Green is the new black

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Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Businesses of all sizes are going green. Many are using green initiatives like using recycled materials, getting energy from sustainable sources and overall trying to reduce their impact. Usually, when businesses undertake these initiatives, they remind their competitors, consumers and the general public about their efforts in marketing and advertising materials. Often, organizations are expected to do the minimum to be green. 

One of the biggest driving reasons behind green initiatives is that it saves money in the long run. Overhauling an entire operation can cost a lot of money up-front. However, when you look into the future of your business, you’ll see that the potential for saving valuable resources can be immense. One example is LED lights costs significantly less than incandescent light bulbs, both in the initial purchase and actually using them. Renewable energy was fairly expensive when it first became available but it’s only become cheaper and cheaper as the years have gone by. Aside from the inherent savings, there are various government initiatives and grants which green businesses can benefit from, such as the ones operated by NYSERDA. As green solutions become more affordable and cost-effective, we’re expected to see more and more stragglers going green.

Another big reason why going green has become a given is consumers recognize green companies. Consumers with a fervent interest in the environment were taking the time to look into the business and find out just how eco-friendly they really were. As this became more and more common, marketing materials focussed on touting green initiatives became less distinguishing. Ask any good marketer these days, and they’ll tell you that explicitly “green” marketing isn’t effective. With greater accessibility to the internet, people are doing their own research and making up their own minds.

 

Done well, green business-ification can stimulate innovation and growth. When a business goes green, the leadership may start looking for newer, more efficient means of making the operation tick. Also, once you find one way of saving money, it can become addictive! Green business isn’t all about using solar panels or energy-saving lightbulbs. Businesses can also cut down their energy usage and emissions by making simple changes, such as streamlining their manufacturing, optimizing delivery routes, and using greener packaging options.

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