Limiting your business’s energy consumption isn’t that difficult. You can swap out your old appliances and light bulbs for energy-efficient models, put your lights and thermostat on a timer and power down computers that no one is using. The benefits actually end up outweighing the costs in most cases.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
The main benefit of limiting your energy usage is reducing your small business’s carbon footprint. Saving energy also cuts costs, makes your workers happier, makes your customers happier and improves your company’s image.
Saving Energy Saves Money
Small businesses spend an estimated $60 billion a year on energy consumption. It’s no secret that you’ll save some coins if you’re not blasting air conditioning all summer or keeping your office lit around the clock while no one is even there.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if you swap your regular bulbs and electrical appliances with those that have the Energy Star label, you can save about 30% on your electric bill and 40% on your electric lighting charges.
Health Benefits to Going Green
Most energy-saving appliances are also healthier. In a factory-type or manufacturing setting, this could mean that your workers are breathing in less exhaust and less air pollutants. Not only are you saving the planet, but you’re saving their respiratory systems.
Beyond this, turning up your thermostat during the summer months will save your company money and make the environment more friendly for females. According to a study reported by The New York Times, the large swath of offices calibrate temperatures based on men’s body heat. Raising office temperatures can reduce gender discrimination, combat global warming and help you save cash.
Less Energy, Less Carbon Emissions
Though climate change is a hot-button topic that has been fiercely debated for more than a decade, most scientists agree that carbon is killing our planet — literally. Iceland just had the first-ever funeral for a glacier that is, well, no longer a glacier. It was lost to rising temperatures.
So, why should we care about a hunk of ice? Take a look at the Paris Agreement. The effort — a pact among more than 190 countries — claims that if temperatures rise from 1.5 degrees Celsius more than preindustrial levels to 2 degrees Celsius more than preindustrial levels, it will trigger heat waves that last a third longer and rain storms that are a third more destructive. The sea level would rise by about a third, and the coral reefs would degrade that much more as well.
How Does Climate Change Impact Humans?
Climate change is devastating if you look at what that means for humans. At an increase of 2 degrees Celsius, there will be nearly 20% less fresh water available. Crops of wheat and corn will start to struggle in tropical climates. Cue widespread hunger and dehydration, an increase in natural disasters, like hurricanes devastating those in coastal areas, and the displacement of entire cities that find themselves underwater.
According to a UN report, there are just 12 years before carbon emissions reach “a point of no return”, and the damage done to the planet is no longer reversible. The less energy your business uses, the less you’re contributing to the problem.
Your Image Will Thank You
Image is key to success, and customers will feel good buying from a brand they know is taking every effort to reduce its impact to help thwart global warming. Swapping out plastic straws for paper straws goes a really long way.
Take a look at BP, who was responsible for the most devastating oil spill in U.S. history. Deepwater Horizon’s explosion ended up costing the company a total of $61.6 billion. Its stock price plummeted. After that, the company rebranded and changed its logo to a green, white and yellow flower that highlighted its efforts toward renewable energy. By 2017, its profits more than doubled.
- AP: UN Climate Chief Warns Current Path Leads To 'Catastrophe'
- NASA: Why A Half-Degree Temperature Rise Is A Big Deal
- The New York Times: Chilly At Work? Office Formula Was Devised For Men
- Reuters: BP Profits Surge as Oil Major Leaves Downturn Behind
- Gulf Oil Spill | Smithsonian Ocean
- USA Today: BP's Deepwater Horizon Costs Total $62B
- Investing News: What was the BP Stock Price Before the Deepwater Horizon Spill?
- Environmental Protection Agency: Pollution Prevention Tips for Energy Efficiency
- Constellation: How To Lower Your Small Business Electricity Bill
- Home Energy Saving Solutions: Top 7 Reasons For Saving Energy
Mariel Loveland is a small business owner, content strategist and writer from New Jersey. Throughout her career, she's worked with numerous startups creating content to help small business owners bridge the gap between technology and sales. Her work has been featured in publications like Business Insider and Vice.