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Small Business Goes Green

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3 Reasons to make your business Eco-friendly

Environmental concerns are a hallmark of a developed nation. The concerns with making the world a better place, environmentally, for our children and their children is a running theme for entrepreneurs since the concept was invented.

In our modern era, being an entrepreneur is to be an innovator who isn’t afraid to take risks in the business world, much like the barons – whether steel, railroad, shipping or whatever – of the 19th century. The world, however, has changed since that time. Society is concerned with issues of justice and conservation.

A little history

As mankind, we want to see the end of economic slavery and the destruction of our planet. When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded, nearly 50 years ago, it was considered a landmark decision by the government in taking care of our planet.

The EPA was created unilaterally in the United States. Our nation was concerned with cleaning up our own backyard and the problems we had then were severe enough that extranational pressure was unnecessary. There were no pollution accords or treaties or agreements that extended past our own borders.

The United States government worked with industry to curb the worst excesses and business leaders saw the advantage of going green, or at least of paying lip service to the concept, when touting their products. Real advances were made and many of the worst pollution problems in the United States were resolved.

The situation today

But, that was in the early 1970s and the world is a little different, now. At least the politicians are trying to convince us it is a different. Many of the same concerns that led to conflict between the reactionary ‘hippies’ of the late 60s and the state are similar to the ones that drive green agendas today.

Although many of the problems were resolved – the Cuyahoga River hasn’t caught fire in decades – there are still ongoing concerns that, very much like the Cuyahoga River fire, have mixed the truth and the myth in equal measures. Modern entrepreneurs must take into account the desires of conservationists when creating and expanding their business.

Why going green will help your bottom line

Going green makes sense for conservation reasons and for growing your customer base. Killing two metaphorical birds with one stone has many advantages for a business, they include:

  • It saves money. The bottom line is the most important part of a budget and any way to keep to it should be explored. Energy Star efficient appliances and lightbulbs may not save you much money per unit, but they do add up. Making your office paperless saves money on paper, printing costs, filing cabinets, storage facilities and staff to track and maintain paper.
  • Tax advantages. Minimizing your taxes is the equivalent of getting free money from the government. The Federal and state governments offer a variety of tax credits for businesses that use energy efficient equipment or methods to conduct their business.
  • Building your brand. The advantage of being known as an eco-friendly company cannot be undervalued in the modern era. Global warming and climate change are concerns for every one of us. Being a company that shares society’s climate concerns is becoming the standard for business.

There are more and more companies that could be looked at as a positive example. According to the management of DryEco, Organic dry cleaning service, “Running an eco-friendly business was one of the first decisions we made when we began. The environmental problems we have had with the Everglades, which is in our back yard, has brought the whole situation home to us.”

Being an environmentally responsible company has many advantages and few drawbacks. For entrepreneurs it is just one more challenge to be beaten on the road to success.