I predict American businesses will pay more attention to green business practices over the next five years – and here’s just one of the reasons: it’s good business.
Clearly, reducing our carbon footprints and being environmentally responsible is the right thing to do for the planet.
But is it the right thing for your business? Some need convincing. And even if you’ve decided to implement green practices because it’s the right thing for the planet, you still may have questions about what it means to your business, including the ROI of going green.
Luckily, we have the tools that can help us calculate the dollars and cents of going green.
There are a number of free online calculators that can help you quickly assess the green impact of certain activities and practices on your business. Each of the following five calculators requires just minutes of your time to input a few bits of information:
Terrapass Business Carbon Footprint Calculator – This multi-part calculator assesses the energy usage at your facility, in your company’s vehicle fleet, and from employees on business travel and commuting.
Green IT Calculator – This calculator by Forrester Research calculates the amount of energy savings on IT equipment including computers, peripherals and telephony, by shutting them down, switching to power management modes or upgrading to more efficient equipment.
Cisco EnergyWise Business Value Calculator – Cisco offers a detailed calculator to measure the power usage of IT equipment in your organization. Oriented toward larger enterprises, it may be overkill for the smallest businesses. But it’s well worth a comparison to the simpler Forrester calculator above.
Green Financial Paper Footprint – This calculates how much you can reduce your environmental impact by switching to electronic billing, statements and payments.
MSN Green Calculator – This calculator assesses your household usage of natural gas, electricity and other resources. If we become more attuned to energy usage and green practices at work, that attention will likely flow over into our personal lives, too, where we may feel motivated to cut down our household energy impact.
Business.gov, the Federal government’s gateway for businesses, also has links to a variety of calculators. Many are oriented toward how much energy you can save by upgrading to EnergyStar products (products identified by the EPA as energy efficient).
Finally, if you’d like to know more about how to “go green” in your business, Business.gov also has a section of advice for businesses on green business practices.