How the environment impacts your business

We’re in a state of crisis – smog fills city streets, swathes of urban Japan don hygiene masks to avoid tainting their lungs, fracking is set to start in the UK and threatens to destroy the eco-system, and the poles on either side of the earth are melting like an ice block trapped in a kiln.

And while some corporations continue to drag their feet, many big businesses are making slow but steady progress in the name of being eco-friendly. Major companies like Tesco, B&Q and Asda have all implemented carbon efficiency programmes – and enjoyed rises in their profits.

By expending less energy, business keep more of their profits. Yet the initial cost of implementing these costs can make some bosses uneasy.

An increasing number of companies, generally those on the smaller end of the scale, even sell themselves on their ethical and eco-friendly ethos.

Take cosmetics company Lush as a perfect example. The winner of the Observer Ethical Awards 2014, it wears its consciousness for the environment on its sleeve, contributing costs to helping farmlands and maintaining a commitment to Fair Trade.

Moreover, it’s set to rake in more than £486million this year – in part, because of its green concerns.

Smaller businesses, however, still drag their feet. Some are under the thrall of large energy companies, some are cynical about the impact eco-friendly trading will have on business and some simply don’t see the benefits of a greener world.

Their reservations are understandable – as the government cuts spending for onshore wind farms, the mood towards green energy appears to be souring in favour of fracking and fossil fuels.

But if you want to move your company beyond a sputtering Dickensian chimney stack, what should you consider?

Where are you located?

Finding a shop to let with an effective energy rating is only possible on higher quality property sites. But the right kind of property, especially if it’s already fitted with energy saving appliances, could make your rent well worth the price.

Energy is one of the largest outgoings for any company. If you don’t check your property’s efficiency policy, you won’t just be creating a larger carbon footprint – you’ll be footing an exorbitant bill at the end of every month.

Are your staff on board?

Your staff are a vital part of any eco-project. If they’re cynical about your plans to recycle, for example, how can you expect them to get on board with more radical changes in the right direction?

Try to explain lucidly to your staff why you’re implementing every change, and how they can affect your company for the better. When the less easily convinced members of staff se the positive impact your changes will have on staff, they’ll soon change their mind.

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