Here’s another question from an EntreLeadership Podcast listener:
One business question that I’d love to hear discussed is at what size of business do you start to worry about your business’s environmental impact? And how much money do you spend to reduce your environmental footprint? Is a certain amount of money spent on showing how “green” you are worth it in the PR side of things?
The idea of going green is completely subjective to how important you believe it is, and what business you are in. If it is a moral obligation to you, then size doesn’t matter, the sooner the better. You can make simple changes in products you use in your office like cleaning supplies, recycled paper, no Styrofoam cups containing CFC’s, only filtered water machines instead of bottled water, etc. There are tons of little things you can do.
Choosing vendors who do the same will also become important to you. These are simple changes that will cost you a decent amount more, but will satisfy the need to feel green in your office.
If you’re a company that produces a product that is having an effect on the environment, then it’s a different story. Obviously you would be working inside EPA guidelines or hopefully you wouldn’t have a business. So taking it a step or ten further is now dependent on how it will affect your bottom line?
- How much you spend is important. There’s a saying in ministry, where there is no margin, there is no ministry. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend so much money on your already approved product to make it green, if your bottom line disappears. If you can’t afford to keep the doors open, you don’t need to continue to crank out the product. Find an additional percentage that is acceptable to spend to make the product more green, and keeps you happy about the net profits.
- How it affects your sales matters. If going green will increase the gross and net sales of your product, green it up! Get as much PR out there as you can and get movement as fast as possible. Keep in mind, if you lose $1.00 per item by going green, then selling 10,000 more, without decreased expenses, will only cause you to lose $10,000.00. Therefore, it again is a balancing act with the impact to the bottom line.
Either way, stay in business first, then decide the amount of the bottom line you want to change.
Question: How do you feel about your business going green?