If Your Center Hasn’t “Gone Green” Yet You May Be Jeopardizing Your Profit Margins

Sustainable building
Sustainable building

Seldom have I heard a color battened about like the color “Green”. Go back a couple decades ago and it was the domain of environmentalists; as recently as five years ago it was the subject du jour around conference room tables seeking a way to separate their brand from the rest of the pack and look good while doing it. Today we have evolved to recognize that sustainability or “green initiatives” are a necessary part of doing business. Yet some businesses remain convinced that green costs money, rather than saves it.

I asked Cameron McElroy of Santa Monica’s ROC (Real Office Centers). As head of Environmental Integration at ROC, I thought he’d have something to say on the subject.

ROC’s ecoROC sustainable model is all about increasing efficiency. The idea, according to Cameron McElroy, is to facilitate efficiency, not only within ROC themselves, but with the businesses inside their centers. This starts with basics, such as recycling, efficient lighting, and environmentally friendly products. “We aim to build a sustainable community of businesses and startups to operate under the same roof. By being more efficient, we are increasing productivity with less effort for ROC itself and those who choose to work in our built environment,” says McElroy.

I also received an excellent write up on why green is a good business strategy from George Gay, Fund Manager – Direct Property at Thames River whose portfolio includes Central Reading Offices, the impetus behind the article. It includes some of the recent findings on green initiatives and I’ve reprinted the article below for your reading. I hope you pass this article on to some of the sceptics out there.
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Why going green is a good business strategy

According to a recent report from The Future Laboratory, enthusiasm for environmentalism in companies is set to only go one way; up. Despite hitting another recession, businesses are continuing to focus on its sustainability.

Companies throughout the country are forging ahead to find innovative ways to collate a green policy that will attract new partners, clients and customers while also reaping in other prosperous rewards. By encouraging consumers that corporations are taking their environmental pledge seriously can see a more than pleasing result in sale figures.

There are obvious benefits and incentives for a business to become environmentally aware; it decreases the impact each organisation has on the environment, and can contribute to cost saving initiatives implemented in the business centre.

Cost Saving Initiatives

When it comes to the savings business can obtain, Central Reading Offices says that “energy and water consumption is at the front line in the fight for sustainability. Both sources can create a lot of waste, something the environment and companies are paying for. Installing water saving devices and a monitoring thermostat can help businesses to keep a tab on what and how much is being used.”

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The water saving device will shut off the water supply when it’s not in direct use; whereas, the thermostat will give the user(s) access to room temperatures electronically – having the ability to switch the heating off when meeting rooms are not in use. Although there is an initial cost of installing such devices, businesses should see bills dramatically fall as a result.

Solar panels can also be installed to encourage cost savings within the business centre. Storing energy from the heat of the sun will prevent employees to use the main supply, resulting in a lower energy bill.

Increasing profitable margins

Stephen Hine, head of responsible investment development at EIRI told the Independent: “those who are thinking long term realise there is a strong business case for, say, using less energy or water, because it saves money and improves their brand image. Being green can help companies to gain new clients, or enhance their share price because being able to manage risks better could help to avoid an otherwise damaging controversy.”

By employing a green policy within the business for all those to see, whether it is a prospective client, partner or customer, can contribute to a stronger brand image. Branding is incredibly important as it provides consumers with reassurance and to be associated with an environmental pledge will only make the brand appear much stronger, resulting in a larger profit margin.

Implementing a positive green policy will also attract more consumers or clients as it illustrates your commitments to something other than your own profitability.

The report from The Future Laboratory showed that nearly half of the 500 respondents foresee their investment in business sustainability to increase up to 50% over the next decade. Martin Raymond, strategy and insight director at The Future Laboratory, said: “We’ve seen a stage shift between the old guard in business who see sustainability as something they had to do for shareholders or their public image and the younger executives who see it as something more important.”

Going green is now seen as a strategy that improves business on a wide spectrum as well as something people should do for the sake of the environment. For companies who want to stand out and see augmented profit margins, a well thought out and structure green policy needs to be implemented.

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