a person with coins and plants in their hands to weigh the pros and cons of practicing business sustainability

Pros and Cons of Practicing Sustainability in Your Business

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Going green for your office is a great way to practice sustainability in your business. It’s a very rewarding process, but it can definitely take some hard work to implement. If you’re on the fence about working toward sustainability in your business, here are some pros and cons that could help you decide. 

Pros

  • Tax Credit Advantage: Going green gives you the ability to access tax credits that can benefit your business during tax season, especially if you own a small business. The Small Business Administration has plenty of forms you can fill out to get tax credits for going green, as long as the property installed meets the energy efficiency requirements according to the SBA.
  • Builds Goodwill: Going green and practicing sustainability in your business can boost goodwill in your community. Companies that decide to focus on using energy efficient appliances, reducing waste, and conserving water could see an increase in sales because communities love to see businesses attempting to be more environmentally friendly.
  • Boost Company Morale: Studies support the fact that going green can boost company and employee morale. By working in a building or for a business that practices sustainability, employees are happier and perform better because they are satisfied with their job. In fact, one study states that “the results of the analysis indicate a significant positive relationship between employee satisfaction and level of perceived environmental preference.”
  • Cutting Costs: While it can be pretty expensive up front, practicing sustainability in business can end up cutting expenses in the long-run. For example, purchasing LED lighting may not be cheap at first, especially compared to fluorescent bulbs. However, the operating costs are much lower because the amount of electricity used per bulb is half the amount of fluorescent. Additionally, the average lifespan of LED lights is 50,000 hours whereas fluorescent bulbs have a lifespan of around 8,000 hours.

Cons

  • Takes Time: Unfortunately, going green doesn’t happen overnight. Practicing sustainability in your business can require quite a bit of time. It’s a change that your business is going to have to monitor on a regular basis to ensure water isn’t being wasted and trash is being recycled rather than tossed in a bin. Over time, doing all of these things could become a habit, but until then, it’ll take effort and enforcement.
  • Costly Investment: Green technology is still relatively new, and some of it can be rather costly because of the small scale production. LED light bulbs are often more expensive than fluorescent bulbs. Some of the larger appliances and green technology can be even more costly and challenging for some companies—such as solar panels that are large enough to operate your building.
  • New Vendors: Finding green vendors isn't easy for some businesses, and when you do find them, it can be hard to establish relationships. It’ll take research and effort for your company to find a partner and product that fits into your business model. However, once you build these new connections, you may discover new ways to practice sustainability in your business.

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