Benefits of “going green” and “recycling” have been trending topics on social media channels recently.
Generation upon generation, we have been raised with the concept of preserving the earth.
Therefore, as business and as consumers, we should be economically and environmentally friendly.
For many years, we suffer from global warming effects on the environment such as terrible climate change.
Those topics are further highlighted in the media because the Amazon rainforest had been on fire for the past month.
These fires are warning from our mother earth to us.
It is our responsibility to adopt and implement sustainable practices and strategies.
The benefits of going green for businesses are many.
Some business owners consider it as a part of efficiency, to minimize cost, to cut the production or manufacturing costs, and to improve their bottom line.
Some companies have implemented systems to manage water, paper, energy, and waste, in general, to increase their profit and to improve their reputation.
- So, What is the meaning of going green?
- What are the benefits of going green?
- Governments and businesses that are going green.
So, What is the meaning of going green?
It means supporting nature for our next generations, to maintain ecological balance and to minimize any kind of harm to the environment.
Greening our environment can be summarized in reducing pollution, conserving our natural resources, and decreasing our consumption and waste as much as possible.
What are the benefits of going green?
Many initiatives and entrepreneurs come up with new ideas, to green their business and to motivate others to follow this trend.
Here are some of those benefits that your business can’t miss in 2019.
Lowering your costs
Whatever the size of your company, you can cut your operating costs in many ways.
- Use long-lasting light bulbs such as LED and CFLs that provide a pure source of light, to decrease your electricity consumption, so as to lower your bills.
- Buy energy star appliances such as refrigerator, air conditioner, water heater or any other appliances that you need in doing your business, to be efficient and to save energy.
You should fix those appliances if they are not operating efficiently, to avoid the rise in your energy bills.
Air duct cleaning services can help you to fix and maintain your air conditioners.
- Turn off the lights and computers at night, to cut your energy costs in the long run.
- If you are a retailer, consider reducing the packaging of your products and switch to eco-friendly packaging, to cut your expenses.
Reaping the increasing benefits of the online era
Decrease your business footprint
- Use online video conferences applications such as “Skype”, “Zoom”, and cloud systems like “Google apps” and “Microsoft 365 office”.
Those systems allow you and your team to access information from anywhere and makes it easier for you to manage your team and to organize the work.
It also facilitates group conversations between team members.
So, you can decrease the need to travel, if you operate your business in multiple places.
Allow your employees to work from home, thus they will use their own utilities and equipment.
It is a win-win situation for both of you, employees will be more comfortable with this option.
Their productivity will increase, you will cut your expenses and save money.
According to Global Workplace Analytics: “IBM” has cut down real estate costs by “$50 million”, and overall the average real estate savings for a full-time teleworker is roughly “$10,000” per employee per year.
You will also support the environment in order to reduce the pollution from greenhouse gas emissions “carbon footprint” and to decrease the paper waste in your company.
Social Media Channels and digital marketing tools can be a beneficial way to market your business.
Online advertising is a more efficient way to reach your target audience and also less costly than traditional marketing methods.
Decreasing your waste
The Daily Green, a consumer’s guide from GoodHousekeeping website, says that paper accounts for “25%” of landfill waste.
In order to cut your waste:
- Transform your paperwork from file cabinet to a digital file system.
- Use applications such as Evernote instead of sticky notes, to write your daily to-do list.
- Print less and double side your printed documents, to decrease the paper usage.
- Implement a cloud system, to decrease the amount of paper waste and to purchase less copy paper and ink for the printer.
- Replace the single-use paper cups by refillable cups, because are healthier and environmentally friendly.
- Install a filtration dispensing system for water instead of purchasing plastic bottled water, to lower your cost and to help your environment.
- Allocate warm hand dryers in the kitchen and bathroom, to cut the usage of paper tissues.
- Get rid of your office and kitchen waste and cooperate with startups and initiatives that work on recycling.
Providing economic friendly workplace
Buy second-hand furniture.
As a result of the recession and inflation, many companies have shut down, others decided to shift or to operate a different type of business.
So, they are forced to sell their furniture which could be in good condition and made of high-quality materials and in this way, you can buy it at a lower cost than purchasing a new one.
“The greenest thing you can do is buy re-used furniture.”
Said sustainability expert Jennifer Schwab.
- Offer organic food for your employees in the cafeteria, to encourage your team to eat healthy food, therefore, they will be more productive.
- Encourage your employees to stay healthy and fit by using the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Provide incentives for them to use carpooling, this will strengthen the working relationships of your employees and as a result, everyone enjoys a healthier work environment at your company.
- Improve the quality of air at your office by a set of green live plants.
By implementing these points, you will reduce the workers’ sick leave and so, you will save you part of the money paid for their medical insurance.
