More and more companies are going green. What started out as a small idea supported by a few has become a global initiative aimed at protecting the environment.
But going green doesn’t just help take care of Mother Earth — it also helps businesses in many ways. If your organization hasn’t made the move yet, here are just some of the benefits you’re missing out on:
1. New customers
Many people are now conscious of their roles in mitigating climate change. They buy organic products, ride their bicycles, join carpools, and put their trash in proper recycle bins. They also choose to patronize companies that make the environmental protection a top priority. If your organization goes green, you’ll be able to tap into this part of the market and gain a new set of customers that you otherwise can’t get.
2. Positive image
A positive image brings in favorable media attention, and exhibiting corporate responsibility is an effective way to gain that kind of image. According to a survey by D S Simon Productions, a leading media and business communications company, “media initiatives with a corporate social responsibility focus generates 35-50% more positive media coverage on television, radio, web and social media than comparable programs without the CSR hook.” Environmental protection is a form of corporate social responsibility, so going green will generate more good publicity for your organization.
3. Reduced costs
Going paperless is a popular example of a green initiative. Because of technology, you can transfer most of your organization’s processes to digital format. Instead of sending out paper pay stubs, you can send them to employees via email. Instead of storing employee data in folders locked in cabinet files, you can save them in a secure human resource management system like PeopleSoft. These are just a few areas where you can go paperless. If you employ this initiative across your whole organization, you’ll save a lot of money on paper usage costs – and save trees, too.
4. Healthy workplace
Your employees are your biggest resources, so it only makes sense to include them in your green initiative. Going green is not just about using technology to digitize processes; it’s also about returning to the basics. Google is one example of a green company that puts importance on health. The search engine giant serves free organic food to its employees — and this is just one of the many perks they get to enjoy. No wonder Google got its reputation as one of the best companies to work for. Whether you decide to do the same for your employees or start with something simpler like improving air quality through the use of high-efficiency furnaces, going green can lead to a healthier workplace, and therefore, happier employees.
5. Tax breaks
If you’re in the United States, your organization can enjoy tax breaks for going green. The U.S. government encourages businesses to employ sustainability programs and grants compliant companies with incentives. But according to a 2012 survey by Enrst & Young, one of the world’s largest professional service firms, many companies don’t know about tax breaks, and majority of those that do don’t take advantage of them. It’s such a loss on potential savings, so make sure to take a look into your state’s offered credits and use them to your organization’s advantage.
These five reasons are why you should seriously consider moving toward a green direction. Once you’ve made the decision, make sure to start with your board and set it as an example for your whole organization. If charity begins at home, then corporate responsibility begins in the boardroom.
Begin by transitioning your board from paper-based board meetings to board portal solutions like BoardVantage, Boardbooks, BoardPad, and Convene. These applications digitize the whole meeting process, doing away with paper altogether. You don’t have to use paper to print heavy board packs and other meeting-related files, not when you have a board portal that all board members can securely access. All they’ll ever need is an iPad, iPhone, or an Android or Windows device and Internet connection, and they’ll be able to read meeting documents and collaborate with other board members.
With a board portal, you’ll also save on travel costs. Board members can choose to attend board meetings even when they are in remote locations, so this option eliminates the need to spend on gas and other expenses related to transportation and lodging. This is a great way to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint.
Going green is a corporate responsibility, but it’s not only Mother Earth who wins when you take the challenge. Your organization comes out as a winner, too.