Going “green” is big business today. Not only is going “green” an environmentally responsible approach for businesses of all sizes to take and one that is the current rage, but going “green” can leverage profit dollars to your bottom-line too.
First, what exactly do we mean by having your business go “green”? When we talk about “green”, we mean making a concerted effort to save our natural resources concerted action. Actions such as:
- Saving on paper supplies – consider going digital for all of your internal office correspondence thereby saving on office supply costs and saving trees at the same time.
- Lowing office energy consumption – lower your thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer. Consider using an electronic programmable thermostat to lower your energy consumption when people are not in your office in the evenings and weekends.
- Recycling drink bottles – get your employees to sort their lunch trash and recycle bottles and cans. Encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives to Styrofoam cups.
- Using recycled paper – whenever possible use recycled paper in your print marketing materials saving trees and forests.
- Using biodegradable alternatives – replace plastic packaging and plastic shipping materials with new biodegradable “plastic-like” alternatives. Many of these new alternatives do not cost more and warrant your consideration.
- Driving less – drive less by consolidating the trips that you do need to make in your car saving fuel, mileage expenses, and decreasing air pollution in your city.
- Using mass transit or considering car pooling – save money, conserve our natural resources, and lower air pollution all at the same time.
- Buying Energy Star products – when you need new appliances or heating and cooling systems purchase those with the Energy Star label for increased efficiency and lower energy consumption. You’ll recover your initial investment and then start saving money in just a few years.
- Stopping the Use Aerosols – use office and beauty products that are aerosol free. Consider letting your cleaning staff know to limit the use of aerosol based cleaning products in your office as well.
- Limiting your travel by teleconferencing – not only will you minimize the pollution you would normally create in traveling but will make a significant savings on travel expenses improving your bottom-line significantly.
Although you may not be able to embrace each item in our list above, one of the biggest items that will leverage profit directly to your bottom-line is to increase your use of teleconferencing and decrease the amount of your travel both for long distance and in-town trips.
Teleconferencing provides many of the benefits of “being there” in person and now with the advent of Web conferencing (which is video with telephone conferencing combined and includes computer application sharing), putting in “face time” with a client just got significantly easier and less expensive.
When you as a business owner, do not have to pay for employee air travel, rental car expenses, hotel rooms, meals, long distance calls, mileage, and airport parking fees for even one less trip per month, the savings can be huge! Over the course of a year the potential savings and benefit to your profit can be so significant that you may change your employees to a very limited travel schedules.
What might be some of your actual cost savings? Here is just one example of actual travel expenses for an employee based in Washington DC to traveling to Groton, Connecticut for a three day business trip:
Air fare ;$400
Hotel for three nights ($120 per night) $360
Per Diem ($50 per day) $150
Airport Parking ;$50
Mileage to airport and back $20
Total Expense $980
This is just one example of a potential travel saving and is calculated at the government per diem rates. Your own company’s per diem reimbursement rate may even be higher. It is clear that not every trip can be replaced by teleconferencing, but what about the quick one day trips and meet and greet type contract reviews or routine sales calls. These can effectively be replaced by regular teleconferencing saving a business a huge amount of travel expenses over the year and leveraging a significant amount of profit to the bottom-line.
Before you comment “my clients need to have me in the same room”, consider trying out Web conferencing first. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the positive statement you make as a “green” company resonates with your clients. Your clients may appreciate your efforts and willingly embrace your change to only occasional travel and more frequent Web and teleconferencing contact in their effort to help with your company’s “green” thrust.
Going “green” can help leverage money to the bottom-line. Just how much flow-through you get simply depends on you and the efforts that you are willing to take. Web and teleconferencing are easy to try, are fairly inexpensive to use, and can leverage the most profit to the bottom-line in the long run. Consider putting a “green” face on your business and improving your bottom-line in the process.
Amy Linley gives practical and usable advice regarding communication and meetings at AccuConference.