Is online business model Eco-friendly?
The environmental impact of day to day operations is usually the last thing entrepreneurs think of when first starting up their business. Oftentimes, business owners will wait until there has been significant growth in their company to start worrying about environmental factors such as carbon emissions, recycling costs and other earth-friendly practices. Should we as entrepreneurs wait to implement eco-friendly practices, when it would be so much easier to start right away? How can we create a more environmentally sound business model to reduce our impact on the earth?
First, let’s take a look at some of the facts on how our current business practices affect the environment. The United States alone could save $650 billion by switching from corporate office jobs to an at-home online business model. The emissions from our vehicles as we commute to work every day hang in the air, polluting it and gradually punching holes in the ozone layer. By switching to online business, workers will no longer have to drive in to work every day. Oil consumption would be reduced by 280 million barrels a year, and the greenhouse gas emissions from close to 9 million cars would be eliminated.
Still not convinced? Let’s look at what the individual impact would be if more people worked at home. Think of that self-designed office you’ve always dreamed of; what if you could have it? Working from home means that you can create work space that’s customized to your needs and your personality. The average person would save $1,500 on gas per year, $3,000 on food expenses, and up to $7,000 on child care. More time at home means more time with the kids, and you’ll gain anywhere from four to six weeks of free time by working online. Individualized work schedules and office space also means an increase in productivity, which means more money for you and your company.
A big question is still heavy on the minds of the general public: how does online business work? How do we know that this change in our working environments will be a change for the better? The influence of online marketing is already at work in channels such as social media. Did you know that 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision? In fact, U.S. consumers spend an average of $1,300 online per year, and that number is set to increase by 44% to $1,736 by 2016. In that same year, e-business profits are expected to increase to $327 billion in the U.S. alone. Can you imagine the global impact if everyone threw their chips in for online business? The profit potential is staggering.
Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that the ever-growing trend of E-commerce will have a negative impact, but the truth is that it will do more good than harm. What the negative impact will be is something we have yet to discover. As with every business venture, there will be growing pains, but the positive impact that online business will have on the planet is something that’s difficult to ignore. It’s time for businesses to adopt this new commerce model and change the way we think about marketing for the better.