Going Green Won't Put Your Business in the Red

Climate change is a thing, and it's not going to vanish all at once if we drop a magic ring in a volcano. It's not even going to be defeated by an inspiring charge or a desperate last stand. Lord of the Rings references aside, climate change requires everyone pitching in to make small, ripple-effect changes and choices in our lives.

You may be on board with that in the abstract, but it's fair to wonder how hard that sort of thing will hit your bottom line. New research from Washington State University may convince you otherwise. Costs are not what they used to be, and green technology and sustainability are actually totally in line with small business values and budgets.

The WSU study largely concentrates on energy consumption, particularly in the IT realm. It suggests "modernizing data centers, moving toward virtualization of servers, or automating certain processes," according to a press release. Partnering with green tech firms or electronic waste disposal and recycling programs can further reduce energy consumption. These aren't quite as sexy as sustainable architecture or living walls, but they make a difference environmentally for little risk on your part.

In Canada, small businesses are already huge drivers of the push for sustainability. Recent research found that 8 in 10 small and medium-sized businesses are already implementing environmentally friendly practices. Green technology and practices can even drive profits if you're smart about promotion, given how much customers care about ethical supply chains.

You don't have to commit to overhauling your business all at once, but consider integrating sustainable options when it comes time to make a change. In the choice between living in Mordor, Isengard, or the Shire, everyone knows which one they'd rather pick.