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Last updated: 4 March 2024

How To Make Money By Going Green?

Awareness of Climate Change Is Increasing

During the past years, there has been increasing awareness of climate change and sustainability. More and more governments, businesses and local communities are engaging with environmental initiatives and are focusing on "Going Green". This all started because humanity is suddenly experiencing the effects of decades of contamination, and therefore, many people have begun taking action to reduce their impact on the environment.

Nowadays, the environmental effects of this behaviour and some financial gains attract people to go green. With a more established and widespread objective of reducing carbon emissions, different incentives will mean extra money if you switch to greener habits.

In this post, we will focus on ways you can save and earn money by going green. This means you will learn about the booming green economy, the rise of sustainable products, and how simple lifestyle changes can lead to substantial savings and income.

From the benefits of green living to the specifics of green entrepreneurship, it emphasises the importance of adopting sustainable practices that can lead to significant savings and revenue generation.

Make money while staying green

Environmental Conservation and Financial Gain,

The worldwide push towards sustainability is driven by recognising our planet's severe environmental challenges. The need for action is clear, from the depletion of natural resources to the alarming pollution and global warming rates. Adopting green practices contributes to mitigating these challenges and offers a pathway to economic prosperity through savings, efficiency, and access to new markets.

The urgency to address environmental issues such as air pollution, land conservation, and global warming has never been greater. Air pollution alone is responsible for approximately 40,000 premature deaths annually. It highlights the critical need for sustainable practices. 

Moreover, the global warming crisis, driven by human industrial and vehicular emissions, threatens to cause severe impacts, including rising sea levels and increased extreme weather events.

However, the shift towards sustainability is not merely a moral or environmental choice; it presents a unique opportunity for financial gain. Businesses and individuals can benefit financially by adopting green practices, from reducing energy costs to accessing new markets and customer segments prioritising sustainability. 

Strategies for Going Green and Making Money

Invest in Renewable Energy: 

Transitioning to renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power can significantly reduce energy costs in the long run. Government incentives and decreasing technology costs make renewable energy investments increasingly viable and profitable.

Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power are becoming increasingly important as the world seeks to reduce its carbon footprint and combat climate change.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, China has been the largest investor in renewable energy, with significant investments also coming from the United States and Japan.

By 2028, renewable energy sources are expected to account for over 42% of global electricity generation, with wind and solar PV doubling to 25%. This growth trajectory suggests a promising future for investors in the sector.

Why Invest in Renewable Energy?

  • Environmental Impact: Renewable energy reduces reliance on fossil fuels, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
  • Economic Growth: The renewable energy sector is rapidly expanding, offering numerous opportunities for investment and job creation.
  • Energy Security: Diversifying energy sources can reduce dependence on imported fuels, enhancing national security.
  • Financial Incentives: Many governments offer tax incentives, rebates, and subsidies to encourage investment in renewable energy.

Adopt Energy-Efficient Practices:

Simple changes like upgrading to LED lighting, improving insulation, and using energy-efficient appliances can substantially save utility bills.

Energy efficiency is using less energy to perform the same task, eliminating energy waste. This concept encompasses many actions, from upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and lighting to implementing more comprehensive measures such as improving building insulation and optimising industrial processes.

Why It Matters

The importance of energy efficiency cannot be overstated. It plays a pivotal role in combating climate change, reducing energy costs, and enhancing energy security. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy consumption accounts for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels for electricity and heat generation.

Adopting energy-efficient practices contributes to environmental sustainability and can be financially beneficial. Governments and organisations worldwide offer various incentives for energy efficiency, including tax credits, rebates, and grants. These incentives can significantly offset the initial costs of implementing energy-efficient solutions.

The table below provides a concise overview of the global impact of energy efficiency on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the potential financial savings:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction60% of global emissions are due to energy consumption.
Potential Energy Cost SavingsAdopting energy-efficient practices can significantly reduce energy bills.
Global Renewable Energy CapacityAim to triple by 2030.
Energy Efficiency in the Electricity SectorRenewable sources power nearly 30% of energy consumption.

Sustainable Product Lines 

Sustainable product lines are a growing trend in business, where companies focus on creating environmentally friendly and ethically produced products.

