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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Should you get a grant for an eco-business?

 

In the past years, we witnessed how climate change affected seasons and wildlife. Eventually, we became more overwhelmed by incredibly hot seasons and, in some regions, violent hurricanes and fires. And that’s only the first layer of the whole climate situation. Most of these events were caused by many years of industrial waste from big companies and a lack of education regarding recycling and care for the environment.

 

But now, people are trying to live a more sustainable life, and businesses are going green ― meaning that the principles regarding supplies and manufacturing are slowly changing toward more feasible practices. This resulted from people’s demands for more sustainable products, and now consumers say they prefer sustainable businesses instead of regular ones. With that in mind, should you get a grant for starting an eco-business?

 

What does it mean to be a green business?

A green business is an organization that aims to run the business while being concerned and committed to sustainability. So, the only difference between an eco-business and a regular one is the environmental responsibility. Both of them are focused on serving customers, satisfying stakeholders and having a profit, but green businesses aim to minimize the negative impact their organization has on the environment.

 

Such businesses try to use as little water, energy and raw materials as possible to cut carbon emissions or to find ways of using resources and materials in renewable ways. It can be anything from switching all lighting to LEDs, eliminating paper use or installing water-saving fixtures. But, with Miltek, businesses can also have balers and compactors for waste to optimize their waste management.

 

Such solution can help industries like:

  • Manufacturing, where cardboard, plastic and packaging waste is being produced at a larger scale;
  • Hotels and restaurants, where there are requirements for efficient and hygienic use of space to handle cardboard boxes and kitchen waste;
  • Healthcare, where managing packaging, food and hazardous waste can be done in an environmentally friendly manner;
  • Automotive, where there’s a variety of hazardous and non-hazardous waste;

 

What grants are out there for starting a green business?

It clearly depends on where you live, but you can also start a business in another location if there are better business opportunities. For example, the European Union is committed to reducing greenhouse to 55% by 2030 through emission trading. So, know that the EU is happy to approve green business plans, and some of the best support mechanisms are:

 

Horizon Europe (€95.5 billion) research and innovation framework that supports researchers, innovators and citizens to develop solutions for a sustainable future. 70% of the budget is allocated for small and medium businesses, and they have aimed for five mission approaches:

  1. Readjusting to climate change
  2. Cancer mission
  3. Restore oceans and waters
  4. Smart cities
  5. Soil development

 

LIFE (€5.4 billion) is a program dedicated to environmental, climate and clean energy objectives. Whether you have an SME or a start-up, you can get funds for areas such:

  1. Nature and biodiversity
  2. Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  3. Clean energy transit
  4. Circular economy and quality of life.

 

The Innovation Fund (€10 billion) aims to contribute to greenhouse gas reduction by creating funds for:

  1. Low-carbon technologies
  2. Carbon capture and utilization
  3. Innovative renewable energy generation
  4. Energy storage

 

Reasons to have a green business

Now that you know there are a lot of sources to access, here are a few reasons why choosing a green business is better than a regular one. You should know that as the trend increases, the market gets more competitive, and the environment is more affected by the day, so if you’re not sure, these arguments can convince you.

 

First of all, you benefit from tax advantages and incentives. As stated before, most countries are willing to give businesses such benefits so that they can get close to fulfilling their goals regarding sustainability. Therefore, you’re most likely saving money on your business planning and implementation.

 

Secondly, you’ll have the opportunity to attract and retain young people that are more interested in saving the environment than ever. By having a passionate team that knows a lot about the subject, you can also educate customers and provide valued information, next to quality products. This can make you stand out from your competition because you’re not aiming for profit only, but for knowledge and good practices.

 

Finally, by having an eco-business, you’ll contribute to the planet's health (which is currently going down). Making eco-conscious decisions for your business (like going paperless) will benefit the environment more than you’d think.

 

What are some examples of green businesses, and what do they do?

Some of the most eco-businesses in the world use 3.7 % more renewable energy and emit 47 times less greenhouse gas than regular businesses. The top three companies that have the best environmental practices are:

  • VMWare, a software company that has 80% of its energy consumption classified as renewable, and it aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2030;
  • Microsoft has been a leader in corporate response to climate change and focuses on community engagement;
  • Inuit, another software company that supports renewable-energy solutions for its employees and finances high-impact climate solutions (regenerative agriculture and refrigerant management)

 

These companies have succeeded in building trust among customers and future employees because they’re committed to making a change. But people have started to become skeptical of some smaller companies that claim false things about their practices, also known as greenwashing. 

 

Greenwashing features ads that imply that one product or service promotes a green lifestyle, which unfortunately is not true. When some companies present a false image of having a positive impact on the environment, people can easily find out that they’re lying. Such misleading advertising can make people doubt all companies’ green practices, which is something real eco-business can deal with sometimes.

 

Finally, there are no risks if you plan on having a green business. The only thing you need to hold on to is the people’s trust, and as long as your practices are genuinely focused on eco-friendly practices, your business will thrive.

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