Green Franchise Businesses - Industry Report 2010
Types of Green Franchises
The following section outlines the two main types of green franchised businesses.
1. Franchises that directly aid the environment
Green franchises that directly aid the environment can range from solar panel installation businesses to energy conservation consultants. Renewable energy, such as solar panels, offers people an alternative to fossil fuels, which are being depleted at an alarming rate. Green franchise Solar Universe for example, installs solar panels which converts the sun's intensity into electricity through the use of photovoltaic technology. Solar Universe has been growing at a rate of 40 percent a year since its inception in 2008.
Owing to rising fuel costs, government tax programs, new construction mandates and environmental responsibility there has been an increased demand for franchises that educate their clients on energy reduction and conservation. Thousands of building owners will employ a green franchise to help them reduce their utility expenses in the coming years. Energy Automation Systems Inc. (EASI) for example designs and installs custom-designed energy conservation systems proven to:
- Reduce electrical energy consumption
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions
- Improve power quality, power factor and voltage
- Increase electrical system capacity
- Reduce unnecessary heat
- Improve cooling capacity of air conditioning and refrigeration
- Lengthen lives of motors, lights, air conditioning and refrigeration
Another example of a green franchise is Energy Doctors. Energy Doctors is a professional thermography firm that specializes in energy audits and thermal imaging services for numerous industries nationwide.
Home insulation is a growing sector of the green market. The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Building Technology's number one recommendation to help consumers reduce energy bills is by adding insulation. Green franchise USA Insulation for example, specializes in formaldehyde-free insulation. This insulation is safe for the environment and contains no CFC gases.
A new industry has emerged as a result of the increased number of solar panels that have been installed for consumers and businesses. The Solar Maid franchise, for example, offers solar panel maintenance and cleaning.
2. Franchises that employ green technology and practices and profiles based on company FDDs
Franchises that employ green practices can be found across a range of industries from food franchises and retail franchises, to auditing and consulting franchises. The following section lists examples of franchises from different industries that have implemented green practices and programs. A link to a profile based on each franchise’s FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document) is provided.
- Candy Bouquet offer bouquets of candy which feature 100% biodegradable cellophane, recyclable cardboard, and Styrofoam made to break down in weeks not years, eliminating landfill waste.
- Employees have purchased vehicles that run on the latest hybrid and biofuel technology, to help reduce individual carbon emissions.
- Candy Bouquet Board of Directors drive green vehicles.
- Pollution Prevention
- Resource Conservation
- Offering and Promoting Eco-Friendly Auto Care® services
- ESA (Environmentally Sustainable Actions) certified
Honest-1 Auto Care, as part of their green initiative, developed a proprietary line of eco-friendly auto fluids and established a partnership with a nonprofit organization to plant 40,000 new trees. Honest 1 Auto Care also conducted extensive research to create an Environmentally Sustainable Actions Certified program in order to keep all of its franchisees operating under the same eco-friendly standards. This change required a major restructuring. But it also strategically set Honest-1 Auto Care apart from its competition and has helped increase same-store sales by 10 percent this year compared to last.
- UPS boasts more than 1,800 alternative-fuel vehicles globally, including hydraulic, hybrid-electric delivery trucks. As part of UPS’s sustainability program they have recently launched a new project involving 200 hybrid cars in eight cities. This eight-city project is expected to reduce fuel consumption by roughly 176,000 gallons over a year for the world’s largest package delivery company. The hybrids can also cut 1,786 tons of carbon dioxide released annually into the atmosphere.
- UPS was the first company in the U.S. to deploy hydrogen fuel cell technology in a commercial fleet.
- UPS's second partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency includes building and testing the world's first hydraulic hybrid urban delivery vehicle. This multi-phase project includes two UPS truck prototypes with different full-series hydraulic hybrid drive trains.
- A package flow software program was introduced by UPS, which among other practices involves the packing and sorting of its cargo and mapping out the most efficient route for each driver. According to Heather Robinson, a UPS spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons.
- FedEx increased its North America hybrid truck fleet by 50 percent by adding 92 additional green delivery trucks.
It takes about a gallon of oil to make a new laser cartridge and if thrown into a landfill it can take up to 450 years to decompose. For this reason many printing franchises use alternative cartridges and have recycling programs in place.
- Uses soy-based inks in place of petroleum inks
- Recycles 93.4% of all waste generated. The target is 100% subject to the availability of local authority facilities for the recycling of all plastics.
- Offers a large variety of environmentally friendly papers.
- Recycles cartridges
- Offers fundraising programs that allow local community organizations & schools to raise funds by collecting empty printer cartridges and returning them to their local franchise.
- Utilizes an economy car for deliveries and limits delivery days
- Electricity used is offset by certified windpower certificates.
Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are damaging to the environment. Within the cleaning industry more and more franchises are using products and employing practices that do the least amount of damage to the environment.
Chem-Dry has their own “Chem-Dry Certified” program in place, which examines a product’s impact on people, pets and the environment. The following requirements must be met for a product to be “Chem-Dry Certified”:
- Protection of Aquatic Life – Each product must be biodegradable and products must not damage streams.
- Safe to be in contact with certain materials - The pH of the solution of the products must be no less than 3 and no greater than 10.
- Clean Air Requirements - The solution must not contain damaging levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
- Recycles and reuses cleaning bottles.
- Educates customers on products and business practices for a more balanced approach to green home cleaning services.
- Balances the use of disinfectants like bleach with green cleaning products that do not contain ammonia, petroleum or other toxins. These clean homes effectively while protecting families and the environment.
- Uses reusable plastic buckets, reusable nylon and canvas bags, reusable laundry/trash bags with lining, and reusable spray bottles and dispensers
- Purchases high efficiency washers and dryers