Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue for many people, especially consumers. As waste continues to pile up and pollution continues to damage our planet, people are starting to drastically change the way they live their lives, including their buying habits and practices.
Consumers don’t just want brands to do better and be more sustainable; they demand it. A recent survey shows that 65% of consumers expect companies to do more to fight climate change, reduce carbon emissions, tackle air pollution, and develop more sustainable manufacturing processes.
Furthermore, 42% of consumers have already changed their consumption habits and 23% say they plan to switch to only buying products or services from eco-friendly companies.
This means brands have the opportunity to boost their reputation and appeal to current consumer sentiment concerning sustainability by becoming more environmentally friendly.
However, becoming a sustainable business is about more than just pleasing customers. Numerous benefits come from developing more sustainable practices and products, including increasing the overall company’s bottom line.
Why Your Company Should “Go Green”
As sentiment concerning the environmental impact of consumerism and harmful business practices grows, brands must start taking a closer look at the changes they can (and should) make to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
We have surpassed the point of sustainability being a trend and moved into an era where it’s a necessity. And a majority of the responsibility falls on businesses because they have the largest impact on the planet.
However, beyond helping to mitigate further damage to the environment, becoming a more Eco-friendly business can:
Boost Customer Retention and Brand Loyalty
Today’s consumers are much more passionate about the environment than they once were, and as such, brands need to become more eco-friendly if they want to continue attracting customers. Long-term loyal customers are a key component in managing the costs of running a business. Without loyal customers, you’ll struggle to make sales.
As sustainability becomes an increasingly important value to consumers, becoming a more environmentally-friendly business can help you attract customers, as well as boost brand loyalty with the customers you already have.
Improve Efficiency and Reduces Business Costs
By going green, your business can also run more efficiently and save money on business expenses. For example, overhead costs for things like office supplies and electric bills can tally up fast.
But when you focus on protecting the environment by cutting down on paper and other materials, looking for ways to save energy, and using green products, you save money and run your office more efficiently without overspending on unnecessary items.
Provide Tax Incentives
In addition to helping you cut costs and grow a more loyal customer base, the government also offers incentives for businesses that implement Eco-friendly practices.
Of course, the EPA already has some requirements in place for manufacturers, but if you are genuinely putting in the effort to become a more sustainable business, you can benefit from federal and state tax incentives.
Create More Business Opportunities
In becoming a more sustainable business, you also open your company up to more business opportunities.
Going green gives you a competitive edge and improves your brand reputation, which means you open yourself up to a larger market. You may also have other Eco-friendly businesses that will be more likely to partner with you.
Boost Employee Satisfaction
Businesses that have greener practices also tend to have happier and healthier employees.
When the environment you create and the products you use internally are more sustainable, your employees naturally benefit from this, making them happier and more productive in their work.
The healthier and more productive your employees are, the better your business will run, and the more satisfied your customers will be.
Increase Your Bottom Line
Of course, what all of these benefits come down to is an increased bottom line. Having a sustainable business allows you to run more efficiently, save more money, create more opportunities, and satisfy more customers. All of that adds up to more growth and more money.
How To Become a More Eco-Friendly Business
There is no one right way to become an Eco-friendly business. It’s all about evaluating your business and how you run to find things that need to be changed or updated to help you reduce your carbon footprint.
For smaller businesses, this might look like making small changes here and there as they might not have the money for a complete overhaul. But larger companies can take more drastic measures to make a bigger impact more quickly.
Some examples of ways your business can start going green to save money and benefit your customers and the environment include:
- Use more sustainable materials in your products and packaging.
- Implement a recycling program in the office.
- Find ways to reuse items instead of tossing them out.
- Implement a takeback program for products after customers are done with them, and then recycle, reuse, or donate them.
- Switch to more efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems.
- Embrace green building initiatives and work with construction companies that are fighting climate change to build eco-friendly workspaces made of sustainable materials.
- Encourage employees to carpool, take public transportation, or use a bike to commute.
- Cut down on unnecessary office supplies, especially paper products.
- Find ways to reduce waste, such as starting a recycling program or encouraging employees to compost.
- Opt for more sustainable landscaping around your business property that doesn’t require a lot of watering and helps replace carbon dioxide with clean oxygen.
- Allow employees to work from home or telecommute to reduce emissions from commuting and unnecessary spending on overhead costs.
- Avoid single-use materials
- Be mindful of how you get rid of old electronics and devices, finding ways to recycle them safely instead of just throwing them away.
Overall, there are countless ways your business can start going green and operating more sustainably. The more changes you make, the more your business will benefit.
And though making Eco-friendly changes are not always easy or inexpensive, the long-term benefits will greatly outweigh the upfront cost, especially if it helps you boost customer loyalty and increase your bottom line.