<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/leon#">The Business of Green</a>

The Business of Green

Money matters in the green world, by Leon Gettler.

Turning businesses green

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Not being green is bad for business. Nowadays it's not just a matter of having a social conscience or wanting to save the planet. There is a strong business case for having an environment-friendly operation due to looming climate laws and volatile energy prices.

This might explain why more companies are moving into the green space. Newsweek last week unveiled its Green Rankings that rate companies on their environmental credentials. We can expect a lot more of that to happen.

Being a green laggard can hurt business. Here are the reasons why: the first and most obvious reason is that cutting back on energy consumption can actually save the company lots of money. Secondly, it can help a company raise capital because investors are more likely to put their money into businesses that have integrated climate risk and sustainability into their strategy.

Being a green business also facilitates more innovation. It forces people into becoming more creative and it can generate ideas that can end up making the company money.

There are six keys to running a green business. Number one is recognising that energy prices are going to go up - they have to because of demand for fuel from developing economies like China and India. And that will force companies to become more energy efficient. Companies will have to put in place corporate-wide energy efficiency targets. These sorts of programs can only work with senior management.

Also in these times, companies will have to look at cheap ways of meeting sustainability goals, getting their entire workforce involved and coming up with new ideas to meet those targets.

Still, I am uncomfortable with some of this stuff because many businesses still emit toxic crap. They just make up for it with carbon offsets by, say, investing in forests and green technology. As blogger Siobhan O’Connor says, all these companies are doing is cancelling out their environmental wrongs instead of avoiding them altogether. At the same time, however, the push for green businesses has to be a good thing.

So what do you think about green businesses. Is it right, or is it greenwash? What green businesses can you identify? What do they do?