Going Green: Now Or Later?

The trend that has businesses making green changes is more than what it seems. Not only is it good for the environment, but it can be good for your bottom line.

As the push for a greener lifestyle gets stronger, the argument is no longer whether a business will take the plunge. According to Fox Business, it is now a question of when the business will do it.

It’s important small business owners who are leasing space to realize that their power is greatest before signing on the dotted line. Asking for things like recycling, timers for lights and energy-efficient light bulbs should all take place before the deal is struck, Kaplan said.

Beginning a business with green practices shouldn’t cost an owner much more than starting out not green, she said. Small business owners can search out green office spaces to lease, and contact their electricity companies to request green energy. Going paperless, or putting a recycling program in place are simple, easy things small business owners can do right from the start.

“If you are looking to do higher-order greening things like installing solar panels, that will cost more and is in a whole different category of greening,” Kaplan said. “I always tell people to try ways to use less. It’s not eliminating, but using less.”

If a small business owner were to use heating and cooling controls, geothermal energy, tight windows, green design and planning, and solar insulation, Palach estimated there would be a 50% higher premium cost outright for owners. Payback will not be instantaneous or great at first, but over a life cycle the technology pays for itself, he said. On the flip side, retro-fitting green supplies on an older business could cost a small business up to 75% in premiums.

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

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