Why Being Environmentally Conscious is Good for your Business
More and more businesses are changing the way they operate in favour of green solutions and environmentally-sound thinking. While not exactly a trend, a 2012 poll of event planning agencies expressed interest in addressing environmental concerns. This shift is clearly striking a chord with consumers as 55% of worldwide online consumers have said they would pay more for eco-friendly products and services. However, of those polled, in Europe only 40% were willing to spend more, which seems a disappointingly low figure.
So, what are companies already doing to be more environmentally conscious and how could this be good for your business?
In-office sustainable business plans are easy to implement, and inexpensive in the long run. Green web hosts run their servers on renewable energy, their servers use more energy than standard but only use sustainable sources for power. Making sweeping in house changes can have a impactful effect on your company’s eco-friendliness.
On an even smaller scale, turning your office paperless by keeping any printing to a minimum saves 24 trees for every ton of paper used. If paper use is essential, ensure you order recycled paper (and stationery), and enforce a recycling policy for all wasted paper. Replacing standard light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, or installing a timer system to automatically switch off the lights, are other simple ways to lower both your business’ carbon footprint and its bills.
Going green outside the office
Once you’ve implemented your new eco-policies, you’ll be able to use them as a marketing tool. Green initiatives are becoming more important to consumers and brands, meaning your sustainability changes can easily be used as promotional tools.. Being open about the changes you’ve made in newsletters and at conferences is a great way to inform, perhaps even inspire, your customers and competitors.
Conference venues themselves are broadening their environmental consciousness too, gaining a great amount of industry respect in the process. A global database for these businesses, called Conference Care, was put together in 2008, highlighting the best venues and their most impactful policies.
Examples of venues taking on green overhauls can be found from coast to coast., Sussex Exchange in the UK redesigned their buildings to run off renewable energy sources, being funded in part by an EU-led project called Future Cities. Changes include a biomass boiler, a habitat for plant and insects on their shingle roof, and environmental lighting controls. They also hold regular environment related events in order to continually develop and improve these policies.
In the US venues like the Sheraton in New York are overhauling their green meeting spaces. In the Sheraton’s case, their sign-in system has gone paperless, and all of their catering is biodegradable; even the food they offer is sustainable, with a “100-mile menu” supporting local farmers.
Reap the rewards
As discussed above, consumers have begun to express a preference for companies who think green, which is obviously brilliant for the bottom line. However it has also been argued that, by coming up with creative solutions to going green, businesses can be further inspired in their day-to-day work. By adopting these policies early – before they become more commonplace – you can throw down the gauntlet to your competitors, and establish yourself as leaders in the field.
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