Before March of 2020, the pressure was mounting for businesses across nearly every industry to adopt sustainability practices, including reducing energy consumption, recycling, and reducing the usage of consumable products within the workplace. For some businesses, this change included investing in new, high-efficiency equipment, or capital expenditure in remodeling or retrofitting their facilities with everything from renewable energy systems to improving the thermal efficiency of their building.
Enter one pandemic.
Many planned sustainability programs are halted as companies scramble to solve productivity and supply chain issues. While productivity challenges with remote versus on-site workforce have mostly been addressed, supply chain issues continue to abound, and inflation is a moving target for the economy, is now the time to abandon costly green initiatives?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the risks and rewards of staying the course and moving forward with sustainability.
Cost of Going Green
Any green initiative, whether it’s a new energy system or on-site recycling program, comes with an initial cost. This is the primary reason that some businesses have been hesitant to adopt sustainability practices in the first place. But what many don’t realize is that sustainable practices often save money in the long run. For example, a business that invests in a solar energy system will see a return on investment (ROI) in as little as 3-5 years. And, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, every $1 spent on energy efficiency saves businesses an average of $2-$3.
If long-term savings aren’t enough, there are also several tax incentives and rebates available for businesses that adopt green practices. Incentives and rebates can defray the cost of going green, making it more affordable for companies to make the switch.
Sustainability Breeds New Opportunities
From eco-friendly incentives to eligibility for public contracts, never before has sustainability been more in vogue. Sustainability has become a key differentiator for businesses across industries bidding on new projects. If your company is looking for an edge in the market, greening your business may be the answer.
But it’s not just about winning new business. Sustainability can also help businesses build and maintain customer loyalty. In a study conducted by Cone Communications, 86% of consumers said they would be willing to reward companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact with their loyalty.
What’s more, sustainability can help businesses attract and retain top talent. In the same Cone Communications study, nearly 9 in 10 respondents said they would consider leaving their job to work for a company that is socially and environmentally responsible.
With green initiatives often come new green jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be nearly 3.5 million green jobs in the United States by 2030. If your business is looking to add to its workforce, consider implementing sustainable practices to help make your company more attractive to green job seekers.
Weighing the Risks and Rewards
No business decision is without risk, but when it comes to greening your business, the rewards often outweigh the risks. From cost savings to new opportunities, there are plenty of reasons to make sustainability a priority for your business. So, if you’ve been thinking about going green, now may be the time to take the plunge.
Of course, funding your sustainability projects such as new equipment acquisition, or ensuring healthy cash flow during a transition can be challenging for any business. At ENGS, we offer more flexible and faster funding solutions than your bank. Talk to an ENGS representative today to learn how we can help Move Your [Green] Business Forward.