Employees will feel safer and will also have a sense of belonging to a company that cares about them and about the environment.
Therefore they will be loyal to your company and the turnover will be much less.
Attracting new investors
Investors decide to put their money in projects according to its return on investment.
As greening your business is a method of reducing business expenses and building a good reputation for your company.
So, going green is in your favor, because it will increase ROI for investors in the long run.
You will be able to expand your business and thus gain more profit.
According to Gary Langenwalter in his book: (Sustainability a Better Brand of Business).
“if a business combines social and environmental components in their day to day running, they will do far better than those that do not”.
Meeting your customers’ demand and gaining their loyalty
Because customers are now aware of the benefits of going green, they turn their lifestyle, to implement the sustainable concept in their lives and to make a difference in their society.
Those eco-conscious customers trust and tend to buy from companies that provide green products and services such as organic and fitness products.
They are willing to pay more for brands which are eco-friendly.
Demand for those green products is increasing by people, especially millennials.
If they believe that you make a green impact on the business environment and on their lives, you will attract new customers and gain the loyalty of existing customers.
Going green allows you to market yourself as a “green business”, educate, and inspire other people who are not eco-conscious customers, thus differentiating yourself in the market.
You can even take this step further by cooperating with other green campaigns, to support those who care about the mother earth.
In this way, you can announce your current and future projects, so as to maximize your word of mouth marketing.
Governments and businesses that are going green.
“Going Green” is a trend that governments corporations and startups follow, to face the growing environmental issue and to save our planet.
Egypt’s largest wind farm in Africa
Egypt cares about implementing projects to be able to make use of natural sources of Energy.
This project is established, to extend the use of renewable resources in Egypt which contributes to the implementation of “2035” sustainable energy strategy.
The wind farm is located in Egypt’s Gabal El Zayat and was funded by the European Union, Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, and European Investment Bank.
It has the capacity to generate “800 million” KW hours annually.
This wind farm will supply around “50,000” people with electricity and also prevent the emission of up to “400,000” tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Egypt has also launched the green roof campaign in Cairo.
The governor of Cairo “Khaled Abdel Elaal” has announced this new initiative, as a part of Egypt sustainable development plan.
He said that gardens will be planted across rooftops of Cairo houses for free, to increase the green sight and to turn it into an environmentally friendly city.
Egyptian ministries of Education and Scientific Research have completed greening their rooftop and the plan is to extend this campaign, to be implemented in other government buildings.
Dubai sustainable city
Image Resource: thenational.ae
UAE makes huge efforts, to cut the consumption of fossil fuel and to depend on environmental sources of energy.
Dubai aims to have the smallest carbon footprint in the world by “2050” by having “75%” of its energy from clean sources.
The goal of this sustainable city, which is outside the center of Dubai, is to generate energy more than it consumes.
It is designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions as much as possible.
In this sustainable city, each home features solar panels on its roof, residents can only take public transportation or drive electric-powered smart cars.
UAE has also announced the installation of the world’s largest single-site solar project.
This solar project is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Government, a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp, and China’s Jinko Solar Holding.
It is located in Sweihan in Abu Dhabi and will cut its carbon dioxide emissions by “1 million” metric tonnes annually.
In addition to those solar panels, Dubai has also launched the first solar-powered hotel in this sustainable city.
The Syrian entrepreneur is going green with “Glean” machine
It is very challenging to start a new business in any place and moreover, this idea from Syria is inspiring.
Due to the wars, Syrian people suffer from power cuts and water shortage.
This was the motive for the Damascus entrepreneur and engineer Yaman to solve this problem.
“Yaman Abou Jeib” invented the solar-powered and sustainable washing machine (Glean).
It uses less water and “60%” less electricity than other regular house appliances.
He is the first Syrian to win at “Stars of Science” show in its 7th season.
His father is also an engineer and runs a solar company.
Gaza’s interior design project “Antika”
Despite the economic and social unrest that happens regularly in Gaza, the Palestinian architect “Doaa Kamel” is trying to make a positive impact in her society by this interior design project.
Antika project is named after the Arabic word “antique”.
It aims to encourage people to be creative and to recycle their waste, to turn it into something beautiful, to decorate their home.
“Doaa” has started a crowdfunding campaign on “Zoomaal”, to turn her idea into a reality and to reach more people.
It is clear that businesses that use green methods in their production methods or sell sustainable products experience an increase in their profits.
Whether you operate your company on a small scale or a large scale, you can start going green by encouraging your team to turn off unused devices after finishing their work.
In fact, greening your business will not happen overnight, it takes time to implement this approach.
You have to monitor this continuously by yourself, to ensure that everything is on the green track.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Native American proverb.
Achieving the goal of sustainability and protecting the earth is enough motive for all of us.
Because it is under risk of the depletion of resources, so we have to save our environment for our future generations.