Businesses are frequently forced to make the difficult choice between practicing environmentally friendly behavior and the pursuit of profit; conflict between being sustainable and being profitable means that one of the two will often be ignored. However, recently, it seems that businesses’ interests in profit and planet are becoming more compatible and less of a trade-off. Here are five reasons why businesses have not just the environmental, but also the economic incentive to go green:

  1. Solving for Scarcity

Earth is a finite planet, and there are mathematically a finite number of natural resources available; as Earth’s resources begin to deplete, these resources prices will inevitably rise—a business whose future is dependent on a depleting resource in order to make a profit, will inevitably see profits decrease as prices rise. Implementing the use of renewable resources is simply an economic need in order to overcome scarcity.

  1. Maximum Efficiency

If a business seeks to survive long-term, the business ought to be modeled to have as few external variables as possible; using carbon based fuels for production and delivery creates a dependence on an unpredictable and highly politicized product in order to survive. By avoiding the limits of trade barriers, fossil fuels, and legal boundaries, a business can sustain the independent agency it needs to survive.

  1. Positive Image

Beyond economic sustainability, businesses everywhere are becoming increasingly incentivized to practice environmental sustainability simply for the sake of satisfying their customers’ wants; as public awareness of the human effect on the environment increases, individuals are holding their businesses to higher standards. Over time, it seems that businesses are moving to become greener, more specialized, localized, and involved in the community. Boulder—in particular—seems to represent a microcosm of trends in contemporary business.

  1. Continuous Innovation

As competition increases, so does the need for innovation; competition is one of the economic forces that turns businesses green, and it seems the competitive mindset involved in seeking a sustainable profit can inspire businesses to become continuously innovative. Sustainability is a direct product of innovation, and vice versa.

  1. Long-Term Sustainability

In sum, it seems that if a business seeks to survive the changes and challenges of the near future, implementing environmentally sustainable practices makes simple business sense. The need for green business is an increasing demand by both the public and the planet as a whole; as the public becomes more aware of today’s economic and environmental realities, businesses will have an even greater incentive to be socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

Someday, being green and making green will be one and the same.