By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying climate change is having an effect on the way business does business. Consider recent reports that have all-important Atlantic Ocean currents collapsing in the future or the Washington Post piece on the fact a crack in the Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 11 miles. When you do and tap into the generational thermostats that have the Millennial temperature turned way up on the issue, any smart businessman from the owner of the corner retail store to the C-suite executive knows they need to factor in the climate change clout on their business models.
Here’s a few different ways that you can make lessening your carbon footprint an attractive part of your business playbook for 2017.
Let sustainability balance the risk teeter-totter
There were catastrophic earthquakes in Japan last year, Chinese floods and a hurricane that devastated Haiti. Beyond the most important cost to human life, these disasters had a combined price tag of $175 billion. As these disasters grow in magnitude and frequency, experts are drawing a direct line to the risks global supply chains and insurers face and climate change.
Peter Höppe is the head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research Unit, the German reinsurance company that put the numbers together. He was recently quoted in CNN Money as saying that the circumstances that bring extreme weather are more likely the result of climate change.
Chest of online tools
The correct business response lies in looking toward the high/tech sustainable options that are good for the planet, appealing to your target market and can actually increase your ROI. Many of these can be found under the technology umbrella and the tools there that can help to increase efficiency.
If you’re still not convinced, consider how this seemingly never-ending chest of online tools have already made everything concerning your business more effective and, because they are using less energy, more sustainable at the same time. Have a quick look at some of the IT options that don’t necessitate a big cash outlay or major changes in your business model.
Sustainable and Scalable
Start right in the office with virtual business VOIP solutions. By all accounts, going digital with team communications saves on costs by up to 50 percent over the more conventional landlines. Looking to do your part for the planet? Having sales teams and travelling employees that can communicate through a VOIP system means that everyone can stay in touch through an all-encompassing system that only needs an internet connection. These choices are sustainable and scalable at the same time.
If you’re thinking about waiting it out to see if the climate change clout on business starts to wane under a new administration, keep in mind the forward momentum around lessening carbon footprints is a worldwide trend. It’s even been reported that countries like China have signed on to a new five year plan to spend US$361 billion on renewable energy by the year 2020.
Birds, Bees, Bottom Lines–The Natural Capital Factor
Companies both big and small are factoring in natural capital as one of their business resources. Essentially this means they’re looking at the way using non-renewable resources and carbon emissions affects the environment around them. It’s all about having a heightened awareness of what some business practices do to the world we live in and a great way to look at the big picture.
As it stands today, 39 financial companies are factoring environmental costs when they make decisions that concern how they run their business. If you think you can bypass this kind of thinking, you’ll need to recalibrate. More and more investors are looking for environmental sections in profit and loss statements.
There are also reports that indicate sustainability hiring is sliding, but pundits are saying that could be the result of more employees taking environmental concerns on their shoulders and lessening the need from management and the C-suite.
Climate change and the corner office
Putting together a good environmentally friendly workplace doesn’t need to filter down from the corner office. Employees and small business owners can start by doing things as simple as setting your printer to double-sided as the default position. Remember going virtual is always preferred over anything that needs to be printed out and even living healthier by taking the stairs helps you to focus on your own sustainability.
Plugging equipment into power bars and then turning them off when the day is done does its part. Looking to modern technology to help you lessen your carbon footprint doesn’t need to be serious all the time either. If you’re looking to change your mindset and that of your employees so you can go green in your business, why not incorporate some teambuilding exercises that get everyone interested like fun ideas golf swing analyzer reviews? Improving everyone’s game might not save Mother Earth overnight, but it can nudge a group’s thinking in the right tech direction.