Most businesses today know the value of PR in ensuring that their brand is viewed in a positive light both inside and outside of the confines of their customer base. And in an ecologically conscious age, consumers are increasingly aware that the decisions they make can have a real and lasting impact on the planet. Look around and you’ll see a whole lot of big businesses making promises to cut out plastics, increase their use of recycled materials and lower their carbon footprint. Even brands like Nestle (who have had some genuine PR nightmares, despite their ubiquity) are now scoring PR points by demonstrating an environmental conscience.
There’s no doubt that there’s enormous PR value (as well as the value in knowing that you’re doing your bit to help the planet) in making your business practices more ecologically sound, but conventional wisdom has long dictated that turning a profit and making your business more environmentally friendly are mutually exclusive. However, there are many ways in which going greener can save on your overheads and boost profits sustainably…
Install solar panels
No business welcomes additional overheads, but some overheads eventually become cost neutral as they pay for themselves in savings later down the line. Installing solar panels is a prime example of this. Not only will they help you to generate cleaner and more sustainable energy while saving you money on energy costs, depending on where you’re based you may be eligible for a government grant to help towards installation costs.
Rethink your office space
As well as innovating your products and processes in environmentally friendly ways, the space in which you do business likely offers huge opportunities to make your enterprise greener. Even embracing the benefits of metal roofing can make your workplace greener while also saving you money in the long term on energy costs, upkeep and replacements. Moreover, you can install devices that ensure that lights are not left on in rooms that are unoccupied and find innovative ways to reduce your paper use. You should also cut down massively on disposables like ball point pens.
Never recycle when you can repurpose
We have a habit of thinking that recycling is an environmentally neutral process but this is actually pretty far from the truth. Recycling is certainly preferable to contributing to landfill waste but it should be used as a last resort. Instead, you should find ways to reuse, upcycle and repurpose wherever possible. There are literally hundreds of ways in which you can do this. Why not boost your workplace morale along with your PR by coming up with monthly challenges to see who can find the most creative ways to repurpose everything from worn out pencils to office furniture.
However you choose to make your business more environmentally friendly, you’ll only reap the PR benefits if you actively make it a part of your branding. Document your innovations on your website, business blog or social media feed. Your customers and clients care about the environment and by demonstrating that you share their care and commitment you stand a much better chance of keeping them.