Businesses are making an effort to go green. Starbucks has been working on ways to go green, attracting press, saving the planet and bringing in new talent at the same time. There’s a good reason for small businesses to go green, too: tax credits and deductions.
Going solar, for example, provides a 30% tax credit for businesses while the business also benefits from lower energy costs.
Buildings that are “green” can also provide a deduction based on per square foot of a building. Energy tax benefits are available, too.
But there are more ways management can work on going green, reducing overhead and also attracting new talent.
1. Offering Commuter Benefits
Commuter benefits encourage workers to go “green” when going to work. Talent is also more likely to go with a company that offers these unique benefits. Google and Apple are both prime examples of companies that have to offer new, innovative ways to attract the best talent in the industry.
Google takes care of their employees with a Wi-Fi enabled shuttle.
Workers can connect to the shuttle’s Wi-Fi, work and be able to work during their commute. This means less time wasted commuting, less gas used and a savings for workers.
Apple tries to make a difference in their worker’s commute by providing a shuttle service to all workers to their Cupertino headquarters. If workers have to spend money on transportation, the company also offers transportation reimbursement.
But when a small business doesn’t have the ability to offer a shuttle to their employees, there are other companies you can emulate. Box is a prime example, offering a pre-tax program that offers employees options to save money on mass transit costs.
2. Remote Work Options Reduce Overhead and Waste
Remote work benefits are driving the tech industry. If a business wants to offer a key benefit to attract talent, they can offer remote options. Remote work doesn’t mean that the worker never comes in the office – depending on the company.
There are plenty of companies that will allow workers to work remotely 2 – 3 times a week if they want.
Humana has been able to boost their employee’s well-being by offering the option to work remotely. The company allows workers to be more productive, happier and healthier by working remotely.
Certain departments can offer remote work, but technology is one of the departments that seems to offer more remote work than any other.
The rise of cloud computing allows workers to collaborate together from anywhere in the world. And when working remotely, the company reduces:
- Energy costs
- Transportation fuel usage
- Employee overturn
Employees want the freedom to work from home. If the kids get sick or they have to go to the doctor, the flexibility to work from home is very beneficial. Flexible schedules are also appreciated, allowing the employee to work whenever works best for them on occasion, so that they can make it to their child’s last soccer game and finish work when they return home.
3. Charging Stations are Being Installed
New parking lot construction and store construction may have commercial charging stations built in. Whole Foods is a prime example of this, and many of their newer locations will have a few charging stations for customers.
Whole Foods knows that the company’s base is eco-friendly and may appreciate charging stations at their local supermarket.
The charging station may mean the difference between going to a competitor to purchase food. And we’re also seeing the same trend at the workplace.
Employers that install commercial charging stations are able to:
- Increase employee satisfaction
- Enhance sustainability practices
- Support electric vehicle adoption
Charging stations are a nice perk for employees that own EVs, and it’s also a benefit in an industry where EVs are becoming ever more popular.
4. Green Procurement and Practices
Businesses that want to be environmentally-friendly can do so by making their procurement process green. What this means is that the business will source products and services from suppliers that are green.
When a business decides to make their practices green, they’ll also be choosing to review their policies.
This review of policies can lead to:
- Reduction in excessive packing, wasting less and saving more
- New design concepts that reduce waste
- Moving to recyclable products and materials
- Reduction or removal of toxic materials and substances
Green procurement helps the environment, leading to better overall sustainability.
Small businesses that go green also benefit from federal grants. There’s a benefit to going green from a growth and financial aspect. When a small business goes green, they’ll gain access to:
- Small business innovation grants that are offered by the federal government. When a small business conducts research and development that is geared towards federal research and development objects, grants may be available. Small businesses may be able to apply for:
- EERE funding comes from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which will provide companies related to renewable energy or energy efficiency research with funding assistance.
Funding, often in the form of grants, is offered to small business that want to go green and work towards specific objective and goals. Green job innovation grants are also available from the Department of Labor.
Businesses are continuing to do a lot to reduce their impact on the environment, and this also includes breaking the usage of paper and cups. Encouraging employees to bring their own cups or switching to bulk containers can save companies money. Composting waste rather than throwing it in the garbage is another option.
And when items are no longer needed, even lumber, it can be given to organizations that will help the environment or less fortunate. Equipment can also be donated, rather than ending up in landfills. Habitat for Humanity does a lot of work with local communities, and the organization takes used items daily. The organization will also help build low-income housing, using the donated materials that a company offers.
When companies work with Habitat for Humanity, it’s also a great way for the business to build their brand in the local community.
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