Reduce costs, boost morale, and earn more business – all while making a positive environmental impact.

Sustainability efforts are a high priority for many businesses, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. Of course, concerns about environmental impact top the list, but did you know that sustainability can also help your business’s bottom line?

Today, we’re sharing five ways going green can benefit your business and make your competitors green with envy.

No. 1:  Help the environment.

It doesn’t matter if you have a large chain of facilities or you operate a small, single location; you can make a difference with even just one change you make towards sustainability. Consider practices like recycling, sourcing eco-friendly products and materials, streamlining your inventory management processes, and rewarding sustainable team behaviors like bicycling or carpooling to work.

And don’t feel like you have to come up with all the ideas! Get the team together to brainstorm how your business can make an impact and develop a plan to work together.

No. 2: Improve morale and employee retention.

It’s no secret that soliciting feedback and ideas from team members makes them feel more engaged and committed to their work, so if you meet with them to explore how to become more eco-friendly, you’re off to a good start.

Then, if you reward the effort they put in, they’ll not only keep up the great work to earn the reward, but they’ll also feel more valued. People who feel appreciated will always do more than expected, so this is a win-win for everyone.

When team members are engaged and happy, they’ll stay working for you longer, while providing better experiences for each other and your guests.

No. 3: Reduce costs (and increase profitability).

Besides the cost savings that low turnover and customer complaints will afford you, you can save in many other areas.

Food waste contributes to considerable losses in profitability – and it’s bad for the planet. When was the last time you reviewed your menu to ensure you were using ingredients across multiple items to limit waste and maximize efficiency? Small changes can make a big impact.

Other ways to help reduce costs in food service:

  • Keep a waste journal to identify any issues with over-prepping and eliminate waste.
  • Change to energy-efficient lighting.
  • Switch to ‘straw on request’ (but provide paper straws when requested).
  • Get reusable cups for employee use. If each takeout cup costs $.08, and you had 25 team members inside your facility each day using just one fewer cup per day (we know it’s probably much higher), you’d save a minimum of $750 per year!

Besides kitchen inventory management, consider how you order items for your facility and identify ways to streamline your processes.

Do you have enough party supplies for the weekend, or are you spending time, gas, and money sending someone to the local party supply store twice a week to get what you need?

How many wasted deliveries are you paying for if you have vendors delivering too often or have to order in a hurry because something was missed?

No. 4: Increase community goodwill.

People take notice when you do good work. The water filling station at my local gym counts the number of plastic bottles saved using the refillable station. Consider where strategically placed signage might gently highlight your efforts in reducing plastic or styrofoam waste.

If your team is out and about planting trees or cleaning up parks or beaches as a team-building activity, share those moments with your social audiences.

Consider how else your facility can get involved locally. I was working with CenterEdge client, Laser Bounce and Q-Zar in New York a couple of weeks ago. While driving to dinner, I noticed a highway sign rotating that this section of highway had been adopted by Laser Bounce as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program. I thought it was an interesting (and noticeable) way to help the environment and local community.  

No. 5: Earn more business.

It should be evident by now that if you make efforts towards being more eco-friendly, people will notice how much you, your team, and your business care. This means they’re more likely to choose you when spending their entertainment dollar.

More and more, consumers are opting to buy sustainable products from companies that follow “green” practices. And we know that people want to do business with brands whose values align with their own. So it’s pretty safe to say that making sustainability a priority in your business can do great things for you, your guests, and the environment. Are you in?

What sustainability practices does your business employ? Share them with us in the comments, or send your ideas to!

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