Top Five Green Business Ideas for Europe Today
A few years ago, going green was merely trendy. Today, we realize that there is a significant importance to the world to be green. Businesses have several ways that they can go green, some small, and some major. Here are five businesses to start that are not only green but potentially very profitable.
One of the most popular green industries is green-tech. Finding ways to improve energy efficiency is big business, as well as being good for the Earth. Some businesses have been able to lower utility expenses by 20% – 25% and carbon dioxide emissions by 30% or more by finding green consultants who help them with cost saving measures. Some of these include changing to LED lighting, taking advantage of server storage or cloud storage, and e-cycling computers and other equipment. The amount of energy it takes to cool a room full of servers can be tremendous, so centralizing servers makes a lot of financial sense, as well as saving on floor space that has to be rented or leased.
The healthy food movement is another way to get into a green business. There is a worldwide increase in issues with transportation costs and the associated emissions, food safety, and obesity. Local food growing opportunities can lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases caused by transportation, and better control over the use of pesticides and herbicides. Locally grown foods are also rarely processed as much. As a result of these and other factors, green farmers are increasingly becoming popular.
Organic clothing and cleaning
A third green business idea is organic products, including clothing made from sustainably grown materials like bamboo or cotton which are dyed with natural dyes and are made free of chemicals that can cause breathing issues. Repurposing clothing into new garments is not just green but it also works as a creative outlet. Green products can also include manufacturing green cleaning supplies that are free from volatile compounds that make the air in buildings more toxic and offering diaper cleaning services to keep plastic diapers out of landfills and waste plants.
Fourth, there is renewable energy. Companies getting started in this field can often benefit from government tax incentives, plus know that they are helping reduce emissions that are increasing climate changes dramatically. These include solar, wind, wave, and geothermal plants. There are corollary businesses that help improve access to these technologies through community buying plans among other ideas, and helping homes and businesses weatherize their buildings.
Lastly, there are green transportation companies to think about starting. These can include electric bicycles, bike share programs like those used in Amsterdam, cab companies that use hybrid vehicles and promoting green transportation by businesses.
How the EU is helping
The European Union has passed a couple of measures that will help businesses be green. The EU2020 Flagship Initiative on a Resource Efficient Europe and the 7th Environment Action Programme are both designed to help efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. There are environmental tax benefits which can help green companies, plus the EU is looking at the possibility of ending subsidies for fossil fuel industries which will prove to be an added benefit to even out the playing field.
You might think that England might be the most green nation, and while they do have a lot of modern businesses and a high recycling rate, Germany is arguably the most green of the EU nations. They have gone solar – despite having clouds most of the year. In winter, they average just over 1 hour of sun a day. Over half of the world’s solar power was generated in Germany, and 15 of the 20 largest photovoltaic plants are located there, employing thousands of people. In 2010, they invested in excess of $14 billion in green tech.
France, on the other hand, is one of the least green nations. They outlawed vegan meals in schools, and are considering similar laws in nursing homes, prisons, and hospitals. Animals have been linked to carbon emissions, while plants remove carbon dioxide from the air. Though the nation has successfully used nuclear power, it struggles to embrace other green power ideas. In 2013, the country was set to introduce a green tax, but it was not considered to be very impactful, at least in its first year. The goal was to reduce carbon emissions and increase the cost of traditional fuels and oils.
Going green is the next phase for almost all businesses, wherever they are in the world. Collaboration and sharing ideas will be one of the most effective means for everyone to embrace these ideas and implement them.