16/04/2014

By Sarah Willis,

Many of us consider ourselves “environmentally friendly” if we rinse out tin cans for the recycling collection and replace existing light bulbs with ones that are more efficient for a lower energy bill. However could going green actually increase the value of a business, too?

According to Avondale, a London based business broker, steps such as developing a plan for long term growth and generating recurring streams of revenue all add up when trying to increase the value of a business. An eco-friendly approach can assist in an enterprise reaching these goals.

Going green to stay in the black

By implementing an ecologically friendly approach, businesses can pinch pennies that can be reinvested into the company to facilitate further growth.
Although energy is often one of the biggest overheads that small to medium enterprises face, many business owners aren’t aware of the importance of tackling it to reduce costs.

A report released by the Carbon Trust showed that business could potentially save £300 million by reducing energy use and wastage. However only 23% of employees state that they had been asked to help save energy in the workplace by their employer. Therefore the first step in implementing a sustainability strategy is increasing awareness and encouraging involvement.

Following this, steps to cut down on energy consumption can be simple. British Gas recommends that businesses make changes such as switching to energy efficient light bulbs and turning off computers when not in use, which alone can shave £35 per computer off a companies’ annual bill.

Making money from being kind to Mother Earth

Money can’t just be saved by sustainable practices – it can be made, too.

Procter & Gamble, a global leader in consumer goods, implemented an eco-friendly approach which allowed 45 of their factories to declare themselves to have reached “zero waste” status which means that they send absolutely nothing to landfill.

This is achieved thanks to the assistance of an in-house team who see waste as a business opportunity rather than rubbish. The Global Asset Recovery Purchases team (GARP) are responsible for initiating projects like recycling waste fibres from the Charmin factory into low-cost roof tiles and using rejected sanitary products as a fuel source.

Although this is sustainability on a huge scale, business of all sizes can learn lessons from what Procter & Gamble achieved. For example, is there waste within the business that could be sold for alternative uses? This could even be as small as selling spare office equipment to other companies.

For businesses in the manufacturing sector there may be waste materials produced that could be sold for alternative uses in a similar way to Procter & Gamble. These opportunities can be identified by measuring output and analysing how it could be repurposed.

By doing this, businesses can identify extra revenue streams which can become recurrent with further development and nurturing.

These eco-friendly approaches open up potential for a company to grow following increased income, which should therefore in turn increase the value of a business.

Implementing such a strategy also makes a business more sustainable which in the future will secure a place in ever-increasingly environmentally friendly markets.