Your business may be small, but going green is the biggest and best move it can make. Discover some sound changes that can make a huge difference to the environment and your bottom line.
One of Mikula Contracting’s core values is that we care how we affect our customers, our community, and our world. We believe eco-friendly business principals are more necessary now than ever, not just in our line of work but for every business in America. And we believe businesses that embrace those principals will excel today and in the years to come.
Businesses that run sustainable enterprises will outperform those who don’t as global consumer attitudes toward green issues change. Your customers care about your environmental impact, they’re going to care more in years to come, and the green practices you implement today will help grow your loyal customer base tomorrow.
Every business should take steps to reduce their negative impact, regardless of operating size. It’s a common mistake for smaller businesses to think only the “big boys” are doing any real environmental damage. In truth, small businesses can make a massive difference by going green because the U.S. has such a huge number of them — 30.2 million small businesses at last count. That’s 99.9% of American businesses!
If you’re a small business owner, here are three tips you can use to help save money, New Jersey, and the world.
Go green with your power and appliances
Small businesses often burn the midnight oil to compete, but we all know it isn’t oil we use these days. Businesses can save money and the environment by switching to LED bulbs or CFL lighting. These energy savings can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars for every green bulb in use.
Any appliance displaying the Energy Star label gives business owners a heads-up on how much energy the device will consume over time. This allows for better long-term budgeting and greater control over those utility bills, freeing up more cash per year to grow the business.
Energy audits are another good way to find out how much it costs to power your business. If you’re a New Jersey business in the right sector, the state will perform an energy audit and cover 100 percent of the expenses. Even if you don’t qualify for that deduction, every NJ business should investigate all the energy-saving incentives to optimize its bottom line.
Boost your biodegradables
If you’re in the packing business, biodegradable packaging should be part of your business model. If you’re not, support the companies who do pack in a green way. Small businesses can also do away with plastic cups and cutlery and replace them with the many available alternatives. All that business paperwork could be going onto recycled paper which eases global energy strains by 45 percent and cuts waste by 50 percent.
Businesses can go one better than biodegradable by skipping paper entirely and relying on digital communications and stored data. Every business should recycle plastics and paper wherever possible as well as stay well informed on New Jersey’s recycling rules. Recycling saves money for everybody in the community.
The cleaning products used on business premises can also play a big part in polluting that property and the ecosystem around it. Choosing cleaning agents responsibly will help your company truly going green. If your business soaps down vehicles onsite, hoses oil spills from parking lots, or simply throws the floor suds out the back door, think twice. This could be causing serious damage to the soil.
Understand the importance of soil remediation
This is a process used to treat soils contaminated by heavy metals or other pollutants by removing and converting them into less harmful products. It’s a common hazard for both New Jersey commercial and residential properties due to the presence of old underground heating oil tanks. A cleanup could cost a small business upwards of $130,000.
New Jersey is also prone to flooding, which can strip away the topsoil around a business. Without that layer, the ground is left wide open to greater damage from pollutants and vulnerable to further floods. Excavation work can also produce 70 percent of harmful particulate matter in urban areas, making it important for small businesses to work with responsible contractors.
Small businesses must ensure they’re complying with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its rigorous standards. EPA compliance is crucial because the fines are steep:
- For negligent violations: 1 year in prison and/or $2,500 – $25,000 per day. Subsequent convictions increase to 2 years and/or $50,000 per day.
- For knowing violations: 3 years in prison and/or $5,000 – $50,000 per day. Subsequent convictions increase to 6 years and/or $100,000 per day.
Small businesses must be especially careful with their finances and reputation. It’s vital they hire a contractor with the credentials and caring attitude needed for green digs.
At Mikula Contracting, we have all the right EPA qualifications plus over 70 years of experience in the industry. We work alongside New Jersey’s foremost environmental firms to serve your soil remediation needs and make sure your shift toward a greener operating model saves you as much money as possible.
Mikula Contracting, Inc., provides commercial and residential customers with a wide range of excavation, demolition, environmental, snow removal, trucking, and soil services. For more information, call 973-772-1684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org