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75 Green Businesses » saving money

Posts Tagged ‘saving money’

Greening Your Business on a Budget

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Greening Your Business on a Budget

Greening Your Business on a Budget

Many people believe that making their business more environmentally sustainable is too expensive or difficult, and would hurt their bottom line.  One of the important lessons that green business leaders have found though is that going green can actually save money, and a lot of it.  Businesses waste $ billions on energy, water and other resources.  Some of the largest corporations like Wal-Mart, DuPont, and 3M have found that wasting less makes their business more competitive, and if it has worked for them it can work for your business too.  I spell out the bottom-line savvy green steps that businesses can take in the e-book “Greening Your Business on a Budget”, which has just been released with Entrepreneur Press.

In the course of working on “75 Green Businesses” and my next book “Starting Up Green” (to be released in Fall 2009), I’ve talked to a great variety of people providing services that help the bottom line by going green.  Many of these steps save money through actions like improving energy efficiency, traveling less, and wasting less water.  Other steps like going carbon neutral can increase visibility and build brand value by demonstrating your commitment to helping the environment as part of doing business.  Often going green can even increase productivity, unlocking the energy of employees, partners, and customers who connect with your green mission and want to get involved.

  

In “Greening Your Business on a Budget”, I focus on the actions that businesses in many industries, and of any size, can take to help the environment and their business at the same time.  The chapters in this e-book include:

 

        Chapter 1: A Quick Look at Your Business’s Goals

        Chapter 2: Quick Methods to Green Your Facilities

        Chapter 3: A Quick Look at Greening Your Office

        Chapter 4: Quick Steps to Greening Your Transportation

        Chapter 5: Quick Moves for Greener Human Resources

        Chapter 6: Quick Pointers for Green Computing

        Chapter 7: A Quick List of Potential Green Partners

        Chapter 8: A Quick Guide to Greener Marketing

        A Quick Conclusion

        The Quick Green Checklist

  

All of the steps described are analyzed according to their impact on business fundamentals, and a checklist for your own green self-audit is included.  While the list of steps in this e-book is long, it’s still just a start.  We have a long way to go, and this book is only one small part of the story.  Not every action makes sense for every business, but by looking through resources like this and translating words into action, you can make an important difference for your business and the world.

 

Starting 2009 in a New Direction with a Green Business

Monday, December 29th, 2008

What’s your plan for 2009?  I’m working on mine right now, and I’m wondering what everyone else has in mind. Our economic situation is forcing many of us to rethink our lives and businesses.  I’ve got a feeling that “improve finances” is at the top of many to do lists for 2009, but hunkering down and circling the wagons may not be enough.  To really get where you want to go, it might be time to take the leap and start a new business, and going green might provide the new direction you’re looking for. 

 

Far from being finished, the green economy is just getting started.  Green choices like solar power and organic food have grown immensely in recent years, with consistent double digit annual growth, but solar power is still less than 1% of the overall market and organic food is only about 3% of the food market.  The green economy is already over $200 billion in size, but it still has huge growth ahead in the broader market.  

 

Nobody is immune from the current economy, but green businesses like Sustainable Spaces that help people to save money are doing well.   Saving energy is more important than ever for homes and businesses eager to save money.  Those in the industry who I’ve talked to such as Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, still expect the solar industry to grow rapidly in 2009, in part because of the opportunity people have to save on their utility bill.  With millions of buildings across the US wasting energy on poor insulation, weather sealing, and air ducts, fixing this problem remains a big opportunity across the country.  As energy continues rising in price in the years ahead, the opportunity for businesses improving energy efficiency will keep on growing.

 

Green markets won’t stay small because all other things being equal, consumers chose green products.  Nobody hates the planet, and consumers consistently report in surveys that they will buy green products, all other things being equal.  Well-priced products like Green Works that work well and also happen to be good for the environment are increasingly moving into the mainstream. 

 

Another trend is that the price of oil will not stay low forever, and seems likely to reverse its downward slide in 2009, moving back toward more moderate territory.  The US auto industry is in turmoil, but there are also opportunities ahead in autos.  A variety of new all electric or plug-in hybrid cars are on the way in the years ahead, and when people start buying more cars again, they will be looking for something fresh and new.

 

Want to start a green business for very little money?  Zola Goods and Green Irene are two possibilities.  Green Irene is recruiting Eco-Consultants across the country to go out to homes and perform Green Home Makeovers, providing a direct sales model like Avon.  Zola Goods works through coordinators who hold green house parties, like Tupperware, helping homeowners green their homes, and helping coordinators produce income on a flexible work schedule.  Another ready to go option is opening your own on-line green store with OnlyGreen4Me.

 

Look for big government action in 2009 that will help the continued growth of the green economy.  The Obama administration has continued to pledge its support for a renewable energy portfolio standard, green job development, and action on climate change.  The highly qualified green team he is assembling, including Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu to lead the Department of Energy, demonstrate his commitment to these initiatives. State and regional actions will also support green opportunities for entrepreneurs.  These actions will stimulate the economy not just now, but for many years to come.

 

The opportunities are not just for a few, or for the greenest of the green.  There are opportunities for almost anyone, including you.  Take stock of your assets, of which you probably have more than you realize.  Look through the many possibilities and find something that excites you.  You can do it.  You don’t need an MBA, an impressive resume, or piles of money to get started.  It will take time, energy and commitment, but you can build a successful business and take your life in a new direction.  The most important thing is getting started. 

 

Wishing you a happy, prosperous, and green New Year.   

 

Glenn Croston is the author of “75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference”, and the founder of Starting Up Green. 

How to Green Your Business by Ridesharing with PickupPal

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Everybody is eager to save money these days, including both employees and businesses.  Businesses can help employees save money by encouraging ridesharing for their commute.  Ridesharing means there are fewer cars on the road, which is good for the planet, and also means people spend loss money on gas and wear and tear on their car.  For the business, ridesharing does not cost anything, and can help a business in a variety of ways, including reducing its environmental footprint.  PickupPal makes it easy for businesses and employees to work together greening their commute. 

 

Based in Canada, PickupPal helps to match up those who need rides with others who can give them.  Passengers say where they want to go, drivers enter where they are going, and PickupPal tells drivers who wants a ride, helping to connect them.  Drivers make an offer to passengers going their way and passengers can pick which drivers they want to go with based on the rating of drivers by other passengers.  Started in Canada, PickupPal is now operating in a growing list of cities in the US, Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and other parts of the world. 

 

Companies like the Energy Savings Group in Toronto are using PickupPal as a rideshare site for employees.  “In these economic times, providing a carpooling option can boost employee productivity, making it easier and more cost effective to get to work,” said Brent Drewry, Executive Vice President of Business Development at PickupPal.  Joining with PickupPal can also help a company achieve sustainability goals that it sets for itself and reports to the world.  “We provide web-based reporting, which allows companies to track progress against their sustainability objectives, with metrics such as mileage travelled and carbon avoided through the use of ridesharing.”  PickupPal will soon also be allowing groups to set up their own Eco Rideshare page and adding social networking links to user profiles.  While people may be reluctant to get involved if they feel they are riding with strangers, they will be more willing to participate if they feel like they know the other person or are connected to them at least a little.