Understanding Your Environmental Impact
The world is changing fast. Factors such as climate change and the shrinking availability of natural resources will shape the markets of the future. Our growing population, the demand for more resources, and our ever-evolving lifestyles drive a large part of that environmental change. But every business can help make a difference. Here’s how you can better understand your environmental impact.
Why should I care about my environmental impact?
Environmental sustainability refers to the ability of our ecosystem to remain productive and healthy over time; and there is a growing demand by consumers and governmental agencies for businesses to respond to the changes.
According to Greenbiz – there are 5 key reasons why every business should care about this:
- It will impact every business, big or small: Soon, every company will need to pay attention to their environmental impact in order to stay in business. Pressure to disclose how your business addresses environmental issues will continue to grow.
- A commitment to sustainability could drive more business: Sticking to an environmentally sustainable business policy and following trends set by larger companies can put you ahead of the curve. It also may attract a demographic of customers you wouldn’t target regularly.
- It can save on your bottom line: Worried about cost? With energy prices on the rise, a good place to start is with your energy consumption. Energy efficient practices can save your business money in the long run. Energy Star has some great advice on easy ways to get started.
- It can add to your top line through innovation and collaboration: Combining with other small businesses in your community is great way to spread the word and get others on board. Small businesses tend to be more creative and flexible so partnering up with other local businesses can help spark ideas and rally the community behind sustainability. New ideas are attractive and can lead to new products or services that will propel your business forward.
- New talent will be attracted, retained, and engaged: By developing a sustainability strategy, you can attract a new generation of workers who are keen to work for an environmentally friendly company.
How can I better understand my environmental impact?
Firstly, know the law. The Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies enforce environmental laws. These regulations can impact your business at any time.
Second, know your carbon footprint. There are some simple, informative tools to help you calculate the carbon footprint of your business; like this one from the University of California, Berkley – Cool Climate Network.
Finally, come up with a plan. It can be as simple as the old adage: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Going green can be easier than you think.
And remember to seek out tax breaks for energy saving initiatives and options for financial assistance. Develop a plan that is mutually beneficial for your business and the environment.