Green Irvine – Go Green, Save Green!
The bottom line question is: what’s in it for businesses? The answer is: the bottom line!
For years now, we have been hearing about Go Green programs. The U.S. Small Business Administration touts its benefits. Bloomberg BusinessWeek features stories about U.S. companies going green. Chron.com, Entrepreneur.com, Businesspundit.com and dozens of public and private sector websites promote the value of going green for companies. No less than Bank of America, General Electric, DuPont, McDonald’s, The Home Depot, Anheuser-Busch, Pratt & Whitney, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Dell, Coca Cola, S.C. Johnson Family and Goldman Sachs have all adopted strategies to “green” their businesses.
So What’s In It for Me?
Over and above the “save the planet” rationale and concern for the environment in which we live and work, there are very real and tangible benefits for each business that takes steps toward “greening” their operation. In other words, going green is a good business decision.
Legal and Tax Advantages
The federal government and the State of California both offer significant tax credits, rebates and incentives for businesses that participate in a variety of green programs like developing their own power sources, such as solar, cogeneration, geothermal; purchasing more energy efficient office and processing equipment; acquiring alternative powered vehicles; installing pollution control and energy control systems; adopting or improving their office and plant recycling programs and using more renewable raw materials and supplies.
Simple things like reducing waste can immediately trim operating costs which improves the bottom line. Turning off lights in vacant offices, board rooms and areas not being used saves energy, helps bulbs last longer and reduces utility bills. Printing less saves paper which reduces office supply expenses. Refilling ink cartridges saves money on new cartridges and reduces the amount of plastic thrown out. Adjusting the air conditioning temperature can shave big dollars off a bottom line. Using reusable ceramic cups and glasses rather than disposable cups will quickly save dollars. Shut down electronics and unplugging when possible will positively impact the operating costs.
The benefits of going green include a healthier workplace which can easily reduce sick days and improve productivity. Green cleaning supplies helps people with respiratory problems breathe better and reduces chemicals that may cause other irritations. Encouraging walking, ride sharing and transit raises awareness among employees and appeals to their social conscience. Incentivizing employees to exercise inside or outside the building builds morale. Organizing company-wide or community-wide trash pick-up days improves the immediate environment and cultivates good will.
Public Relations, Sales and Marketing
Companies that go green in some measurable way can almost always leverage it among their suppliers and customers. People like to think they are contributing and making a difference in their community. And if it is easy and affordable, like choosing a company with a good reputation for recycling and energy efficiency, so much the better. Economic studies confirm that going green, utilizing green technology and selling green products is completely compatible with an increase in profits.
Irvine Chamber Launches Green Business Certification Program for Members
The Go Green Founders invested time, expertise and funding to develop an Irvine Chamber green certification program. Seven companies – Atria Senior Living, Business & Entrepreneurship Center, Eberle Company, Enlightened Energy Services, Waste Management, Goodwill and WARE Disposal Co, Inc. – help sponsor this FREE certification program for Chamber members. The Irvine Green Business Certification Program will help improve your bottom line by reducing your energy and waste costs, providing access to tax credits, rebates and incentives.
The program is designed to make it easy for a business to start and stay green and save money. Just a few important actions in each of six areas is all that is necessary to qualify for the certification:
- Green Purchasing
Energy Efficiency & Conservation
Water Conservation & Pollution Prevention
Staff Training and Awareness