Energy Efficient: 4 Hidden Benefits for Your Business
If you’re a business owner who’s considering taking steps to make your business more energy efficient, you already know that there are plenty of business benefits. Investing in your company’s sustainable future is always a good idea, and by learning all the benefits of energy efficiency, you can help your business and the environment.
1. Energy efficiency can lower your business’ operating costs.
One of the myths about business energy efficiency is that only large businesses and corporations can afford to make their companies more eco-friendly. Significant up-front costs often associated with green and renewable energy technologies can dissuade business owners from investing in sustainable options for their companies.
However, according to Forbes 57% of the 500 business executives who were asked about their energy and sustainability practices planned to spend the money to invest in green technologies as a way to help manage and control the cost of their business’s energy usage overall. Because green energy can reduce a business’ operating costs and reduce wasted resources, it ends up being a worthwhile investment.
2. Energy-efficient buildings often have increased market value.
Another long-term cost benefit of efficiency comes from expected growth in the demand for green-energy spaces. In an article by Energy Efficient Markets, Kevin Self, Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Johnson Controls said, “Building efficiency is a critical and important growth sector because the outcomes—including reduced operating costs, reduced energy costs, greater reliability and resilience—are in high demand.”
Additionally, Energy Star says that businesses with more efficient buildings tend to “have higher occupancy rates and increased asset value compared to typical buildings”, and it means your business’ more efficient space could have a higher market value should you choose to relocate or sell. Since more companies are focusing on policies requiring sustainable solutions, making improvements to your business’ energy efficiency could be an investment assuring the long-term value of one of your company’s biggest assets.
3. Making your business more sustainable can improve your brand image with consumers and the public.
Consumers are paying increased attention to how companies, corporations, and businesses are affecting the environment in both positive and negative ways. According to Energy Star, the most eco-friendly businesses and those businesses associated with being more “environmentally responsible” have more positive responses from consumers and employees than businesses that aren’t as environmentally responsible. For example, aligning a campaign with Earth Week – whether it’s encouraging recycling with customers, or providing giving opportunities to green non-profits – can support an organization’s brand image.
What’s more, companies are now being recognized by magazines and other publications for being energy efficient—Newsweek, for example, now releases annual rankings of the most eco-friendly companies based on “corporate sustainability and environmental impact,” giving organizations a Newsweek Green Score. Coca Cola is among the top 10 greenest companies for receiving all their electricity from renewable sources.
Businesses that are associated with being more “environmentally responsible” have more positive responses from consumers and employees.
As consumers become more concerned with the environmental impact of the products they use and organizations they support, making your business more efficient, green, and sustainable becomes more important.
4. Taking energy-efficient measures with your business can have health benefits for employees.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a study conducted to show the many benefits of energy efficiency. In the study, the IEA claims that making improvements to building insulation, implementing efficient heating and cooling systems, and switching to efficient lighting and appliances—referred to as the “whole-building approach”—creates a warmer, more comfortable environment.
Energy efficiency in the office building impacts three important elements: Thermal quality refers to whether the indoor temperature is comfortable and healthy. While most evidence relates to the impact of cold environments, over-heating can also damage health through dehydration; Good air quality minimizes levels of toxins and other gases and particulate that can be generated in heating and cooling methods; and Dampness, which can generate and aggravate a range of illnesses and induce allergy and respiratory disease symptoms. Keeping these elements under control can improve employee health and potentially reduce costs for medical and health benefits.
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There are many more benefits to an energy efficient business that you’ll discover as you make the move toward sustainability.