Building for the future? Build green.
Your place of business is one of the largest investments you're likely to make. There is the initial capital cost and the costs of renovating or maintaining the building. This is true even if your business is run from home.
There are many other things to consider when choosing your place of business, such as:
- A convenient location
- Access to facilities or services
- Scalability as your business grows
Going green means being mindful of your business' environmental impact and taking steps to reduce it. There are many ways businesses can do this, from adopting green business practices, such as encouraging employees to cycle to work, to keeping your supply chain green by sourcing environmentally friendly products.
Your business premises will represent one of your business' largest environmental impacts. You will consume water as well as energy for heating, air conditioning and lighting at a minimum. In addition, there are the construction materials and the space occupied by the building. All of these represent an environmental impact as well as an impact on your bottom line.
By going green, your business could save money in the long run. There are other reasons why you might go green, such as concern for the environment and brand consistency, but there is also a financial case for going green. Using energy more efficiently can mean less money spent on energy. There can be other financial incentives to save energy. Depending on where you do business your business could be eligible for incentives or tax relief.
There are other long-term benefits as well; for example:
- A green workplace can promote employee health and productivity.
- You can improve the value of your property.
- Your business will be better prepared for any potential changes to environmental regulations.
You will need to weigh these potential long-term benefits against the initial investment of going green. While the costs of going green may be going down, they can still represent an additional upfront cost to building, purchasing, or renovating your place of business. Going green may be a decision you can make right away or it may be a decision to be made after your business has grown.
If you've made the decision to make your workplace green, then it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common green building standards. These standards will give your business a target when designing or renovating a green building. It is also useful to be familiar with ENERGY STAR standards for energy efficiency equipment.
There are government programs and information available to help you go green. Natural Resources Canada has useful information on energy efficiency for commercial and industrial buildings. In addition, be mindful of environmental regulations that may be affecting your business.
In the long run, greening your workplace can be good both for the planet and your place of work. Explore our website for other ways to green your business.