Going green is all the rage these days as environmental movements continue to gain traction worldwide. The Paris Agreement is a large scale agreement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions in order maintain a global temperature of no more than two degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels. This coordinated effort makes it clear that environmentalism is no longer a media fad, and that the science on global warming has indeed been heard.
Now you might think that this could cause some problems for small businesses, like yours, that cannot afford to take steps toward being more environmentally friendly. Well, as it turns out, that might not be the case. In fact, going green might actually help your business flourish. Here are some ways your small business can take environmental initiatives and make money doing it, something The Financial Times covers in depth. So here are some clever strategies your small business can employ to go green to get more green.
- LED Bulbs
If you aren’t using LEDs both at home and for your business, get on it right now! LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last 25 times as long. This will save money and energy.
- Reusable Bags
The lifespan of reusable bags is over 700 times that of plastic bags, and they are made from renewable materials. Start charging for plastic bags per customer while selling your own store branded reusable bags. Go one step further by offering a loyalty program incentive for people to shop with their reusable bags at your store. That increases sales, customer loyalty, and revenue, all while cutting down on plastic bag consumption.
Take your loyalty program even further and offer a product reward for the bag holder that brings in the most plastic bags to be recycled. Recycle the bags and get deposit money back for doing it. Gamification strategies like this can even increase brand engagement by 100-150%.
- Upcycle to Decorate
If you own a liquor store, set up a bottle deposit. Use those old bottles to create the support structure for shelves. Or if you own a clothing shop, cut up colorful damaged items of clothing and tie them into bows that can be placed around the store. Use your imagination for this.
As we’ve learned, there is a rapidly growing market for green items, and support for companies that take environmental concerns seriously see tremendous support from consumers. After going green, do a bit of rebranding to reflect your business’s commitment to the movement. Since 79% of Americans remember a business from their sign, consider incorporating green imagery into your logo and signage. The world needs to know about your environmental efforts.
When you think about it, then, going green is actually good for business. It will give you access to a whole new customer base, help you come up with clever gamification strategies, and save you a bunch of money on energy costs in the long run. All of this and you have the opportunity to increase your revenue. Sounds like going green is pretty green after all.