Welcome to the green team! June 5th is World Environment Day, and we thought what better way to celebrate than practicing sustainability. Sustainable business is good for the environment, but it's also good for your brand! Studies show that around 60% of consumers rate sustainability as an important purchase criterion. On average, more than 34% of the population is willing to pay more for sustainable products or services. The U.S. also represents 42% of the global willingness to pay for sustainable products. That's the highest average worldwide! It can definitely pay to go green, and we're here to give you the tips and tricks to do so.
We know that sustainable business practices are appealing to many consumers. But what about going green makes it worth it? Sustainability falls under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR are business practices that promote fairness and assistance in local communities and countries where they operate. CSR allows businesses to engage with their customers and the world around them in a positive way. Sustainable business practices have the potential to help you reduce your energy costs, improve your overall brand image and customer preference among buyers, generate positive media coverage, attract new employees who share those values, and even open the door for government assistance through loans, grants, or tax credits. And with more and more consumers seeking out sustainable brands, you could reach a competitive advantage against other businesses.
Transitioning into sustainable business practices can be overwhelming and time-consuming if you don't already have a foundation laid out for getting started. Sometimes, just the intent to go green makes a big difference. Plan out your path and assess your business's current carbon footprint. What kind of practices do you have that are already sustainable? Where can you improve? What kind of costs will you incur in transitioning different aspects of your business? These are all important questions to answer while you are making your plan. Some quick and easy ideas to get started could include changing your cleaning and maintenance products to ones that are more natural, switching from paper checks to direct deposit for employees, or starting a recycling program in the office. Even small steps make a big difference!
If you are on the path to sustainability but aren't quite where you want to be, don't worry! You can still make an impact while you're transitioning. Your CSR can include more than just changes to your own business. Supporting local non-profits or environmental organizations is a great way to stay involved without rushing your own efforts. Donations to nonprofits may also qualify as a tax deduction, so it's a win-win!
Tons of brands these days are joining the efforts with reusable products. Popular alternatives are reusable shopping bags or containers. This is a great idea for those in retail or service industries that give out branded materials or supplemental products. Reusable items are also an easy way to create brand awareness and recognition. Consumers are more likely to keep reusable items and use them in their everyday lives outside of engaging with your business. Putting your logo and business name on these items creates word of mouth without even trying! Offer discounts or product giveaways for customers who consistently reuse these items when doing business with you to create customer loyalty and incentive. The more motivation to use these products the better!
Just about everything can be done online in this day and age. If this is the only practice you implement, you are already a step in the right direction. Aside from the environmental benefits, moving your company in the virtual direction can help you save money, is easier on employees if you have the ability to go remote, can increase efficiency in communication and transactions, and opens the door for more safe and secure data storage. Transitioning to digital can also be done in small increments to avoid a disruption in workflow, and there are many companies out there that can help you with the transition if you are unsure how to do so. Remember, sustainable business does not have to happen overnight.
There's been a lot of change in recent years toward climate change solutions, and establishing green values in your business gives you major opportunities for growth. It's never too late to start thinking sustainably, and we hope you join the cause in going green. If you start any of these sustainable practices let us know! We look forward to seeing what going green does for you.