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5 Reasons Companies Should Take Green Audits More Seriously


By Keith Tully

Green audits are an essential means of figuring out how large or small a company’s carbon footprint really is, but their usefulness is not yet fully appreciated by everyone.

Here’s a look at five reasons and some explanations of why green audits should be seen as positive actions by small, medium and large enterprises alike.

1. Efficiency gains

The process of carrying out a green audit does not deliver benefits in and of itself. However, the process of reporting the findings and opening up access to figures on energy consumption can be very impacting in terms of influencing behavior within even the largest of companies.

In many ways, a green audit gives a business a roadmap for finding efficiency gains. This can be very useful in any circumstance but particularly where a company is big enough that even subtle efficiency tweaks can bring very notable rewards.

2. Financial savings

Every business in the world wants to do more with less and save money in any way that is possible and does not impact on revenues or profits. Conducting green audits gives companies clear sight of where they might be able to make major cost savings.

Furthermore, the cost savings that green audits are able to highlight and bring to the attention of executives are often relatively straightforward to deliver and sustainable over extended periods of time. In short, the financial incentives for being more energy efficient are rendered very obvious through green audits, and they’re presented in the language of dollars and cents, which has a tendency to help turn strategy ideas into action points very quickly.

3. Competitive advantage

Being energy inefficient and contributing on a massive scale to carbon emissions on an annual basis is not something that is yet completely outlawed or an immediate or obvious problem for companies from a competitive standpoint. However, the impacts of corporate contributions to carbon emissions are high on political agendas around the world.

Increasingly, laws are being introduced with the aim of incentivizing companies away from the use of non-renewable energy, and that trend is only likely to continue. So, businesses can effectively secure a competitive advantage by using green audits as a means of preparing for future ‘green’ regulations and by equipping themselves with a full and robust understanding of how their own energy use stacks up.

4. Brand perception

Relatively few companies are in a position to be genuinely proud of their own record when it comes to carbon emissions, but those that are can enjoy benefits of an improved perception of their brand. So, for businesses whose contributions to climate change are relatively slight, there is potentially a lot that can be gained from conducting a green audit as a means of quantifying that good performance.

Consumer-facing brands are perhaps best placed to take commercial advantage of being a ‘green’ company because there’s every chance a proportion of their customers will be environmentally conscious and impressed by a low carbon emissions score. But business-to-business operators can also take advantage of their ‘green’ status when it comes to recruitment and establishing a brand with which potential employees have positive associations.

5. Audits result in real changes

Leaving aside the business case for conducting green audits for a moment and getting back to the bigger picture, we know that carbon reporting instigates changes that make a real difference. The end result of keeping a close eye on how efficient or otherwise a business is when it comes to their energy use is reduced emissions and more energy-conscious companies. And, given the scale of carbon emissions contributed by businesses worldwide each year, any means of making a positive impact should be given every possible backing and chance to succeed.

In the U.K., green audits are being made mandatory for businesses of all sizes, and signs are that all manner of operators are finding easy ways to save money and cut their carbon emissions as a result. There’s every reason to think that the more green audits there are being conducted around the world, the more money will be saved businesses and the lower corporate carbon emissions will become.

Image credit: Flickr/Tanya Hart

Keith Tully from Real Business Rescue is a leading corporate insolvency specialist. He knows what it takes to keep struggling businesses afloat and what qualities are required of company directors.

3p Contributor

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