The push to be green is in swing across the business world with the growing realisation that sustainability is not only the morally right thing to do; it can also be more profitable. In other words, it’s not just corporate do-goodism, there are sound financial reasons why businesses should implement eco-friendly practices.
The problem for some businesses is knowing where to start. They might be focused on the day-to-day stuff, just trying to make it through the week, and are therefore reluctant to spend energy and time on going green.
The aim of this article is to highlight some of the main reasons why businesses should make a systemic commitment to sustainability.
When it comes to the environment, consumers are keener than ever to put their money where their mouth is. Companies are being held to account by customers who will ditch brands that provide misleading or unsubstantiated environmental claims.
People will pay a premium for green goods and services. Companies can therefore build loyalty among their customers by making the effort to be more sustainable.
In its most basic form, sustainability means eliminating waste, and eliminating waste saves money. For example, if a company cuts its product’s packaging, then not only will it be a more environmentally friendly package, it will also save money.
True sustainability goes way beyond tote bags and banning plastic straws, but there are lots of simple things that workplaces can do. For example, recycling paper and ink cartridges, replacing fluorescent tubes with LED lighting, virtual meetings instead of flying to in-person meetings, hybrid working, active travel facilities, and office water dispensers.
There may be a need for a longer-term view on the payback period for some energy-efficiency measures. Doing the right thing can cost more in the early days.
There’s a tight market for talent right now, and some employees are consciously shopping around for companies that reflect their values and aspirations. In comparison to their older counterparts, generations Zs and millennials are more likely to seek meaningful work that makes a positive social impact. They don’t want to work for employers with poor ethics.
Furthermore, improving ventilation, adding greenery, and flexible working will improve staff’s physical and mental health, creating a much more motivated and resilient workforce.
Having a green strategy is increasingly important for investors. There’s confidence that businesses that have adopted sustainability policies will outperform those that don’t. With upcoming legislation that will clamp down on the emitters of carbon dioxide and other gases, investors realise that there is money to be made in holding the shares of the low emitters.
One of the biggest factors for many businesses in going green is the changing regulations coming from governments around the world. Businesses need to prepare now for the new mandatory reporting rules on emissions or they will be overtaken by their leaner, greener rivals.
It’s worth noting that carbon offsets are falling out of favour. This matters because it means that businesses can’t just buy their way out of the problem.
Going green is a great way to bolster your brand and you can call attention to it in your marketing. For instance, if you’re an estate agency that has switched to electric bikes and electric cars, then tell people about it.
One important caveat here though is that efforts need to be holistic. There’s no point in having sustainable travel policies if you also leave the office air conditioning and lights on all night.
Also, the marketing officer should not be in charge of climate policies, it needs to come from the core of the business.
We hope that this article has convinced you of the clear opportunities in going green. Cutting your carbon footprint not only helps protect the environment, it also boosts your bottom line. The days of dismissing climate-friendly practices as just rainbows and unicorns or tree-hugger talk are gone. It’s mainstream now and companies that ignore the trends risk becoming laggards.
If you’d like to find out more about how FutureTrack can set you on the path to net zero by measuring, tracking, and transforming, please don’t hesitate to request a demo here.