Green Power: A Low-Cost Boost to Your Brand and Bottom Line

Running your business on green power can help the environment, but it can also be a low-cost way to build your company's brand and its profits. It has certainly worked for Scott Nash and his small chain of organic grocery stores.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency released its most up-to-date lists of organizations that voluntarily chose to use clean, renewable electricity. Solar, wind, and low-impact hydropower qualify as "green power." Corporate giants like Intel Corp., Kohl’s Department Stores, and Microsoft Corp. topped the list of the largest users of green power by kilowatt-hours, because of their massive footprint. However, smaller companies dominate the list of companies that power their company with 100 percent green energy.

More than half of the 1,300 organizations that work with the EPA in its Green Power Partnership are small businesses or organizations. Small businesses likely don’t have enough personnel to devote many hours to “greening” their business, but it doesn't take long to participate in the program, says Blaine Collison, the Green Power Partnership's director.

Related: Going Green Is Growing Important to Small Businesses

If you want to run your business on green power, you can install solar panels on your business’ roof or erect wind turbines in your business’ backyard. Great options, even if not so realistic for most entrepreneurs. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a more do-able approach: You call your energy provider and inquire about its green power option and ask to be switched over. And if your current energy provider doesn’t have a green option, check out the EPA’s online locator for one that does.

For slightly more money, you purchase renewable energy credits (RECs), which are effectively purchasing units of power that the energy provider agrees to obtain from a sustainable source. If companies purchase enough RECs to cover the amount of energy they use each, then the company is in effect running on green power, even without a wind turbine in the parking lot.

Running a business with clean energy has been a boost to business for MOM’s Organic Market, Nash's grocery-store chain headquartered in Rockville, Md. "The customers know, the employees know, we know” about the company's environmental concerns, says Nash. The company has made EPA’s list since it was first released in 2007 and has been part of the Green Power Partnership for even longer. “Yeah, it costs us a little bit extra to do these good things, but I think it helps our bottom line,” he says. Employee-retention rates are high and customers are more loyal, he says.

Related: 10 Ways to Green Your Retail Store

And, it’s not that much more expensive. For each grocery store, it costs an additional 2 percent to run on 100 percent green power, says Charis Egland-Smith, who runs MOM’s environmental programs. The 25-year-old chain has about 500 employees. Egland-Smith says the local rates for green power versus coal power are nearly comparable, and on occasion, the company has even gotten better prices for green power.

The big payback comes with the bragging rights. “For a small business to say ‘We are 100 percent green power,’ because their total electric loads are fairly small given that they are in fact a small business, the ultimate absolute marginal cost tends not to be very high,” says Collison. And “‘We are 100 percent green power’ is such a valuable message, that they find it is compelling.”  

So compelling, in fact, that MOM’s Organic Market buys almost twice as much green power than it needs to run its stores. “We are offsetting somebody else’s dirty energy at that point,” says Nash. And then the store lets its consumers know what it is doing with in-store signs, social media and messages on grocery bags. It equates its energy savings to cars taken off the roads, for example.

Related: CES 2012: Go Green With These Money-Saving Gadgets

Nash encourages other entrepreneurs to commit to clean energy. “Being small is no barrier to being green. It is probably easier -- less bureaucracy,” says Nash. And, it can be a selling point, “That is how they can differentiate themselves from the big guys," he says. 

What does your company do to be green? How have those moves impacted your business? Leave a comment below and let us know.

This article originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • Italy second quarter GDP likely to be revised up - Treasury source Reuters - 3 minutes 5 seconds ago

    ROME (Reuters) - Italian second quarter gross domestic product data is likely to be revised up to show some quarter-on-quarter growth instead of the flat preliminary reading issued earlier this month, ... … More »

  • Two European energy analysts leave Societe Generale Reuters - 4 minutes 49 seconds ago

    LONDON (Reuters) - Two Paris-based analysts covering European natural gas, power, coal and carbon markets at Societe Generale said they are leaving the French investment bank. Thierry Bros, senior analyst ... … More »

  • Oil falls as dollar rallies again; storm fears limit downside
    Oil falls as dollar rallies again; storm fears limit downside Reuters - 6 minutes ago

