Conserving our natural resources and protecting the Earth is becoming a responsibility of every individual and business. As consumers are becoming more aware of social initiatives, they’re willing to pay more for products and services with an ethical incentive.

A “green” mentality can become a competitive advantage for your business, especially in a time where social responsibility has become a top buying driver. Sustainability doesn’t have to be at the expense of profitability. Investing in an eco-friendly culture that is fully integrated with your day-to-day operations, can improve your reputation with customers and reduce your costs.

Where can you start? Go Paperless. It’ll save you time, space and money.

Have you ever spent time searching for an invoice or multiple invoices in order to answer a vendor inquiry? Are you renting storage space for your invoices or tying up valuable backroom footage? How much time does your staff spend filing, sorting and organizing invoices? These are some of the issues you can solve while helping the environment.

We all know that paper can be overused in the day-to-day running of a business. From invoices to reports and employees’ documents, paper has always come along with the basics of managing a business. As technology has evolved, businesses now can have all their documents digitalized. Not only is digital more sustainable than having hard copies, but it can also help you transform your back office from piles of documents to a paperless space and reduce your paper consumption costs.

Solutions like FMS Document Imaging enable you to scan invoices and attach them to accounts payable invoices, taking the hassle out of transmitting, storing and retrieving paper invoices. The invoices can be scanned at one workstation and retrieved at a different workstation for data entry. Basically, you have access to all your documents when you need them. What’s not to like?

What else can you do? Improve your Energy Efficiency

Looking for ways to save on energy usage has become a top priority as the cost of utilities is constantly on the rise. Better lighting and refrigeration are some of the alternatives to lower those costs. As you replace lighting fixtures in your store with more energy-efficient technology, you should share your reduced consumption plans with your customers. Leverage this opportunity to start a new conversation within your community.

Different than document imaging, replacing your equipment represent a bigger investment. However, your local energy company may offer free energy assessments of your store to help determine where the best return on your investment may be. Not only will you save on utility dollars and pay back that investment, but you may also benefit from accelerated depreciation and tax credits for your energy conservation capital improvements. In addition, you can promote how your company is doing its part to save the environment and encourage “green shoppers” to buy from your business. This creates a great opportunity to turn your capital investment into a marketing opportunity. Many states have programs to assist you and provide free marketing.

To conclude, by integrating small changes to your business, you can build trust, encourage greater brand loyalty, and attract potential employees. Sustainability can have a positive impact beyond the environmental and economical.