When Startups Go Green

Mother Nature is so beautiful that we are amazed at the gorgeous greenery view.

She houses us; we eat and live, code and load, buy and sell on her portion.

Secondary school Economics teaches us that land is a free gift of nature, but that also includes the air and some other elements of life. However, we cannot say that we have been fair, it is appalling to explain the severe damage man has done to her, is that our way of repaying her for her warm kindness?

What does going green really mean?

Simply put, practising or living green means being environmentally friendly. It extends to the care of the environment; workplaces, school, public areas, institutions etc. and the daily culture of living green.

In recent times, the world has been faced with conversations around climate change today, a majority of the issues arising from ignorance of the part we play in negatively affecting the environment. More and more, countries are not only making conscious efforts at reducing activities that contribute to worsening climate change but creating innovative solutions to combat it.

 

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow- (UN SDGs)

There are myriads of benefit if your startup goes green and you might even receive the “Energy star’’ sticker on your office door- don’t mind me, your startup isn’t an electric product. A pacesetter in this regard is the retail giant, Wal-Mart- the largest private employer in America- who redefined it shopping mall by practicing green and reducing their energy consumption by 20% through changing its lighting system to natural lighting by the day (tube skylight), naturally innovated refrigerating system behind closed doors, painted their roofs white, etc.

“To achieve stability in our environment, we need Wal-Mart in every company” – John Doerr (American born Venture capitalist)

 

These are four amazing reasons why your startup should go green:

 

Reduce expenses and operation costs

Cash, cash, cash, startup founders always find it a pain to pay for something, sometimes even when it’s necessary. Operation costs and expenses are also very large concerns in corporate offices and startups depending on business models. However, going green practices would cut down on a startup budget by 50% for mid adoption or even more, sounds good right?

Methods proven to realize such targets are; being powered by renewable energy (Partially or fully), reducing paper use, natural lighting system during the day in fact throughout office hours, except founders and really hard working staff who might sleep over, compact fluorescent lighting system if the need is etc.

Contribute to a sustainable environment

It is glaring that startups, companies and industries really have a huge impact on the environmental. The blaring noise of Mikano generators, huge paper usage and fleet of cars display at their parking lots, manufacturing processes, waste generation and the likes are plethora of practices which inadvertently contribute to a decaying environment.

By going green(ride sharing, eco-friendly disposal of wastes, reduction of paper usage or a near total use of cloud services), you would be able to save more of the birds as seen in Twitter logo(nature preservation), reduce or minimize waste plunged into the environment, achieve a smokeless public scenery and other points. Mother Nature would be happy and continue to spread goodness and our environment would be sustainable.

Going Green
Image Credit: Chris White

Increased sales and good public image

Going green can really shoot a company to stardom and recognized as a startup or company with a triple bottom line model (people, planet and profit) and community social responsibility.

I am a faraway fan of Wal-Mart, so here I come again with the story of how their sales rose by 20% for the adoption of green practices as earlier mentioned. Customers and users are emotionally drawn to companies who truly care about the environment they live in. Increased person to person spread of a green company can also increase public image.

Who doesn’t want such good news?

 

Employees/workers would be happy

Silicon Valley has a new search tag – eco-friendly offices- for employees in search of workplaces that care about them (health and work models) and have eco-friendly environments. The Africa Silicon valley may receive this new virus soon when the dome becomes environmentally conscious.

Adoption of the green sticker shows you really care about your employee and thus increase their inspiration and trust in your startup towards being work friendly.  Last week, Google announced it is working on a new office design called the Work bay Village, the office space as designed by ECAL student is totally green and has a space to work, nap, farm and socialize, thus creating an environmentally friendly space for it employees.  It is also visible how Tech giants (Google, Facebook and Apple) are in a race to be green because of their workers and in the quest to be sustainable as announced in Dec 2016 to be 100% green.

 

Number 13 in the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) by the United Nations makes a case for the world to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

“Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner and more resilient economies. The pace of the change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts” –SDGs

These are little of the crucial effects of going green, I would be positive and continue to preach environmental sustainability because I see it as a duty of man and look forward to workplaces with sustainability as a language and green as a culture. Thinking about going green with these points, let us have a coffee on a green table. Cheers!

 

Aruna Afeez Abayomi

Eco-consultant and Product Manager at Green Empire.

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