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The Benefits of Being Green
  • 25 April 2019
  • Maya Harper

The Benefits of Being Green

Seeing green this Earth Day? You are not alone. The past decade has seen “sustainability” become one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world, which has left companies of all sizes clamoring to evolve their environmental practices to ensure that they are operating as responsibly as possible when it comes to the planet.

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There is good reason behind this influx of green. Sustainable business practices are not only great for the environment, but they could help you see green when it comes to profits too. Consumers, especially millennials, seek out businesses and brands that support the same things they do. By 2020, almost half of the working-age population will be made up of millennials, 73% of whom say they are willing to spend more on sustainable goods. So how can you revitalize your own practices to appeal to this group of consumers that is primed to make environmentally friendly decisions? It is easier than it seems. Here are some steps that can help make your business more sustainable starting tomorrow and lasting long into the future.

1. Waste less, save more

Going green can feel like a big undertaking, so it helps to start small by minimizing waste around your workspace. This can be as easy as ensuring there is a recycling bin next to every trash can, printing double-sided or even going paperless whenever possible. Do not forget electric waste: When you sign off for the day, make sure to shut off anything that might use lots of electricity, like computers, printers, heaters and lights. This may sound like a no-brainer, but according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, making small tweaks to your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning habits could reduce the average small business energy bill by up to 30%, which means there is a lot of money to be saved by committing to a p.m. power-down every day. To take it a step further, consider investing in energy-efficient office equipment, especially lightbulbs. Even little steps like these are likely to have a big impact over time on both your carbon footprint and your bottom line.

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2. Gather a sustainability support crew

As you think about introducing greener practices to your business, it helps to have a support system to keep you committed. If you have employees or business partners, try out some motivating strategies to get them involved and invested in sustainability efforts. Additionally, aligning your company or product with businesses that have similar environmentally friendly goals will help you build a community that is dedicated to keeping things green. Look into partnering with local environmental organizations, fellow small businesses or even larger companies working to reducing carbon footprints. When it comes to a partner in packing, shipping, printing or other small business office needs, look no further: The UPS Store and UPS are dedicated to environmental responsibility, so you can count on us to back up your commitment.

3. Look to the future

Businesses do not turn green overnight. While some steps can be instituted in days or weeks, there are others that require longer-term planning. However, this does not mean you should shy away from these bigger initiatives. In fact, they have the power to make your business more agile and potentially more profitable over time. Take the time to create a sustainability plan that lays out the right goals for your business’s eco-friendly future, and formulate a road map to get you there. For example, you might pledge to decrease your business’s trash output by 30% over the next year or institute a telecommuting policy one day a week to cut down on carbon emissions. Building a sustainable business is likely to feel much less intimidating when you have the right plan in place, especially with benchmarks you can use to track your progress.

4. Share your sustainability message

Once you have taken steps to revitalize your business practices, do not let your efforts go unnoticed. Customers will be interested to know what you are doing to help support conservation, and incorporating sustainability messaging into your marketing materials is a great way to spread the word about your work toward cleaner practices. Be specific in your messaging by making concrete claims, as opposed to generalizations, to help audiences understand that by supporting your business, they are making a tangible difference. The UPS Store provides marketing services specifically tailored to small business needs so you can ensure that your commitment to sustainability is being communicated in the right way.

Though you may not have the resources of larger companies attempting to overhaul their carbon footprints, in this case bigger is not always better: as a small business owner you have the power and agility to make real change when it comes to your business. It may not always be easy being green, but it is rewarding and is likely to have powerful implications. As always, The UPS Store is here to help with any management needs you may have, making sure you are on the right track toward a greener future.

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