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Running your business on green power might help the environment, nonetheless it may also be a low-cost way to build your company’s brand and its own profits. It has certainly worked for Scott Nash and his small chain of organic food markets.
This week, environmentally friendly Protection Agency released its most up-to-date lists of organizations that voluntarily thought we would use clean, renewable electricity. Solar, wind, and low-impact hydropower qualify as "green power." Corporate giants like Intel Corp., Kohl’s SHOPS, and Microsoft Corp. topped the set of the biggest users of green power by kilowatt-hours, because of the massive footprint. However, smaller companies dominate the set of companies that power their company with completely green energy.
Over fifty percent of the 1,300 organizations that use the EPA in its Green Power Partnership are smaller businesses or organizations. Smaller businesses likely don’t possess enough personnel to devote many hours to "greening" their business, nonetheless it doesn’t take long to take part in this program, says Blaine Collison, the Green Power Partnership’s director.
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If you need to perform your business on green power, you can install solar power panels on your own business’ roof or erect wind generators in your business’ backyard. Great options, even if not realistic for some entrepreneurs. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a far more do-able approach: You call your energy provider and inquire about its green power option and have to be switched over. And if your present energy provider does not have a green option, browse the EPA’s online locator for just one that does.
For slightly additional money, you get renewable energy credits (RECs), which are effectively purchasing units of power that the energy provider agrees to acquire from a sustainable source. If companies purchase enough RECs to cover how much energy they use each, then your company is in place running on green power, even with out a wind mill in the parking lot.
Owning a business with clean energy is a boost to business for MOM’s Organic Market, Nash’s grocery-store chain headquartered in Rockville, Md. "The clients know, the employees know, we know" about the business’s environmental concerns, says Nash. The business has made EPA’s list because it was initially released in 2007 and has been section of the Green Power Partnership for even longer. "Yeah, it costs us a bit extra to accomplish these good stuff, but I think it can help our important thing," he says. Employee-retention rates are high and customers are more loyal, he says.
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And, it isn’t that a lot more expensive. For each supermarket, it costs yet another 2 percent to perform on completely green power, says Charis Egland-Smith, who runs MOM’s environmental programs. The 25-year-old chain has about 500 employees. Egland-Smith says the neighborhood rates for green power versus coal power are nearly comparable, and sometimes, the business has even gotten better charges for green power.
The big payback includes the bragging rights. "For your small business to state ‘We are completely green power,’ because their total electric loads are fairly small simply because they are in fact your small business, the best absolute marginal cost tends never to be high," says Collison. And "‘We are completely green power’ is such a very important message, that they think it is is compelling."
So compelling, actually, that MOM’s Organic Market buys almost doubly much green power than it requires to perform its stores. "We are offsetting somebody else’s dirty energy at that time," says Nash. And the store lets its consumers know very well what it really is doing with in-store signs, social media and messages on grocery bags. It equates its energy savings to cars removed the roads, for instance.
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Nash encourages other entrepreneurs to invest in clean energy. "Being small is no barrier to being green. It really is probably easier — less bureaucracy," says Nash. And, it’s rather a selling point, "That’s how they are able to differentiate themselves from the big guys," he says.
What does your company do to be green? How have those moves impacted your business? Leave a comment below and tell us.