Regenerative Economics and Small Business

Photo Credit:Ecorepreneurist 

Small business owners have a unique opportunity to reduce (or generate) their community's carbon footprint on a larger scale. Small businesses actually play a larger role in regenerative economics than one might assume.  As a small business owner I often try to operate in a way that is eco-friendly, but it isn't always cheap...Or easy. Green Money Journal lists "real economy circularity" as a core principle of regenerative economics. Here is how Green Money Journal defines real economy circularity:
The economy strives continually to minimize energy, material, and resource throughput radically at all phases of the production cycle, that products are remanufactured, recycled and composted, with natural outputs are safely returning to the biological world and that minerals and human made substances returning to the industrial cycle.
Continually minimize energy, material, and resource radically throughout all phases of the production cycle? You may be thinking about how that will cost your small business a fortune along with being impossible. It is possible, and it may cost more money, but there are financial benefits as well.

Minimizing energy, material, and resources is an investment. Yet it is an investment that has actually provided a significant increase of revenue for my business in the past year. I attribute this ROI to a handful of reasons:

  1. In an attempt to reduce energy and material, I decided to make my products in-house. Now I direct control of my manufacturing, which subsequently has increased the quality of my products, created jobs, and yields far better profit margins. 
  2. Marketing. An eco-friendly marketing campaign can do wonders for a business. Potential customers love to hear that you use recycled materials in your products, drive fuel-efficient vehicles, and promote local vendors. 
  3.  Taxes. You receive tax credits for having energy star qualified products ranging from special windows to water reduction toilets. The more sustainable your business is, the more tax credits you will receive. 

My experience attempting to create a sustainable business has been a lot of work, but has been wonderful. The monetary benefits of sustainability have have been great, but the sense of personal accomplishment and liberation are what I value the most. I highly recommend incorporating regenerative economics into your small business, but that ultimately is up to you. If you do choose embrace regenerative economics, treat it like the investment that it is. The more time and effort put forth will yield a better ROI, both financial and personal.

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