‘GREEN’ businesses are more likely to attract investment, research has found.
DURBAN - Businesses with well-rounded sustainability strategies are more attractive to investors and funders, according to a recent study. 

Therefore it is beneficial for entrepreneurs to look at ways they can become “ecopreneurs” - business owners whose businesses are not only driven by profit, but also by a concern for the environment.

Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year competition, discusses some tips:

1. Replace inefficient business assets

Something as simple as fitting energy- efficient lighting can make a major difference to energy consumption. In fact, the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient (CFL or LED) lights is said to reduce electricity consumption by around 80% to 90%, depending on the sector.

For South African entrepreneurs especially, this should be a no-brainer considering the ongoing electricity tariff increases that are expected to continue over time.

2. Create a sustainable company culture

It is important to ensure everyone involved in the business venture is on the same page as you, in terms of sustainability. The easiest way to do this is by making green thinking a part of your company culture through adhering to simple initiatives such as recycling drives and using green vendors or suppliers where possible.

Other practical measures can include encouraging employee carpooling and use of public transport.

3. Use resources more efficiently

Entrepreneurs should consider going paperless wherever possible.

Similarly, considering that only 16% of plastic is recycled in South Africa, simply installing a water filtration system in the office can do wonders in eliminating the need for plastic water bottles.

While many entrepreneurs may be tempted to delay the greening of their business until they are more established, this may not be wise.

Implementing sustainable practices is only going to become more complicated as a business expands, and it is more expensive for established businesses than for those that have included such practices into their growth strategies from the beginning.

THE MERCURY