Small businesses focus on going green

Small-business owners thinking about a solar energy installation may be in increasing numbers as companies are finding out more of the benefits of going green. While corporate responsibility can help lower utility bills, firm owners are changing their entire business models, thanks to the advantages of using green energy resources.

"Cost savings are evolving into revenue generation," Lauren Kelley Koopman, a director for PricewaterhouseCooper's Sustainable Business Solutions practice, told Business on Main. "Sustainability is next-generation business thinking because it creates value, attracts customers, retains employees and improves capital and funding."

Look beyond utility costs
Small-business owners know they can save money when using green energy, but others aren't aware of different ways firms can take advantage of the ability to go green. According to a recent survey from Office Depot, 76 percent of companies are looking into going green because of their concern for the environment and 20 percent are receiving encouragement from their staff members to invest in green initiatives. By understanding some other reasons to go green, small-business owners and their employees may be more interested in making such efforts.

"As we celebrate Earth Day, many organizations believe that going green is cost prohibitive when, in fact, the opposite is often true," said Yalmaz Siddiqui, senior director of environmental strategy at Office Depot.

Some small-business owners may think the only way to embrace sustainability is to invest in solar or wind energy installations, however, firms are doing many other things to lessen their carbon footprint. For example, the Office Depot survey showed 58 percent are buying energy efficient products, while 57 percent are making investments in recycled items.

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