Green enterprises, or social enterprises as they are often called, are clearly the future. They seek to balance capital growth with environmental and social respect in a way that contributes to a sustainable society. If you’re looking to turn your business green, you would be commended by activists and economists alike, as creating a business based around sustainable use of resources is the easiest way to ensure sustainable growth.
There is almost an infinite number of ways in which you can turn your business green or increase the environmentally friendly nature of the way your business operates. This could be through your energy use, maybe you are an energy-heavy business that has decided to invest in solar panels; it could be through your use of resource management (e.g. using recycled paper in the office); it could be as simple as using paper bags instead of plastic bags at your food stall. Every single business owner in the world can do something to make their business environmentally friendly, the difficult decision is working out whether it is economically responsible for doing so.
How to Change Your Own Business
What does this mean for your business? Anticipate the future: how might climate change impact your business? What can you do to reduce the likelihood of that happening? It’s quite simple and is the reason why Shell is planning to be largely renewables-based by 2030. However, turning your business green requires long-term investment, so finding the cash for this can be difficult for any business but especially so for small businesses. The Small Business Association of America might be a good solution for this, as it offers a loans program for small businesses looking to make an investment that they don’t have the cash for. Small business administration loans come in many shapes and sizes, and you will likely find a solution that can fit you. Otherwise, there are many green and social investors that you can find on LinkedIn that might be worth talking to.
The Economics behind it
Milton Friedman famously argued that a business has a legal right to protect its shareholder’s assets, so it should take growth at every opportunity. Though his radical arguments and those of the Chicago school, in general, are widely discredited among serious modern economists, the short-term attitude to business growth that he propagated is still widespread. The key to staying financially stable while turning your business green can be ascertained by examining why contemporary business practices are so unsustainable. Economists like Paul Krugman, Steve Keen and even radical left-wing thinkers like Noam Chomsky tend to agree that long-term planning and investment is the best way to create an environmentally responsible business, while also protecting a business and nation against financial crashes.
Putting Green at Your Core
Part of your long-term strategy should involve taking sustainable growth and placing it at the core of your business. This might mean sacrificing some income for the first few years, but a long term strategy is almost always worth it – look at Amazon, who consistently lost money every quarter since its founding in 1994 to 2002. It took them 14 years after going public to make as much profit as it did in the last quarter of 2018 alone, but that is the perfect illustration of long term strategy and vision.