Going green in the workplace
It has been calculated that companies could save as much as 5% of their annual turnover by promoting green energy practices in their workspaces. This includes such simple measures as switching off unused lights. Only 20% of the companies questioned in a recent survey had in-house environmental guidelines drawn up. A further 20% of them did not know of any environmental legislation.
Experts seem willing to tackle the green question, but many believe that financial incentives would help. A recent study showed an overwhelming response from small business that tax-breaks on green practice would be welcomed, including tax reductions for energy-efficient appliances. The problem was that half of the respondents admitted that they did not know where to turn for advice on improving energy efficiency.
Why do we need to give these companies financial incentives? The reason being is that companies that are for-profit organisations and implementing green energy initiatives costs money. Their bottom-line is their top priority and investors shun a loss-making company - no matter how green its practices.
Green energy initiatives have to be translated into dollars and cents to appeal to corporate executives. Programmes that protect the environment have to be put in business language and supported by solid data to get approval from management. These forward-looking companies will then enjoy a competitive advantage in developed markets, which demand environmentally friendly products and services, such as in Europe and Japan.
Two major companies are leading the way and should be an example to all the others. Global chip brand Intel has found a way to generate revenue from waste. Semiconductor wafers that never made it into finished products are sold to companies, which recycle the wafers into solar cells producing renewable energy. BT Group plc - one of Europe's leading providers of telecommunications services also generates added value from environmental management. In 2002, BT's reduced waste disposal costs decreased by over 50% due to income by recycling unused materials.
There is a way for companies, whatever the size, to use or promote green energy. They just need to be shown where to find the information on how to do it.