REAPING THE BENEFITS OF GOING GREEN

Today environment consciousness is very high among customer’s environment and stakeholders. There is no reason why your business should be left behind in this wave of environmental consciousness. Globally more and more businesses especially in the interiors sector are becoming environmentally conscious. Many interior designers are churning our environmentally friendly products like paints and are also using environmentally friendly raw materials in designing a structure.

 

Going green is not just a fad as it has many benefits for businesses and the public as a whole. The first obvious benefit is to the public. The public stands to benefit in the long run if more organizations adopted environmental conscious policies. One of the major threats to the society is environmental degradation. Going green increases the sustainability and longetivity of the environment. Going green benefits workers and persons in direct contact with your business. Diseases caused by pollutants are significantly reduced when an organization decides to go green. During the industrial revolution, the working conditions were so poor that there was very high mortality arising from dangerous pollutants and emissions. The other category of people that stand to gain when an organization goes green are the end users of the products and services that an organization has to offer.

 

However it’s not only the public that wins from the adoption of environmentally conscious policies. Your business shall also gain from the adoption of these policies. As a direct result of going green, profitability is increased. Adoption of energy saving policies and recycling of waste material greatly reduces costs. A business that uses recycled materials incurs less costs than one that does not. This in the long run increases the profitability of such an enterprise.

 

Going green enhances a business’s ‘public image. The public would like to associate itself with a company that cares about its environment. Going green increases a businesses’worth in the eyes of environment activists. On the converse side a business that is not environment conscious in its operations risks a negative public image and in some cases closure due to actions by activists.

 

Going green enhances the brand image of your business. Products that are manufactured with recycled material or adopt some other form of environment friendly manufacturing process are likely to sell more with persons who appreciate the environment. Lately real estate developers have been putting up units that take into adhere to environmental conservation. These units are really selling and demand for them is high. Going green helps a business differentiate its products from its competitors’. Going green can be adopted as a means of launching different and innovative products in the market. I attended a show where pencils made from recycled newspapers were on sale. The products were different and innovative even to the persons who were not environmentally conscious. Everyone was impressed and the exhibitor made a lot of sales as the concept was innovative.

 

Going green helps a business attain a competitive advantage over its competitors. Every business has something unique about it and if it capitalises on that uniqueness then it can build an advantage for itself. Perhaps it’s time that more Kenyan businesses went green because this is not a concept that has been fully embraced in the market. Going green will help smaller businesses compete with larger businesses that have not adopted environmentally friendly policies.

 

Going green has its indirect advantages in corporate finance and globalization. Investors, particularly foreign investors are more willing to invest in an enterprise that has sound environmental policies. It is ironical that the persons who are most interested with conversation of our own environment are foreigners. Many movies have been made about the struggle between environmentalists and corporates particularly in areas like Lake Naivasha and the Maasai Mara. A business that adopts sound environment policies is bound to have a better rating in the global market.

 

So what should you keep in mind when going green? Firstly it is important to undertake a due diligence on operations and other process of the business to establish sources of environmental pollution and come up with principles that enhance environment conservation. It would be prudent to hire a technical expert in these regards. Some simple steps like using energy saving bulbs would go a long way in cutting costs.

 

It is important to ensure that there is maximum adherence to environmental laws. If a business is in manufacturing or other sector that directly impacts on the environment then the necessary licenses and regulations should be sort. For real estate developers before commencing a development ensure that the go ahead is issued by the regulatory authority. Where possible, the local community should be involved in the project. It is now a constitutional right guaranteed by the New Constitution that everyone has the right to a clean and healthy environment.  Your business can save itself a lot of trouble and litigation by ensuring maximum adherence to the Constitution.

 

The business should then set up the policies, systems and operations supporting its decision to go green. The policies should be sold to staff and other stakeholders. Finally the business should capitalise on the fact that it has gone green in its marketing and advertising strategies so as to derive maximum benefits from this.

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