Historically, “going green” has been little more than a fantasy for the majority of businesses.
Despite all the best intentions, adopting environmental initiatives was a luxury afforded only to companies that could afford it, and whose dedication to helping the planet outweighed the extra costs they would need to swallow up.
But times have changed. Sustainable businesses are no longer a novelty: they’re now an integral part of the business landscape. And one of the most exciting aspects of this grand change is that it might actually benefit your business beyond the feel-good factor.
We’ve outlined 3 reasons why you should be adopting environmental initiatives in your business.
1. Renewable energies are getting much cheaper
One of the main barriers stopping businesses from going green was that renewable energy was typically a lot more expensive than non-renewable fossil fuels.
However, the last decade or so has seen prices for renewable energies plummet — and the trend is set to continue. A recent report created by the International Renewable Energy Agency found that at the current trajectory of energy rates, renewable energies will be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020.
Part of the reason for this dramatic drop in price is the astronomical growth in investment in sustainable technologies. In 2017, for example, global investment in renewable energies went to a staggering $316bn, while investment into fossil fuels trailed behind at just $117bn.
When buying renewable energy, going local is usually cheaper than importing it; plus, you can reduce the amount of fuel required to get your energy to your location.
You can buy energy that has been created from renewable sources — like solar energy, wind power, biogeneration and hydropower — by switching to eco-friendly UK suppliers like Green Energy, Good Energy and Ecotricity.
2. You can get additional funding
To help encourage businesses to be more environmentally friendly, the Carbon Trust has created a bold new initiative: the Green Business Fund.
The fund is offering up to £5,000 to small and medium-sized businesses who need financial support to buy energy-saving equipment. That might be a new lighting system or more efficient air conditioning equipment for your offices.
The fund is available for a limited period of time on a first-come-first-served basis. If you’re an SME in England, Scotland or Wales, you can register your interest now.
It’s also worth noting that businesses in energy-intensive or IPPC-regulated industries can also benefit from tax breaks in the form of a Climate Change Agreement (CCA). A CCA is an agreement between your business and the government that states you’ll do everything in your power to make your business’s energy consumption more efficient.
Companies with a CCA get discounts on the Climate Change Levy (CCL), a tax applied to electricity, gas and fossil fuels. From April 2019, those discounts will go up to 93% for electricity and 78% for gas.
3. You can attract more customers and new staff
Many of the world’s biggest brands like Coke and Nike are pledging their allegiance to green initiatives — and it’s not hard to figure out why. According to Environmental Leader, a report from the Natural Marketing Institute found that 58% of consumers consider a company’s environmental impact in choosing where to purchase goods and services.
That’s a lot of business that you could be missing out on.
By attracting a broader audience of customers, adopting environmental initiatives can help you increase revenue, providing a tangible financial benefit to going green.
It’s also worth considering how this will impact your ability to recruit new talent. Research suggests that Millennials want to work for employers committed to values and ethics that include being environmentally responsible, so green businesses have a better shot at attracting candidates that could take their company to the next level.
Switching how you consume your energy is just one way in which you can give your business a makeover. Find out how you can easily rejuvenate your office with a few key design decisions, and head to our blog to check out a range of green office ideas.