Businesses are going green in order to become more sustainable, but what are the challenges they face? When sustainability meets economics, there is often a discrepancy between the cost and benefits of eco-friendly solutions. This can lead to hesitation on the part of business leaders who want to make the switch, as well as compromise their commitment to environmentalism.
In addition, there are many misconceptions about what goes into sustainability and how it affects a company’s bottom line. Take for example our first misconception (that green solutions always cost more than their less-sustainable counterparts). This isn’t necessarily true; in some cases, green solutions actually end up costing businesses less money!
Some carbon-neutral businesses also suffer from a lack of awareness surrounding what they do and how they do it. To reach more customers, some businesses have tied themselves to big companies that control the majority of the carbon credits and high-end materials used. This creates a conflict of interest to gain more income.
The goal of this article is to help businesses avoid those mistakes and misconceptions for a greener future. Let’s take a look at three different points.
1) Green initiatives
Businesses throw lots of money at green initiatives but get little in return. Just as business leaders are making their transition towards sustainability, many have also been exposed to other “green” technologies that include solar panels and wind turbines, among others. These products can cost an arm and a leg but actually help to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. However, these types of investments are not always easily navigated and many businesses are finding their green by-products do not pay off as expected. Just like in other aspects of life, what seems like a good idea, in theory, has a lot more to do with how it’s implemented than any absolute science.
2) Waste management procedures
Good waste management procedures require specialist equipment, knowledge, and in some instances, more space. For example, waste bins that provide different waste compartments depending on the items being disposed of have a larger footprint than a single bin. In addition, the storage requirements for waste before collection can cause issues, but these can be addressed by using further specialist equipment such as balers supplied by companies such as recyclingbalers.com.
3) Carbon offsets
Carbon offsets could be causing businesses to miss out on opportunities associated with sustainability. Some business leaders may be turning green into green by investing in carbon offsets or by providing incentives for buildings that are already eco-friendly in nature. However, the majority of businesses that invest in carbon offsets do not realize how high the number needed to provide a true impact can be. What’s more, some companies are providing carbon offsets that actually increase the amount of money spent on them.
Businesses often turn to carbon offsetting because they are offered incentives by governments that are trying to make their countries more environmentally friendly. However, in doing so, they often find themselves spending more money on offsetting than they would have spent otherwise.
Businesses are turning green but are not seeing returns on their investments. Companies that want to make sustainability part of their business model should be aware of what carbon offsetting can do, and try to gain as much from the change as they possibly can by ensuring they aren’t spending more money than necessary. In addition, businesses should consider being proactive in reducing their carbon footprints.