why your business should Go Green! (part 1)

The concept of green has long been associated with a class of outsiders that would have us go back in time to live in the ages where the evenings were dark and cold and the joys of technology had never been discovered. They protested against big industrial corporations destroying the earth in the name of profit, these people were small in number and perhaps defined by a generalisation that they are the kind of personalities that go against the grain no matter what the issue.

Today we still face the terror of having unmanned corporations driving blindly with only the motive of more money for their shareholders, there is no conscience in their actions and our world is being swallowed up at an exponential rate, the difference is however that we are very rapidly approaching a tipping point where consumers and the general public are accepting the fact that our consumption is destroying the earth and the limited unrenewable resources that our society is built on are are going to run thin in the near future and eventually run out. The tipping point theme is that it is time to GO GREEN.

This consumer awareness means that businesses will have to change now and into the future, do you want to be a market leader or market follower?

For a business the reality is that green takes time and many believe money. So while I am sure many more businesses want to green up they are struggling to find the business case during this potentially double dip recession. What I want to tell you today is that as a business owner going green does not have to cost you tons of money and what you are doing is actually making your entire operation more attractive, more efficient, more competitive and preparing it for the future, you are future proofing it against the inevitable rise in prices of resources like non renewable energies, water and the actual cost of pollution. Start small but start today, use the fact that you are GOING GREEN to your advantage to differentiate yourself from your competitors because if you don't someone is going to and you are going to get left behind.

Taking that first step:

Identify how you want to go green, there are two obvious ways; the first is to begin selling green products opening yourself up to a growing market of consumers and businesses that want to go green themselves. According to environmentalleader.com the number of Americans who buy green products went from 12% in 2007 to 36% in 2008. By early 2009 this figure had risen to 82% with four out of five Americans saying they were buying just as many green products as normal ones despite the recession, all things equal if a choice had to be made between a normal product and a green product they would buy the green item every time. Secondly you implement green practices and principles into your business operations, this will future proof your business as well as gain favour with your customers and employees. This is referred to as triple bottom line return where a business who takes positive environmentally sustainable action will see differentiation from competitors, increases in profitability and an improvement in the environment.

A carbon constrained world:

The Global carbon market is worth $ 30 billion and is estimated to grow to $ 1 trillion within the next 10 years so surely this is something that you want to be a part of. Gold and fossil fuels are not the only investment to be made, you could look to begin earning carbon credits to trade with larger corporations now and in the future. Carbon credits are going to be needed by large energy intensive companies and for many businesses reducing your carbon output could result in money in the bank. Every ton of carbon that is reduced is equal to 1 carbon credit so if you reduce your carbon below set emission quota's you will be able to sell these credits, saving money on not having to burn fossil fuels as well as earning money selling your business's resulting credits. note. this is more of an ideal way the carbon market works, the reality is that any potential credits need to be approved first and this application process is rather tedious but as the market builds so will the mechanisms that create these credits hopefully making it easier for the smaller business to benefit from their environmental efforts. I will explain more in a separate article.

Tomorrow I am going to round off this discussion with points put down by Graeme Codrington a futurist at consultancy firm TomorrowToday on a list of huge advantages that going green will give your business but for today I want you as a consumer and business owner or employee to marinade on some of the glaringly obvious reasons mentioned above as to why your business should Go Green. The world is changing, the consumer is changing, the price of cheap resources are changing and so should YOU!

Monster Original FTGM: paving the way to sustainability.
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