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 your business’ financial performance?

This is simply not true. With consumers being more conscious of what and who they purchase from, 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!

Overview:

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 only 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 100,000 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 digitalization journey!

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 S$40 on average. That means for every case of copy paper you avoid, you could save around S$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

Kickstarting and initiating sustainability-related efforts within your company is another great way to grow your business in the right direction. Be it through donating, volunteering or initiating community programmes, a business that places importance on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can reap an array of benefits.

Externally, having CSR programmes and efforts will make your business more attractive to shareholders and investors looking to invest in your business. As consumers begin having preferences toward environmentally and socially conscious businesses, CSR programmes can win new customers who are aligned to your social objectives.

Research by Deloitte has also proven that there are positive correlations between having socially responsible practices and employee engagement. Its recent study regarding business’ views on sustainability shows that employees are indeed more loyal and engaged in the company thanks to their environmental sustainability efforts. With these positive workplace effects, it is no wonder why so many companies are ramping up their CSR efforts.

Worried about the costs? Fret not – there are a number of resources available to encourage sustainability efforts from government programmes and grants to local initiatives. One local initiative, Handprint, aims to empower companies to make a positive impact by working closely in projects that align with your company’s values. Their projects range from reforestation, coral reef reconstruction, over-breeding programmes and plastic waste removal, to targeted education and even disaster relief.

Just last year, Sleek began its journey to become the first carbon neutral corporate service provider in Asia Pacific. With the help of Handprint, we have been and are continuing to finance mangrove reforestation projects in East Java, Indonesia, to offset the carbon emissions associated with our business’ operations and services.

To date, we have helped to replant over 7,900 trees, which will grow and absorb more than 900 tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.

Special offer

Handprint is providing a special offer for members of the Sleek community! Receive 5 trees for free when signing up here for eCommerce users and 25 trees when you create a custom integration with our API here.

Get started on your environmental initiatives today!

Wrap up

It is indisputable that every business is connected to and has an impact on the environment. As the world gets warmer, resources get scarcer and consumers become more aware, if not for the sake of the environment, we hope that the practical benefits may inspire you to grow your business successfully and sustainably.

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