Going green gives your firm competitive edgeMonday May 02 2022
Business ethics is one of the key pillars that determine the success or failure of an enterprise. It is not enough to have ethics but it is important to practise it as research shows that firms that are ethical have a better performance in the long run.
Other than the conventional practices like honesty, there are new emerging ethical issues that can be adopted for the better good of a business.
One of the emerging ethical issues for a business is “going green.” Businesses that have “gone green” have a better performance and are able to attract clients and investors more easily than those that have not.
Going green entails measuring overall environmental friendliness and transforming your entire business to adopt environment-friendly strategies and operations.
There are several benefits of going green both to the business and consumers. If your business has not yet adopted green policies, it might be time to consider their adoption for various reasons.
Firstly, going green will reduce regulatory risk. A green business is one that complies with environmental laws and regulations and therefore any risks coming from non-compliance will be minimised.
Recently a number of nightclubs along Ngong Road in Nairobi were closed and some of their staff were arrested for noise pollution. The law provides an acceptable level of noise. The nightclubs had breached the noise regulations and therefore they were closed.
If the business had gone green, then it would have strived to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations concerning noise. A breach of regulations led to closure and massive losses.
Going green is good for a businesses’ reputation. A business that has the reputation of having gone green is able to attract the right staff. Some people are environmental conscious and prefer to work in an environment that upholds their personal values. Going green will also motivate such staff and improve performance.
Going green can be used as a marketing tool and to promote your business brand. Clients who are environmental conscious will be attracted to businesses whose practices protect the environment. It is therefore a tool that can be used to appeal to the target market.
Going green can be adopted in your business strategy. It is an emerging area and quick adoption will enable your business to have a competitive advantage over competitors.
An example is diversifying into eco-friendly products for companies in the manufacturing sector. An example for businesses in the services industry is going paperless and digitising services.
Some businesses have aggressive green strategies. For example, they only procure from suppliers that have gone green. Others like investors will invest only in investments that support the investment.
The benefits of going green far outweigh the costs and can be adopted by every business no matter the sector.
One of the ways to go green is to have an understanding of the environmental-friendly practices that can be adopted. An expert will conduct an audit on your business.
If your business cannot afford an expert, then it can still go green by adopting simple green practices. Some simple practices include recycling waste, going paperless and purchasing eco-friendly products.
Your business can consider drafting an environmental policy to guide staff and stakeholders as to your business stand on the environment. In some sectors, before one can be awarded a contract they have to show that they have an environmental policy in place.
An environmental policy will help shape the office culture and steer your organisation into a green business.