No one goes into business for themselves trying to waste money, but if you haven’t decided to “go green” just yet, that’s probably exactly what you’re doing. Unfortunately, humans have a detrimental effect on the environment. However, fortunately, this has caused more and more people to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Sure, this is a great thing to do, but in reality, business owners can actually cut down on their overhead by doing their social duty. And honestly, what’s better than saving the environment one tree at a time, while saving some money?
By simply changing your habits with the use of light bulbs, paper and utilities, you can save your business thousands
Change Habit #1: Doing business in the dark – the hidden cost of the light bulb
Saving money on materials is one of the best benefits of going green in the office. Consider a compact fluorescent bulb for a second. They have a service life of between 6,000 and 15,000 hours. Standard incandescent bulbs, though, only have a service life of 750 to 1,000 hours. This means you could literally purchase a single light bulb for every 15 that you were once purchasing just by getting more environmentally friendly bulbs.
Simply consider that a compact fluorescent bulb can set a person back about $12, and regular incandescent bulbs usually run $1.50. Mathematically, buying 15 incandescent bulbs, which would equate to the same number of service hours as a compact fluorescent, would cost over $10 more than the one compact fluorescent. It should be noted, though, that these savings can be even greater since some energy-saving bulbs only cost about $5.00.
(1) compact fluorescent bulb @ $12 = $12.00
(15) incandescent bulbs @ $1.50 = $22.50
SAVINGS: $10.50 x 200 light bulbs = $2,100
Change Habit #2: What is often the most misused and wasted material in the office – how paper use impacts your bottom line
Another great place to save money is by going paperless. Many businesses now offer this option, so you can inquire with all of your business to business relationships if they could bill you electronically. Many companies even offer a discount for this. In addition, statistics show that the average office worker prints out about 10,000 pages each year, and many of these pages don’t even get used. Imagine the money you could save by knocking this number down by a few thousand pages per employee.
Another important factor to consider is the fact that one tree only makes about 80,000 pieces of paper. This means that for every eight employees, a company kills off one whole tree. Additionally, when buying paper, it costs about $1.00 for 100 sheets of paper. This means that if a company cut down 90% of each employee’s paper use, it would save the company $90 per employee per year.
10,000 pieces of paper costs = $100
Reduce by 90% = $10
SAVINGS: $90 x 100 employees = $9,000
Change Habit #3: Be a bright star – other ways to save at the office
On top of saving money on certain office necessities, you’ll also knock down your utility bills by going green. The aforementioned compact fluorescent bulbs, for instance, use far less energy than typical light bulbs. In fact, if every traditional light bulb in America was replaced with one of these environmentally friendlier bulbs, it would knock out 80 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy consumption yearly, and this translates into lower energy usage and thus decreased utilities bills.
Mathematically, compact fluorescent bulbs can save thousands of dollars. Considering only 25 bulbs, for instance, a company can save over $6,000 in energy savings just by switching from typical incandescent bulbs.
Installing lighting systems with sensors or timers are another way to knock down electricity usage. Sensors will detect a lack of movement in a room and cut the lights off automatically. Timers, on the other hand, allow business owners to set specific times to turn off their lighting. This means that even if you’ve got the most lax employees in the world, their inefficient mistake of not turning off the lights won’t affect your business’s bottom line.
The icing on the cake: Tax Relief
So you’re worried that you won’t really notice the cost savings of the aforementioned benefits? Well, you only have to try it for a while to see that this simply isn’t the case, and in reality, there are also cost savings that you’ll see in black and white. These savings are part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and regardless of whether you like the government in your business or not, you’ll love the advantages of this piece of legislation.
The Energy Policy Act actually offers tax incentives for being an environmentally friendly company. From installing eco-friendly ventilation or cooling systems to having new and more efficient lighting systems installed, the government will see this as a step in the right direction and reduce your tax burden for the upcoming year. That’s right… you won’t just save money by going green; you’ll literally have it handed to you. Incentives can go up to $1.80 per square foot in a building, A building that’s 2,000 square feet, then, has the potential to save $3,600 in taxes.
Once you know the benefits of going green in the office, you’d be insane not to do so. We know… there’s the thought that the initial investment could be costly, but in reality, just a few simple changes around the place could save huge amounts of money in the short and long run. If you choose not to go green, that’s definitely your right as a business owner; but don’t complain when you’re making less money than you could be.