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Companies with sustainability plans that manage their business accordingly are saving thousands to millions of dollars per year depending on the scale of their business and the intensity of their actions. Sustainability management leads to measuring and taking action in some of the following areas:

Building Energy efficiencies are often some of the first to be tackled to find early savings in a sustainability program. In North America we have a large inventory of conventional office, commercial and industrial buildings which have poor energy efficiency. Opportunities exist to save anywhere from 45 to 80% of energy cost on building heating, cooling, lighting and plug loads. Facility energy assessments combined with building condition surveys can uncover opportunities for improving building insulation, window treatments, heat recovery, heating and cooling technologies, and control of conditions according to occupancy.

Process Energy efficiencies can be found through a detailed process energy assessment. These can yield significant savings by pinpointing inefficient motors and equipment, leaking air lines, opportunities to reduce peak demand, improve power factor and in some cases reveal energy billing inaccuracies.

Transportation Energy assessments of commuter and business travel, supplier deliveries, and distribution of goods and services to customers can reveal savings opportunities for an organization and its employees. Developing sustainable supply chain logistics brings a host of financial and other benefits to any organization. The cost of tolls, parking and the inconvenience of poor public transportation networks in most North American cities play an increasing role in employee compensation, retention and productivity. Solutions to alleviate these range from company car pooling & telecommuting programs to business advocating for improved public transit.

Waste assessments reveal many opportunities to turn waste into wealth. A number of companies have set zero waste targets and are converting a cost centre into a profit centre for their business. Knowing what your waste sources are and the cost of disposing those wastes is the first step in determining solutions.

Supplier Sustainablilty Assessments are an excellent means of driving cost reduction and value creation for your business and vendors. Suppliers who sell to the largest retailer in the world have to complete sustainability assessments of their business including whether they have sustainable purchasing guidelines in place for their vendors.

Taxes, Environmental Fees & Incentive Programs: Sustainability plans and management can realize significant savings in environmental fees, taxes on energy and in some instances taxes on taxes. Many jurisdictions are charging fees for disposal of various types of products including paints and chemicals, pesticides, batteries, tires and electrical appliances. Carbon taxation is becoming a reality in a number of jurisdictions and regulations in water and electrical metering are penalizing heavy users in others. Most of these taxes and fees are use related so any sustainable strategies which focus on reducing use will also realize tax savings. Several jurisdictions or their agencies provide a variety of incentives for business at the national, regional and local level for capital spending projects which save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Need more inspiration? Checkout: Walmart Sustainability
Walmart has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in energy and waste efficiencies and have fully embraced sustainability for the opportunity it truly is.