    Oil prices fell for a second day in a row on Tuesday as the dollar rose on stronger U.S. economic data, but the downside was limited by production suspensions in the U.S. Gulf due to an expected tropical storm. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) … More »

  • Putin to visit Japan in December
    Putin to visit Japan in December AFP News - 16 minutes ago

    President Vladimir Putin will visit Japan in December as Moscow and Tokyo strive to ease old tensions over four disputed islands, the Kremlin said Tuesday. Tokyo-Moscow relations are hamstrung by a row dating back to the end of World War II when … More »

  • Grain lower, livestock mixed Associated Press - 29 minutes ago

    Grain futures were lower Tuesonday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Sept. delivery was 1.50 cents higher at $3.7220 a bushel; Sept. corn was 2 cents lower at $3.0960 bushel; Sept. ... … More »

  • Berkeley could be dumped from FTSE 100 as Brexit bites Reuters - 37 minutes ago

    British housebuilder Berkeley Group could be kicked out of the top UK equity index following a sharp drop in its stock price on concerns about the pace of economic growth in Britain after it voted to leave the European Union. Berkeley shares have … More »

  • US stocks are mostly lower as investors wait for jobs report
    US stocks are mostly lower as investors wait for jobs report Associated Press - 43 minutes ago

    U.S. stocks were slightly lower in early trading Tuesday in what looks to be another quiet day as the summer comes to an end. Hershey plunged after the company walked away from a merger proposal, and Apple ... … More »

  • EU hits Apple with 13 billion euro Irish tax demand
    EU hits Apple with 13 billion euro Irish tax demand Reuters - 49 minutes ago

    BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) - The European Commission ordered Apple Inc. to pay Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) on Tuesday as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid. Apple and Dublin said the U.S. company's … More »

  • Oil prices rise on U.S. weather fears, OPEC speculation
    Oil prices rise on U.S. weather fears, OPEC speculation Reuters - 51 minutes ago

    Oil futures rose on Tuesday supported by production suspensions in the U.S. Gulf due to an expected tropical storm and speculation that producers meeting in Algeria next month will act to prop up prices. Brent crude futures were trading at $49.58 … More »

  • Gold slips as focus shifts to U.S. payrolls data
    Gold slips as focus shifts to U.S. payrolls data Reuters - 52 minutes ago

    Gold fell on Tuesday after Federal Reserve officials sounded a hawkish note on interest rates, boosting the dollar, while attention turned to U.S. payrolls data this week for further clues on the pace of rate hikes. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on … More »

  • Wall Street flat as investors look for clues on rates
    Wall Street flat as investors look for clues on rates Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen painted a rosy picture of the U.S. economy at an economic symposium on Friday and said the case for a rate hike was strengthening, but gave little indication on when the central bank could move. Fed Vice Chairman … More »

  • VW reviews supplier strategy after dispute hits production
    VW reviews supplier strategy after dispute hits production Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago

    Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller has vowed to review the German car giant's procurement strategy to avoid any repetition of the crippling supplier dispute that hit production at six plants this month. Disputes like this one, resolved by … More »

  • Volkswagen reviews supplier strategy after dispute hits production
    Volkswagen reviews supplier strategy after dispute hits production Reuters - 1 hour 8 minutes ago

    Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller has vowed to review the German car giant's procurement strategy to avoid any repetition of the crippling supplier dispute that hit production at six plants this month. Disputes like this one, resolved by … More »

  • Markets Right Now: A mixed open for stocks on Wall Street Associated Press - 1 hour 17 minutes ago

    The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local): 9:35 a.m. Stocks are wavering between small gains and losses in early trading as a summer slowdown continues on Wall Street. Hershey ... … More »

  • France's Macron expected to resign in step towards presidency run
    France's Macron expected to resign in step towards presidency run Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    France's Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron will resign on Tuesday, sources close to him said, clearing the way for a presidential bid by one of the country's most popular politicians. A run by the man polls say is the most-liked minister in Francois … More »

  • Bank Rakyat appoints one of board members as acting chairman New Straits Times - 1 hour 41 minutes ago

    KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Rakyat’s board of directors, at its special meeting, has appointed one of its members as Acting Chairman. In a statement today, Bank Rakyat said, the appointment was made after getting an approval from Minister of Domestic Trade, … More »

