Re-envisioning your business through green lenses isn’t a straightforward process. Most companies have to start small and take on one eco-friendly practice at a time to maintain their budget and develop enthusiasm among their clients. We spoke with Rochelle Nilsson, Director of Risk Prevention at Treeium — a successful green home remodeling company in California — to get some insight into the challenges and benefits associated with operating a sustainable company.

Here are five things Nilsson’s learned about going green in the home services space, along with some tips to help your business get started:

#1 People are taking notice.

Sustainable building is a growing industry, and more people are taking notice, says Nilsson. As demand increases, manufacturers and businesses are rising to the occasion — expanding their green inventories and creating more options.

“Thankfully, people and corporations — with the help of legislation — are actually starting to care about what products they are putting in their homes and the effect they have on their health and environment,” she says. “Now, having a sustainable home doesn’t mean sacrificing unique style by limiting options. Our projects illustrate that we can deliver beautiful, sustainable alternatives to provide our clients with happy, healthy homes.”

#2 There’s no effort too small.

You don’t have to change everything all at once to make a difference. Nilsson suggests starting small and making changes as you go.

“You have to practice what you preach!” says Nilsson. “Years ago, we saw a shift in the industry where consumers were looking for healthier, more sustainable remodeling. We started with baby steps: Reduce our carbon footprint in the office, start offering low energy and water consumption devices, solar, etc. We used to think: What can we do as one little company? Well, the idea of green building became very popular. When something is successful, others will follow suit. Now, green remodeling has become such a hot trend, we no longer have to strive to convince others of the benefits.”

#3 The future is green.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of implementing eco-friendly practices sooner rather than later is that it will position you ahead of the curve.

“Eco-friendly building is the future no matter which way you spin it,” explains Nilsson. “By jumping on board now, business owners would be abreast of all the new laws and codes that will eventually be in place. Furthermore, by providing eco-friendly remodeling, you are saving your employees, customers and the environment from exposure to harmful chemicals and substances. Not only is this important from an ethical standpoint, it has financial advantages as well.”

#4 The benefits are multi-dimensional.

Making these changes can improve more than your carbon footprint; it can positively impact multiple aspects of your business and life.

“It feels good!” Nilsson says. Not only are we doing something great for the environment, we are creating a safe haven for multiple families. From a business aspect, if you hit the right market, it can also be extremely profitable. People will pay for the peace of mind that their house will not become a toxic wasteland of asphyxiating chemicals and substances.”

#5 Going green is worth the green.

Using eco-friendly products usually comes at a higher initial cost, says Nilsson. But it’s an investment worth making. And many of the tools and practices, like solar energy and digital paperwork, will save you money in the long run.

“Going green takes green,” Nilsson says. “Building with green materials is more expensive, as they require a lot more care and detail and are not in such high demand. Once the demand for green building goes up, the cost will go down. While any investment is daunting, this is an investment that you can actually see making an impact in your local community. When people see that you are trying to do the right thing, they are willing to pay more. It might be a struggle at first, but there is no getting away from the reality that green building is here to stay and is not a fad.”

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