Businesses and individuals can tap into the growing market of consumers seeking eco-friendly products. Developing sustainable product lines or services can open new revenue streams and enhance brand loyalty among environmentally conscious customers.

This approach encompasses using sustainable materials, ethical labour practices, energy-efficient production methods, and packaging that minimises waste. The goal is to reduce the environmental impact while still providing high-quality products to consumers. 

The products involve a life-cycle approach, considering every stage of the product's life, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal or recycling.

Sustainable Product Lines

Sustainable ProductMaterial UsedBrand ExampleEnvironmental Benefit
ClothingOrganic Cotton, Recycled FibersTaylor Stitch, PactReduces waste, conserves resources
FootwearRecycled Plastic, Natural RubberRothy's, VejaLowers plastic pollution, promotes circular economy
Home GoodsBamboo Fiber, Recycled PlasticEkoboMinimizes waste encourages sustainable living
GearRecycled PolyesterParavelReduces carbon footprint, supports recycling
Personal CareNon-GMO, Organic IngredientsOrganic BasicsAvoids harmful chemicals, promotes organic farming

Recycling and Waste Reduction 

Implementing recycling programs and reducing waste not only benefits the environment but can also reduce operational costs. Selling recyclable materials or repurposing waste into new products can generate additional income.

Recycling and waste reduction are critical strategies for businesses and individuals aiming to go green and potentially make money. This approach involves collecting, sorting, and processing waste materials to transform them into new products, reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials, energy usage, and air and water pollution.

Why Invest?

  • Recycling Programs: Creating programs to maximise revenue from secondary materials while reducing waste costs.
  • Sustainable Products: The market for sustainable goods is vast, and customers are often willing to pay a premium for green products.
  • Recycled Product Making: You can start businesses that create products from recycled materials, tapping into a niche market.
  • Green Investments: Investing in green companies or startups can be both profitable and environmentally beneficial.

This table provides the importance of recycling and its environmental impact. Here are some key statistics:

MaterialGlobal Recycling Rate Notable Facts
Plastic6-9% of plastic waste recycled 400 million tons of plastic waste produced yearly
Paper68% recycling rate91.4% of corrugated cardboard is recycled
AluminumHigh recycling rates7 million tons of aluminium are not recycled each year
Glass32% of glass bottles are recycled Glass can be recycled endlessly without quality loss
E-Waste17.4% of e-waste recycled Fastest-growing waste stream

Green Certifications and Labels 

Green certifications can make products and services more attractive to consumers and businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact, potentially leading to higher sales and market differentiation. They are designed to help consumers and businesses identify options that meet specific environmental standards, contributing to a more sustainable economy.

When considering certifications, businesses should align them with their sustainability goals and understand the standards. Certifications can aid in marketing and branding, especially when third-party verification is valued by customers or required by business partners.

According to the Whole Buiding Design Guide, you can get third-party certifications and independent evaluations that verify a product's green attributes, offering greater assurance to consumers and industry professionals. They are often recognised within comprehensive green building rating systems like LEED, Green Globes, BREEAM, and the National Green Building Standard.

Importance of Green Certifications

Green certifications can lead to numerous benefits, including:

  1. Reduced Energy Consumption: They promote energy efficiency, lowering carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Improved Indoor Air Quality: They contribute to healthier environments by prioritising low-emitting materials.
  3. Water Conservation: They support using water-saving technologies, fostering responsible water management.
  4. Waste Reduction: They encourage minimising waste during construction and operation, aligning with circular economy principles
  5. Participate in Carbon Credit Markets: Companies that reduce carbon emissions can sell carbon credits in environmental markets, turning their sustainability efforts into direct financial gains.

Types of Green Certifications

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines different green product certification labels:

  • Type I (ISO 14024): Multi-attribute seals of approval.
  • Type II (ISO 14021): Single-attribute environmental claims can be self-declared or third-party verified.
  • Type III (ISO 14025): Comprehensive environmental product disclosures, similar to Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

To illustrate the impact of green certifications, here is a breakdown of it by type:

Certification TypeISO StandardFocus AreaRecognised By
Type IISO 14024Multi-attributeLEED, Green Globes
Type IIISO 14021Single-attributeIndustry-specific
Type IIIISO 14025Comprehensive disclosureEPDs, European market

It is essential to avoid greenwashing by using misleading green claims, which may become a significant concern. It underscores the importance of carefully reviewing the details and requirements of green certifications to understand their actual value. 

