Preserving the environment nowadayshas become more important than ever. The rising pollution, global warming, andan increase in natural disasters are all signs that we need to stop and take action right now.
For all these years, capitalism and the global giants have been eating up the environment. According to a recent report, only 100 companies are responsible for the world’s 71 percent of global emissions. The highest emitters include BP, Chevron, Shell and Exxon Mobil. The report also pointed out that if fossil fuels are extracted at the same rate over the next 28 years, global temperature will rise by 4 degrees. This will be devastating for the environment. Hence, now it is more than important for any company to be environmentally friendly. Here are some other benefits that your company can achieve by going green.
A better image
When a company takes care of the environment, it creates a favorable image in the minds of its consumers. Millennials, especially, are insisting brands to be socially responsible. In a survey, 87 percent of the millennials said that they would be more loyal to a greener company. This is because it helps them contribute to the society and environment.
British Petroleum tried hard to establish itself as an environmentally friendly company. In 2000, it launched a strong PR and advertising campaign to promote its image. The campaign worked,and its brand awareness increased from 4 percent to 67 percent in 2007. However, the entire effort was reversed in 2010 when a rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers. It was termed as one of the worst environmental disasters of all times. The negative impact was seen as gas stations witnessed a drop in sales and the share price tumbled by 55 percent.
A great example of an environmentally friendly company is IKEA. The brand isone of the top 50 World’s Most Valuable Brands. While one of the reasons is its low price and innovative design, the company is also environmental friendly. 50 percent of its wood comes from sustainable forester. And it gets its cotton from farms that meet the quality standards in terms of better chemical, water,and energy use. Also, the company has 700,000 solar panels that power its stores,andit has plans to completely switch to renewable energy by 2020.
No threat of lawsuits
With time environmental laws have become stricter, and companies that don’t adhere to it are bound to face the consequences. For example, Shell has often come under the limelight for its environmental mishaps. Recently, an environmental group threatened the company to shift to sustainable energy,or it would be cuffed with lawsuits regarding the environment and human rights. The company was also dragged to the court after it spilled oil in Nigeria. The environmental group demanded that the company should be held accountable for the historical emissions that it has released in the air between 1854 and 2010.
A similar thing happened with Volkswagen. The Environmental Protection Agency found out that the company was cheating on its emissions test. Subsequently, the car manufacturer had to recall most of the cars due to which it posted its first quarterly loss of €2.5bn. The company was further threatened by a penalty of $18 billion.
The best part about going green is a lower tax bill and hence reduced costs. Governments give preferential treatment to companies that adopt environmentally friendly policies. The tax incentive varies from state to state.
Governments usually give tax credits, which mean that if you spend $100 on green things, then your tax will be cut down by $100. Usually, the tax credit for solar energy is 30 percent,andit is 10 percent for geothermal and microturbines.
Apart from lower taxes, businesses can also lower their cost of operations by going green. One of the simplest ways to go green is by reducing paper usage. A company can do that by moving its system online and on the cloud. This will reduce the amount of paper waste and purchase.
Another way a company can reduce its cost is by saving on utility bills. A company can change its fixtures to energy-efficient LED bulbs. LED bulbs last for more than 20 years,and they use less energy for working.
Moreover, a company can work on water saving initiatives. Water saving initiatives are not only better for the environment, but also for the company in terms of costs. A survey conducted by research analyst Ethical Corporation found out that 99 percent of the corporate sustainability managers give priority to water saving initiatives. Sainsbury’s, a leading grocery chain in the UK, managed to save $2.4 million by fixing leaks and reducing toilet water capacity.
Ford is also working on its water saving schemes. “Ford’s host of projects to achieve measurable reductions in water use have been acknowledged as world-leading for the past two years by CDP, an international company which is driving sustainable economies,” the company said in a statement.
Ford is one of the few companies that have been given A grade rating. It is the only motor company in the US that has been given this recognition. The company has also invested more than $21 million in water waste plant in South Africa. The technology helps the company to recycle the water used in manufacturing processes.
With increasing awareness, customers now prefer brands that are socially and environmentally friendly. Moreover, in today’s era, it is easier to be eco-friendly. The cost of going green is decreasing. Solar panels cost, for example, has gone down considerably and the Scoop site shows that going solar leads to further cost savings.
Going green has become a necessity for a company rather than an option, and well there is no harm in this. In fact, there are so many advantages. Companies that indulge in practices that harm the environment cannot hide their malpractices for long. This is because environmental groups and government rules and regulations are always on the watch.