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  • Green Your Business
    Game Plan
    In-Depth

    It’s Good to Be a Green Business

    The pursuit of green—as in money—is always a priority for a small business. But a majority of small businesses now recognize the importance of another kind of green, namely, environmental preservation, and energy efficiency.

    According to the 2017 Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey, only 12 percent of small business owners were not participating in any sustainable activities.

    The Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey found:

    • Sixty-seven percent of companies were using supplies and materials more efficiently.
    • Fifty-four percent were using energy-efficient lighting systems and equipment.
    • Fifty-three percent of companies offer recycling programs.
    • Forty-two percent offer paperless billing
    • Thirty-seven percent were satisfied with their company’s current level of sustainable business activities

    Shifting your business hue to green is more than an ethical decision. A landmark 2013 nationwide survey of more than 1,300 small business owners by Green America, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, and EcoVentures International called The Big Green Opportunity for Small Business in the U.S. found that:

    • The green economy is expanding. From organics to fair trade to clean energy, sustainable products and services have moved from the fringe to industry norms, and forward-thinking companies are capturing significant market advantages.
    • Green operational efficiency is going mainstream. Changes range from double-sided laser printing to lighting system redesigns to solar panel installations.
    • Demand for green products and services is growing. Customers actually prefer green businesses. Companies that are catering to this demand report that they can charge an average of 19 percent more for sustainable products and services.
    • A green support network has emerged. More than 160 green certification programs and more than 34 specialty industry trade organizations have come on the scene since 2001.
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    Game Plan

    •  More than 52 percent of respondents in the 2017 Cox Conserves Sustainability Survey said their companies are either committed or very committed to increasing sustainable efforts.
    • SCORE is a nonprofit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration and dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Their Green Business Toolkit can show you how to get free advice from a SCORE mentor, point you to local green workshops, and provide links to a number of helpful articles.