Judging the ‘Green’ in 2014
~ Carmen Schwartz
Business is business, and when it comes to looking at 2014 thus far, the business of ‘green’ is growing monumentally. Everything from solar panels to wind turbines to geothermal heating and cooling units are being created, with every industry getting in on the ‘green’.
Lowering the carbon footprint is important for many reasons, the largest being the fact that the next generations should be allowed to enjoy a planet that has not gone to the dogs, so to speak. The public has definitely stated how they feel, putting their dollars in eco-friendly companies, increasing profits for many as they open their doors to ‘green’ technology.
The opinion of franchising has also grown in positivity in 2014. Although franchising was once seen as a lark, or a bet against the odds – franchises have become more and more profitable, with some of the smallest franchises turning into the largest and most respectable names out there. And no matter what headline you read, the franchising sector of this planet is taking advantage and doing it well. Organic foods are being grown and sold in high numbers to massive warehouses and suppliers. Even car washes are using eco-friendly materials, and hotel franchises opening up around the country are making sure to provide eco-friendly services.
‘Green’ industry profits come from producing products that have at least a small beneficial impact on the environment, serving public sentiment. Each and every company is trying their best to take into consideration things, like eliminating harmful chemicals in their production, and how to diminish waste while keeping up A+ customer service. What used to be just ‘talk’ about an energy-saving light bulb has now become huge, making the carbon footprint look more like a puppy’s paw because of all the creations they’ve come up with.
In addition, the public has learned. They have become educated on eco-friendly materials and manufacturers, and have even switched their lives completely in order to live organically – food, clothing, furniture – everything in their lives has become ‘green’ in order to help the globe. But what is even more important is the fact that they have also helped the global economy, and if that remains lucrative, every issue from unemployment to healthcare has a chance at being solved.
To put this into perspective, when it comes to the organic food community, the growth has been enormous. It has expanded at an estimated rate of 20% per year, and the market of 2002 has more than doubled because of franchises and companies that understand what it means to be ‘green’ – and how to market those products to the people.
And the companies are winning in more ways than just consumer purchase of their products and services. Using a ‘greener’ way of doing things, the companies themselves see a far greater return on their assets. Installation of things like solar panels and special lighting do cost more up front, as well as installing geothermal heating and cooling units in residences, but in the end the monthly bills are far less, and everyone sees their bank accounts grow substantially because of taking that leap and putting out extra money at the beginning to reap the rewards.
The ‘green’ movement is health and wellness at its absolute best. Renewable energy sources have made the air we breathe cleaner and the water we drink better. Construction is now taking advantage of renewable energy sources in their floor plans, and corporate bigwigs are seeing the light and using ‘greener’ ideas to make their clients happy.
There are so many examples in so many industries that it’s hard to pick only a few to mention, but Tesla Motors is one that has been revolutionary in the automobile industry by taking the curse off the electric car with its Model S. The well-known name, GE, built the very first intelligent turbine by finding a way to utilize the Industrial Internet, making wind turbines a huge source of renewable energy.
In other areas, one of the largest creations, of course, are the LED bulbs. The company of Philips created ‘smart’ LED bulbs that use about one-sixth the amount of electricity a conventional bulb does – saving money for everyone, while hugely reducing carbon emissions.
And the list of organizations attempting to help the world grows bigger every day. The U.S. Marines, with their Expeditionary Energy Office, are working on erasing the need to depend on fossil fuels during their missions. Hybrid creations have come from these intelligent minds that can cut costs in half.
In other words, 2014 has shown – thus far – exactly what the analysts said it would. Businesses small to large are getting in on the movement and making sure everyone’s pockets are lined with ‘green’ by using positive and healthy ideas.