Green Your Wedding, Green Your Business, Green Your Life
Learn How Going Green Can Save Money
Let's review the short and long term costs associated with going green.
We will give you examples of how going green can save your business money.
This will include the concept of “TCO” and how to justify greener purchases in your business.
We will cover the concept of “Greenwashing” and the serious detriment it can be to your business.
Myth: Going Green will cost my business more money
Many small businesses think in terms of short term cash flow.
The challenge comes in retraining small businesses to think in terms of the long term benefits.
Some measures, such as recycling and reducing waste cost little or no up front money, and can reduce your waste disposal costs.
Green products can cost more short term money up front, but will typically save money in the long term.
If you do it right, you can save money and save the planet at the same time.
Assess each of your purchases to determine where going green is a more cost effective choice for your business.
The cost savings from reducing your energy usage is exponential.
Not only will your electric bills go down, you may save enough energy each month to move to a lower rate tier with your electric company.
Computers are a very big energy consumer. Make sure to enable all power management features on computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers.
The cost of not going green
The reality of today’s green market trend is that if you ignore the trend or choose not to go green, it can cost you customers and potentially cost you your business!
Your image in the community is at stake.
Consumers are leaning more towards green products and services, which can hurt your business you if you aren’t going green.
“Greenwashing” – The cost of faking it
Consumers are smart and their perception of your values is an important factor.
They can see right through token attempts to go green, and will pass you by if they detect that you aren’t truly committed to going green.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool that can help make or break a business.
If you decide to go green, research it, commit the right resources to it, and do it right.
Never Greenwash your marketing materials or advertising. It can and will backfire on you.
Myth: It is overwhelming, too complex, costly and will take too much time
Do you think the goal of going green exceeds your ability or capacity to implement the changes required?
Do you think that constraints on money or time will keep you from taking action? Take small steps.
You don’t have to become green overnight. Many areas of the company may not understand the need to change or may resist change.
They may come up with all sorts of reasons not to change, most of which are based on the fear of changing their ways.
Businesses must change to stay competitive. Overcome fear and obstacles. Be patient and persistent. Once people start to see the benefits, they will join in.
TCO: Choosing Green Can Save Money Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is an evaluation of how much you will pay for an item over the entire life of the product.
This is an important measure for a green business because if you compare two similar items before a purchase, the greener item may look like it will cost more initially.
A TCO analysis may show that a greener option saves you money in the long term.
TCO Example 1: Is wooden deck material a “greener” choice than a composite material made of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood?
If you are replacing a wooden deck, and a plank of redwood costs $10 and a plank of recycled composite costs $15, you can quickly do the math and figure the entire deck would cost 50% more to go with the composite.
On the surface, your initial thought of “going green” might be that wood is a more natural choice than composite.
However, if you take into account the entire life of the product, the deck wood will require staining periodically, will only last for 15 years, and will require hazardous disposal (due to the chemicals in the stain).
The composite product retains its appearance, does not require staining, lasts 30 years, is made from recycled materials that can be recycled at end of its useful life, and does not require hazardous disposal.
During the 30 years, you would have to replace the chemically-treated wood deck twice, costing 50% more than the composite.
If you add the cost of periodic staining and labor to install it twice over the 30 year period, the wooden deck will cost you even more.
The cost to the environment of cutting down trees and disposing of the hazardous treated wood is immeasurable.
TCO Example 2: Compact Florescent Lights
CFLs may cost more initially, but they will reduce energy usage significantly and last longer than incandescent bulbs.
They come in a variety of form factors to fit just about any lamp or fixture.
Example 3: Failure to change to meet market needs can be a recipe for business failure
Some legacy film photographers won’t change to digital cameras.
They have always done it that way and they see no reason to change.
They stick with the old business model of taking pictures, providing “proofs”, keeping the negatives and charging for every print.
The market has moved toward digital images and the Internet.
Many of these legacy photographers are finding their customers have left them and have switched to more modern photographers who provide the digital images.
I spoke to a woman who runs bridal fairs.
She told me that she has been slowly losing her long-standing photographers over the past five years, some due to the prevalence of digital cameras and some because they would not switch away from film and the legacy photography business model.
I have seen many long-standing brick and mortar photography studios go out of business in the past few years.
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