3 Ways Your Business Can Grow From Going “Green”
6 minute read
It’s common and easy to overlook the negative environmental impact of your business operation. After all, what do factors such as pollution, wastage and carbon emission have to do with the financial performance of your business?
This is simply not true. Going “green” has become vital for not only the environment, but for the well-being of your business as well.
Continue reading below to find out how your business can benefit from going green!
The situation at hand
Over 90,000 businesses are incorporated in Singapore every year. This generates a tremendous amount of paper wastage due to the amount of resources needed for document printing and signing.
In 2020 alone, up to 469 tons of CO2 waste was generated – the equivalent to 23 fully loaded garbage trucks!
Paper production and wastage are key contributors in destroying the environment.
According to the Conservation Resource Alliance, up to 40% of the world’s trees are harvested to produce paper – and this is only the start of their tragic life cycle.
Paper begins with the destruction of trees in their natural environment and ends with them being burnt as waste, releasing carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
However, the repercussions of paper wastage can also be harmful for your business.
Industry research firm Gartner, Inc. estimates that as much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing, storing and maintaining files of information. Furthermore, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, resulting in approximately 50% of the waste of businesses being composed of paper.
With that, here are 3 ways your business can go green and how it may actually benefit from it!
#1: Reduce paper usage
Perhaps the most obvious solution is to simply avoid paper usage in general. With the wave of digitalization, this becomes even more easier than ever!
One great (and unbiased example) would be with SleekSign – Asia’s first free, unlimited, and legally binding electronic signature.
With SleekSign, you can sign documents digitally anywhere at any time, saving the need for paper and ink consumption. In fact, since its release in 2020, SleekSign has been used over 200,000 times, saving over 16.4 tons of CO2 on paper and ink consumption.
There is also a flux of digital solutions that completely eliminate the need for paper usage.
Digital solutions have not only been on the rise but are also encouraged by the Singapore government, with programmes like SMEs Go Digital providing a number of grants – such as the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB) – for businesses to take up in digitizing their businesses.
As an IMDA-approved vendor of both, Sleek is able to help businesses in their journey to digitizing!
Employing digital solutions will not only help reduce your paper usage but also cut expenses.
The associated costs of using paper are estimated at 31 times the purchasing cost, which is $40 on average.
That means for every case of copy paper you avoid, you could save around $1,200 which equates to greater savings in the long run!
#2: Adapt and modify your services
Both consumers and businesses are changing rapidly. Sustainability is at its tipping point, with consumers becoming increasingly more aware towards the repercussions of their consumerism and subsequently, the brands that they patronise.
In a recent IBM survey, eight in 10 consumers indicated sustainability as an important factor for them, with over 70% willing to pay a premium of up to 30% for brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible in their operations.
With that, it’s surprising that many businesses have not, for the very sake of profitability, jumped onto the sustainability bandwagon.
A study conducted by BCG/MIT referenced in an article on IMD says that while 90% of executives find sustainability to be important, only 60% of companies actually have sustainability incorporated into their business models with only 24% regarding sustainability as a competitive advantage.
As such, adapting your products and operations to include more sustainable practices would be a great way to appeal to these consumers, which will ultimately increase your revenue and profitability.
#3: Engage in sustainability efforts
Participating in sustainability efforts is another great way to grow your business. Whether it’s through donating or pledging community initiatives, your business’s engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will help strengthen your company branding.
Not only will this make your business more attractive to shareholders and investors, it’s also an efficient way of boosting employee retention and by association, securing employee retention in the long run.
There are a number of resources available to encourage sustainability efforts from government programme and grants to local initiatives such as Handprint that empower companies to make a positive impact by working closely in projects that align with your company’s values, ranging from forestry, coral reef reconstruction, over breeding programs and plastic removal, to targeted education and disaster relief.
Just last year, Sleek engaged in an ambitious sustainability initiative to become the first carbon-neutral corporate service provider in Asia Pacific.
We did so by partnering up with Handprint to finance mangrove reforestation projects in East Java, Indonesia to compensate for the carbon emissions associated with the company’s services.
To date, we have planted up to 3,770 trees planted thus far which will grow and help to absorb over 425 tons of CO2 in the next 20 years!
It’s clear that every business has a connection and impact on the environment. Therefore, it is in the best interest of every company to preserve natural resources and grow sustainably.
This Earth Day, how will your business go “green”?