You hear the craze about being “green” and becoming more “environmentally friendly.”
Your customers want it. Millennials, the single largest generation of Americans ever, love to see it from businesses.
And in addition to customers wanting to see this from you, you can substantially reduce your costs when you go green. In some cases, you can actually turn a profit where you didn’t have one before.
Check out some of these innovative approaches:
1. General Mills Profits from Their Waste
This company used to send all its solid waste to landfills – at the cost of $100 a ton. Oat hulls, the remnants of Cheerios after they’re made, used to cost that much when hauled off.
But General Mills learned oat hulls can be burned as fuel. And now they have customer scompeting to buy it. General Mills actually turns a profit on removal of Cheerios’ oat hulls – instead of paying $100 a ton to get rid of it.
2. Costco’s “Dumb” Lighting Move
“Dumb” here doesn’t mean stupid. It actually refers to the fact Costco doesn’t use smart lighting to reduce its electric bills. The “smart” controls the company first considered took way too long to offset their cost of purchase and installation.
So what did Costco do?
If you’ve been in their stores, you know they use skylights to allow the sun to offer some help. This works well in Western states with lots of sun year-round. But you’ll also notice it in states all across the nation – even those with long, overcast winters.
In addition, Costco also installed LED retrofit kits that reduced lighting wattage from 100 to 35. A manual dimmer was also installed to allow employees to reduce lighting below 35 watts.
In the Pacific Northwest, Costco gets a 3-year payback on this approach. In sunny California, this falls to about a year.
3. TaiKoo Hui Guangzhou Mall
This mall currently ranks as the epitome of green on a large scale. It includes waterless urinals, graywater flushing (reusing water used in sinks), and it repurposes food waste as compost.
To top it off, the lighting and HVAC systems are all built highly energy-efficient.
Innovation is one of the main reasons America remains a leading superpower. And at a national level, it’s how you can remain competitive and appeal to your market.
So what will you do with the capital saved? Pass it on to your customers, or invest in new projects that drive your company forward?