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Going green? Join the crowd!

Despite the recession, three out of four small businesses have embraced green initiatives, from recycling to telecommuting, according to a recent survey conducted by SurePayroll, an online payroll service.

The motive behind small businesses going green is clear: help the environment, even if the ROI is not significant. Of businesses who consider themselves green, the majority (71%) choose to implement green practices simply because they want to be environmentally conscious, while the rest choose to do so to save money.

Out of all of the green businesses, half noticed an ROI of around 5% to 10%, while the other half have yet to see one. Despite this, however, the lack of significant ROI has not deterred small businesses from implementing green practices.

“The biggest challenge for small business owners is typically cutting costs, so it’s refreshing to see that most small business owners are going green simply for the good of the environment,” says SurePayroll President Michael Alter. “As the foundation of the economy, small businesses can do well to set an example for larger corporations and even homeowners.”

One way in which businesses—even small businesses—can go green is through direct deposit of payroll. A recent study by PayItGreen Alliance, a nonprofit organization representing 11,000 financial institutions, showed that direct deposit for only one employee paid twice a month in a company would:

• Save one pound of paper per year and
• Eliminate four gallons of wastewater.
The survey found that small businesses are going green by:
• Recycling (93%),
• Giving employees reusable office mugs (79%),
• Using environmentally friendly office supplies (75%), and
• Limiting use of electricity/energy (68%).

Even though some small businesses underestimate the environmental impact of switching to direct deposit, according to the survey, the majority still think any type of initiative is worthwhile. On a broader scale, survey respondents indicated city-wide green projects are great for both the environment and the small business community, though they said they don’t know enough about what President Obama plans to do to tackle environmental issues. Small business owners are divided when it comes to deciding what environmental policy change would most benefit small business.

The top concerns are investing in clean/green technology to create more jobs and providing incentives for energy conservation to help reduce monthly energy bills.
Source: SurePayroll, www.surepayroll.com


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