Participate in Carbon Credit Markets

Carbon credit markets are systems where carbon credits can be bought and sold. These credits are financial instruments representing the right to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

Companies that reduce carbon emissions can sell carbon credits in environmental markets, turning their sustainability efforts into direct financial gains. The goal is to incentivise emissions reduction by putting a price on carbon and encouraging companies and governments to invest in cleaner technologies and practices. 

The value of traded global markets for carbon dioxide permits grew by 164 per cent to a record high, indicating the increasing value of carbon credits. This also presents financial opportunities for businesses and individuals to generate and sell credits.

Types of Carbon Markets

There are two main types of carbon markets:

  1. Compliance Markets: These are mandatory and often regulated by governments or international bodies. Entities are required to hold a certain number of credits corresponding to their emissions.
  2. Voluntary Markets: Businesses and individuals can voluntarily purchase carbon credits or offsets to mitigate their environmental impact.

How do Carbon Credits Work?

Carbon credits can be generated through various projects, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements, and reforestation. These projects must be independently verified to ensure they effectively reduce or remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Once verified, credits can be sold on the carbon market.

Selling Carbon Credits

Entities can sell carbon credits in compliance carbon markets, voluntary carbon markets, and carbon exchanges. The process involves adhering to strict standards and protocols and often requires third-party verification to ensure the integrity of the credits.

Carbon Credit Market Value

YearMarket Value (GBP)Growth Rate
2021850 billion-
2022760 billion164%
2027 (Projected)2.4 trillion31% CAGR

Perspective on Going Green

Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Going green is very much associated with reducing your carbon emissions. To do so, you should consider your energy consumption, what you buy and how you move. You should detect those activities that are most harmful to the environment and then think about how you could replace them with others that are less polluting.

You might have heard, for instance, that since cars are one of the main contributors to climate change, you should avoid using them as much as possible. One more original approach to this problem is carpooling – a new trend that translates into savings or even extra money. 

Carpooling involves sharing a car with other people and splitting the fuel costs. This is useful in big cities where people must travel long distances daily. Different social networks allow you to contact others, offering their cars or looking for a ride. This is typically much less expensive than using the train or a car for only one passenger.

Something you can do to reduce your energy consumption significantly is to improve your home's insulation. In places like the UK, where cold and windy days are standard, much heat can be lost if the house is not insulated correctly. Check your roof, walls, windows and floors and see if their insulation can be improved. Double-glazed windows are an excellent option to keep your home warm. Sometimes, the government might offer grants to improve your home's insulation.

Switch to Green Sources of Energy

You can switch to renewable energy once you have maximised your energy consumption. Due to technological advances, it is now possible to switch to green energy sources, which are decently efficient and more affordable than they used to be. For example, you can install solar panels, solar thermal systems or heat pumps for residential purposes.

Some of these technologies will provide you with green electricity; others, like solar water heaters, are heating solutions for your home. Although they all indeed require a considerable initial investment, it is also true that once the system is installed, you will start saving money. Plus, the government's Feed Tariff (FIT) will pay you for every unit of electricity you generate, reducing your system's payback period. 

After some years, the result will be a massive reduction in your carbon footprint and some extra money. The Renewable Heat Incentive is a similar scheme but applies to heating solutions (e.g., heat pumps and solar thermal).

So, you should start assessing your energy consumption and spot those not environmentally friendly activities. You can do many things to change your habits, and you will see environmental and financial benefits when going green!

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Going green is no longer just an environmental choice; it's a strategic financial decision. By embracing sustainable practices, individuals and businesses can contribute to environmental conservation while reaping significant economic benefits. The journey towards sustainability is a win-win scenario, offering a brighter future for our planet and prosperity for those who take action.

In an era where sustainability is increasingly top of mind, the opportunity to make money by going green has never been more accessible. Whether through energy savings, tapping into new markets, or participating in environmental markets, sustainability's potential for financial gain is vast and varied. 

As we face environmental challenges, the dual benefits of going green provide a compelling case for individuals and businesses alike to adopt sustainable practices.

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