Business Culture Turning Green
The pursuit of green—as in money—is always a priority for a small business. But a majority of small businesses now recognize the importance of another kind of green, namely, environmental preservation and energy efficiency.
According to the 2013 Office Depot Small Business Index, the four main ways small businesses are showcasing their sustainability (with percentages for each) are and transmitting a Business Culture Turning Green:
- Recycling (72 percent)
- Reducing waste (59 percent)
- Buying energy efficient products (58 percent)
- Buying recycled products (57 percent)
Shifting your business hue to green is more than an ethical decision. A landmark 2013 nationwide survey of more than 1,300 small business owners by Green America, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, and EcoVentures International called The Big Green Opportunity For Small Business in the U.S. found that:
- The green economy is expanding. From organics to fair trade to clean energy, sustainable products and services have moved from the fringe to industry norms, and forward-thinking companies are capturing significant market advantages.
- Green operational efficiency is going mainstream. Changes range from double-sided laser printing to lighting system redesigns to solar panel installations.
- Demand for green products and services is growing. Customers actually prefer green businesses. Companies that are catering to this demand report that they can charge an average of 19 percent more for sustainable products and services.
- A green support network has emerged. More than 160 green certification programs and more than 35 specialty industry trade organizations have come on the scene since 2001.