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How Green is your Business?

Written by Bernadette Soares, Brand Value Ltd on May 31st, 2018.      0 comments

Sustainable business, or green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Often, sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies.

A lot has changed over the 16 years that I have been involved in the beauty industry driven by a growing customer awareness and industry trends. However there is another much more significant change on the horizon that affects not just the beauty industry but all industry. This trend is not isolated to the Cook islands or New Zealand but is set to impact industries on a global level.

This change is the drive to be Eco friendly, and while this change has traditionally been scorned as being the domain of hippies and Greenies the reality is that governments are now mandating eco friendly requirements and businesses will need to quickly adjust or withdraw. No one can now dispute global warming and the negative effects our lack of a green conscience have had on the world. It’s far easier to do nothing.......but this is no longer an option in countries like New Zealand and the Cook islands that have eco tourism as their biggest industry and which promote themselves as unspoilt nature tourism destinations. The future of our countries depends on the whole population making a conscious effort to change the way we do things. You don’t want to be the last offending, polluting Salon in your town or suburb.

So how does this affect the beauty industry and what does being GREEN mean to you?
For an industry that depicts images of nature and offers Natural products to enhance beauty, the beauty industry is a huge offender in depleting our environment. Waste is our biggest problem. Think about everything you as a beauty therapist and salon owner throw out. Or the Carbon emissions during the production of our beauty products. Add to that the, excessive packaging and printing or the chemicals that form the base of most products and which make their way into our waterways. The list goes on. Being Green is not about using Organic products it is about having the least adverse effect on our environment.

Sustainability. It’s not a catch phrase or marketing trend it should be a way of doing business and developing a green conscience. Look around at other industries and see the huge changes going on. Now most businesses have a sustainable business practice promise on their web page. More and more clients will expect you to be eco conscious.

At Brand Value we make eco friendly the very essence of our business. Pharo has revolutionized the hair removal industry by quite literally making waxing a thing of the past. The Pharo sugaring gels are sugar based and contain no solvents or chemicals. Unlike waxing the products do not require chemicals to clean up and simply wash off in water. The result is no run off of solvents into our beautiful waterways Another big win for Pharo ii our drive for sustainability is that all our gel plastic packaging can be reused and we have an active campaign to encourage salons to collect their empty plastic tubes and pots to send back to us for sterilising and reuse. This is only possible
because the Pharo sugaring gels can be washed off in water. With wax and the way it sticks to the containers the only place these plastics find themselves is the tip. With Radiessence we have refills for our makeup in cardboard packing so that it minimises the use of plastic compacts. With all our brands we have refills that less containers are thrown out in the environment.

The great thing about the beauty industry is we are respected professionals with influence on our clients, so by us making a conscious effort for the environment our clients will start thinking about their own lives and things they can change for the better.
Being Green and running your business sustainably seems like a daunting task, many people I’ve spoken to say they wouldn’t know where to start or even what to do. Join the Brand Value network of salons that are in their small way actively practicing sustainability and making beauty Green.

10 Ways to Green Your Business and Save Money according to Forbes magazine.
This extract has so many good ideas and it is so apt for the beauty salons across the pacific that it is well worth looking into and adapting some of them. Beauty Businesses need to lead the way across industries and in doing so will earn the well deserved respect from their client base. Furthermore with so many products and services to choose from, it has never been more important to differentiate yourself from the competition. Going green is a great way to stand out, but even if your actions don't land you on Newsweek's Greenest Companies list, going green can help your bottom line. The following are some simple steps you and your company can take today to save money and decrease its impact on the planet.

1. Switch to post-consumer waste (PCW) paper, paper products, and packaging. Whenever possible, skip paper entirely, but if you have to print, make sure you are using eco-friendly paper. Well-intentioned businesses may look for a recycling symbol on a box of paper, but this is an unregulated designation. Only PCW paper is made entirely from the paper we place in our recycling bins each day. Making PCW recycled paper uses 45% less energy and creates half the waste of the traditional paper making process. Purchasing products labeled as 100% PCW ensures you are using papers with the least impact. If 100% is not available, look for options with as much PCW content as possible, and don’t forget to recycle all your paper scraps instead of sending them to the landfill.

2. Use biodegradable cleaners. Using natural, biodegradable cleaning products reduces your exposure to harsh toxins and other chemicals, and reduces the introduction of these substances into the environment. The next time you run out of soap, shampoo or laundry detergent, swap in a greener option. Many stores sell green products in bulk.

3. Green Your Beauty Routine. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database is an amazing resource for finding non-toxic options for ever part of your personal routine. Most green products cost the same or less than their toxic counterparts and are better for your health and the environment.

4. Use compact-fluorescent (CFL) or LED lights. Though CFL and LED lights both have a higher purchase price than standard incandescent bulbs, they last significantly longer and use much less energy. CFL and LED bulbs can replace standard bulbs in most fixtures and can save you up to $200 per bulb over time. This calculator is a great way to see how quickly simply changing out your bulbs can add up!

5. Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels helping you asses their energy (and cash) requirements over time. Look for the yellow tags when you buy your next appliance, and splurge up front for the long term economic and environmental savings.

6. Get an energy audit and make simple changes around your office and house. According to he department of energy, sealing leaks and cracks in your home can cut up to 20% off the costs of your heating and cooling bills. Many states will perform free energy audits, and will pay for some or all of the repairs! (Google free energy audit and the name of your state for leads).

7. Power your office with alternative energy. In many areas of the country you can sign up to purchase “green power” from your current utility provider. Green power is generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and plant matter. Purchasing green power increases your electric bill by a small percentage, which is used to purchase clean energy that is fed into the electrical grid. To see if this is possible in your state visit Is my business in the Green Power Network?

8. Use public transportation, drive an alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles, or bike. Any of these three methods of transportation will reduce the carbon footprint of your business and highlight your environmental commitment. All will save you money over time.

9. Recycle outside the box. In addition to recycling everything that can be recycled, think green when buying or replacing items. Consider purchasing used or vintage office furniture instead of brand new pieces. You can find great deals on barely used office furniture on eBay and Craigslist.

10. Utilize green web hosting. Green web hosts are companies that take part in a variety of activities, such as using renewable energy, planting trees, or buying carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates to reduce or mitigate the environmental cost of running their servers and infrastructure. Most green companies cost the same or less than companies running servers using fossil fuels.

By following the simple tips above you can cut thousands of dollars off your bills and make yourself more attractive to eco-conscious consumers. No matter which of these steps you have taken, make sure to tell clients about what you are doing by creating an environmental mission statement or green practices section of your website, and by including any badges or certificates you earn on your site as well.

 
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Topics: Business
 

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