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May 5, 2014

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3 Steps to a More Eco-Friendly Business

Eco friendly practices not only help the environment, but also the economy of your organization.
3 Steps to a More Eco-Friendly Business
  Eco credentials can be important to a business on many levels. The simplest and most obvious is the fact that environmentally-friendly approaches to business benefit the planet, which essentially benefits all of humanity. From a purely business point of view eco credentials can be powerful in inspiring trust among customers and clients, as it shows a business is being run responsibly. Many environmentally-friendly strategies also function well as cost-saving measures.

Digitise your business

  Many things can now be done with a computer instead of on paper. This is a prime example of an environmental measure that also saves money. Doing things digitally saves on paper costs, and also helps the environment by massively reducing the amount of paper used.

  Of course, a lot of things are already done digitally. Accounts and bookkeeping are usually managed on a computer; emails have almost entirely replaced letters, and invoicing is frequently done digitally. However, there are still some things that can be done in this way that many businesses do not yet make use of. Perhaps most notably, a lot of businesses do not even realise it is possible to issue digital payslips for online download instead of traditional, physical payslips. For more information on this, click here.

Turn things off

  This sounds like the simplest, most basic tip, there is, but it's surprising how often it gets missed. This is largely down to underestimating the impact of relatively small things. For example, it is not uncommon for computers to be left on overnight. Doing so can cost the business £50 a year for each individual machine, and the environmental impact is also larger than most people suspect.

  Heating and air conditioning are classic examples of things that get turned on when they don't need to be, or else put on higher settings than necessary. Every increase of just one degree will increase heating costs by 8%. Paying attention to the temperature of an office and turning these things down can have a positive impact on energy consumption. Some things, chiefly lights, can be made to turn themselves off automatically when they are not needed through the use of motion sensors.

Investigate tax incentives

  Some energy-saving measures, particularly physical products and technologies, may produce a financial saving and an environmental benefit yet not seem to justify the initial outlay. However, investing in certain energy-saving measures can be eligible for tax incentives. This can tip the balance and make initial costs affordable, or even turn it into a financially worthwhile investment once savings in energy costs are considered.

  This largely takes place through the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme. Unlike other tax-deductible expenses, capital allowances would usually be offset against taxable profits over a number of years. This reflects the product's lifespan, value to the business as capital, and depreciation over time - all factors that do not apply to expenses such as business services or stationery. However, under the ECA, the entire value of the investment can be offset against tax in the first year, making a tangible difference to the immediate impact on your business' cash flow.

About the author: Susan Chieve is former Professional blogger. Where she worked for over 20 years. At Business owner, Susan savvy marketing mind helped Digitize the business. Online content and other article products for B-to-B marketers seeking to reach small-business owners. Along the way, she is learned a lot about everything from Eco-Friendly Business, and manufacturing to project management.