  • Uganda grants 8 oil production licenses to Total, Tullow Associated Press - 1 hour 41 minutes ago

    Uganda's government on Tuesday issued eight oil production licenses to two foreign companies, moving the East African country closer to becoming a producer of crude. Five of the licenses were granted to ... … More »

  • China's big banks set for hard slog as margins shrink
    China's big banks set for hard slog as margins shrink Reuters - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Four of China's so-called 'Big Five' state-owned banks have warned that profits will continue to be pressured in the second half of the year, as slowing growth in the world's second-biggest economy hits borrowers and … More »

  • France urges halt to EU-U.S. trade talks
    France urges halt to EU-U.S. trade talks Reuters - 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    Trade talks between the European Union and the United States should be halted and a new set started, France's trade minister said on Tuesday, adding his voice to calls from within Germany for an end to the negotiations. Three years of talks on a … More »

  • Mitsubishi says overstated mileage for more vehicle models
    Mitsubishi says overstated mileage for more vehicle models Reuters - 2 hours 0 minutes ago

    Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Tuesday more of its vehicle models were involved in a mileage cheating scandal than initially stated, and that it would temporarily stop domestic sales of affected vehicles and compensate owners. Earlier in the day, … More »

  • Oil rebound slightly after sharp losses AFP - 2 hours 4 minutes ago

    Oil prices rose Tuesday, a day after sliding on the strong dollar, but fears over the supply glut kept gains in check before a key producers' meeting next month. The market had tumbled Monday after Federal ... … More »

  • Slowing German inflation puts pressure on ECB
    Slowing German inflation puts pressure on ECB Reuters - 2 hours 14 minutes ago

    German annual inflation slowed unexpectedly in August, preliminary data showed on Tuesday, suggesting price pressures in Europe's largest economy remain weak despite the European Central Bank's ultra-loose monetary policy. The euro zone has … More »

  • Fed bets boost dollar, EU tax bill bites Apple Reuters - 2 hours 20 minutes ago

    U.S. interest rate rise expectations pushed the dollar up for a seventh time in eight days on Tuesday, while Wall Street dealers braced for a bruising session for Apple after it was hit by a record $14.5 billion European tax bill. The dollar … More »

  • Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance' deals
    Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance' deals Associated Press - 2 hours 32 minutes ago

    For cash-strapped life insurance companies, the deal sounds almost too good to be true: A state law allows them to create complex financial instruments to transfer liabilities to new subsidiaries, instantly ... … More »

  • Irish finance minister says EU Apple tax ruling bizarre, political Reuters - 2 hours 35 minutes ago

    DUBLIN (Reuters) - An order by European Union antitrust regulators for Apple (AAPL.O) to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes is a bizarre exercise in politics, Ireland's finance minister ... … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.123-0.001-0.81%
    N21.SI
    0.3550.0000.00%
    E5H.SI
    0.235-0.005-2.08%
    5ME.SI
    0.725-0.010-1.36%
    G13.SI
    0.315+0.005+1.61%
    5OT.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.55+0.12+27.91%
    BJZ.SI
    0.45+0.09+25.00%
    BFK.SI
    0.46+0.06+15.00%
    M05.SI
    0.23+0.03+12.20%
    BTJ.SI
    0.525+0.055+11.70%
    BQD.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.13-0.02-13.33%
    5TI.SI
    0.20-0.03-13.04%
    AWI.SI
    0.176-0.024-12.00%
    A04.SI
    0.166-0.022-11.70%
    AWS.SI
    0.155-0.020-11.43%
    5WD.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.3642+0.005+0.37%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5207+0.0001+0.01%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7863+0.0048+0.27%
    GBPSGD=X
    75.3740+0.457+0.61%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.6849-0.0175-0.31%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.9704-0.0049-0.16%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,733.8350-18.6689-0.19%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.8930-0.0213-0.43%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0247-0.0051-0.50%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,321.10-6.00-0.45%
    GCZ16.CMX
    18.64-0.13-0.68%
    SIU16.CMX
    95.26-1.68-1.73%
    ^XAU
    2.06-0.01-0.51%
    HGU16.CMX
    46.24-0.74-1.58%
    CLV16.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.170.00
    ^FVX
    1.560.00
    ^TNX
    2.220.00
    ^TYX