a newbie to the sustainable corporate game, though, you can try these five simple business tweaks if you want to save cash and make your profit and brand visibility hit the roof.

1. Use PCW paper and packaging materials

By switching to post-consumer waste (PCW) paper and packaging, you’ll help curb deforestation and trim your company’s environmental footprint by a single blow. Production of PCW products entails 45% lower energy use and creates 50% less waste compared to traditional papermaking procedures. When shopping for printing paper and packaging staples, look for recycling symbols on the binding and help save the world’s forests from gradual degradation.

2. Switch to biodegradable cleaning staples

Your workplace should be clean and tidy, but while you’re busy wiping away dirt, grease, and small debris, you may as well use non-hazardous cleaning staples. Use of natural, biodegradable cleaners will allow your brand to claim green bragging rights while reducing health risks involved in exposure to hazardous chemicals found in most commercial cleaners. By switching to green cleaners, you’ll shave absenteeism and prevent toxic substances from polluting the water and soil.

3. Shed a green light on corporate growth

Although somewhat costlier than standard incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED lights are better for your bottom line and employee health. Use of LED lighting solutions will allow your business to slice electricity bills and environmental impact at the same time. For a convenient bonus, giving a green light to eco-friendly lighting can also help boost your staff’s productivity and prevent eye fatigue, headaches, and other work-related health issues that impact long-term performance.

4. Opt for energy efficient appliances

Swapping standard for Energy Star office appliances is a surefire way to minimize utility bills and your brand’s environmental footprint. The next time a printer or coffee machine goes down, it’ll be a smart move to swap it for an energy efficient counterpart: although the upfront price may be a bit higher, it’ll pay off through monthly utility savings and increased brand appeal. Besides, the cost difference is a small price to pay for Mother Nature’s long-term well-being.

5. Embrace alternative power sources

Is your brand still using electricity as primary power supply? Good luck with that. Another clever sustainable workplace upgrade that promises a high ROI, the switch to green energy sources will help your business make long-term savings while trimming environmental impact of your brand. For a cool bonus, you can sell extra energy generated by means of solar panels or wind turbines into the national grid and earn your company cash for another sustainable upgrade.

In the 21st century, sustainable business practices are the best guarantee of brand sustainability and entrepreneurs who want to survive in the competitive market should take a few green cues and put them to use without delay. Not only will going green do go by Mother Earth, it’ll also be your brand’s one-way ticket to soaring growth in sales, consumer database, and bottom line. Be smart: go green with your business conduct today and reap the rewards in the years to come.

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by Chloe Taylor // Chloe is designer, environmentalist, blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, productivity and career related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on FB and Twitter.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.