8 reasons for going green
In a world that is increasingly environmentally conscious, consumers want to spend their hard-earned money on products that will not harm the planet and are made by companies that are doing their part.
However, not all businesses are ready to embrace the need for “going green.” One reason is that many executives still believe that green investments are prohibitively expensive. Nothing could be further from reality.
In many cases, the return on investment of environment-friendly technology is excellent. While the initial purchase price may be higher, this equipment will quickly pay for itself through energy savings. On a very small scale, think of traditional lightbulbs and the more expensive LED lights. Sure, the latter are more expensive but they outlast their predecessors by years and consume much less energy.
The same is true for many other green investments – on a much larger scale.
But going green has many benefits apart from the return on investment (ROI). Here are just a few.
- Energy savings are a major economic benefit. In the case of an air compressor, for example, electricity costs make up 80% of the total cost of ownership. As a result, an energy-efficient model will quickly pay for itself.
- Tax credits and other benefits. Many governments now offer tax credits and other benefits for purchasing environment-friendly technology, which speeds up ROI even more. This is especially true now that many countries have committed to meeting ambitious emissions goals in the near future. And because the industrial sector greatly contributes to an economy’s total energy consumption, offering these tax credits to manufacturers makes a lot of sense. But governments not only try to meet their emissions targets through incentives but also through more stringent regulations.
- Tighter government emission standards. Hoping to meet their climate change goals, governments are increasingly putting in place regulations to reduce pollution and promote efficiency. As a result, companies purchasing outdated equipment now may soon find themselves on the wrong side of tighter emission standards. Only investments in cutting-edge, green technology can ensure that machinery will be in compliance with new environmental rules for a long time to come.
- Going green is the right thing to do. The overwhelming majority of scientists, and study after study, tell us that the planet is warming at a rate that will radically change how humans live on it. In fact, natural disasters like droughts, wildfires, floods and storms are already gaining in strength. That’s why it is easy to see why people want the companies they buy from to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Green investments are one way to show consumers that your business shares their values and is determined to play its part in preserving a habitable earth. That does not just help the planet.
- Attracting customers and building brand loyalty. Research and polling has shown that customers increasingly value companies that help protect the environment. In the age of social media, this is especially important. Businesses do not want to be branded as polluters or as dragging their feet on switching to green technologies. Always keep in mind that nobody has been boycotted yet for consuming too little energy or being too green.
- Becoming an attractive employer. Your green investments could also end up being an investment in the next generation of skilled employees. Young people are especially concerned about the environment. That makes sense because, unless drastic actions are taken, they will feel the negative consequences that will be the result of a changing climate. If you were a bright, well-educated and/or well-trained person looking to enter the workforce or taking the next step on the career ladder, wouldn’t you prefer to work for a company that is seen as an industry leader when it comes to being environment-friendly?
- Increasing job satisfaction. Your commitment to “going green” – from using recycled products to planting trees, from subsidizing public transportation to making green investments – will increase the job satisfaction of environment conscious employees and help you retain your best workers.
- Going green means improved occupational safety and health, for example by providing cleaner air at work. That, in turn means fewer sick days and a healthier, more energetic staff.
As you can see, from direct financial benefits to marketing considerations and staff recruitment and retention, a green investment is not just a smart investment in the present but also in the future.