Businesses great and small are constantly touting eco-friendly initiatives and doing their best to weave environmentally sensitive wording into their day-to-day operations and marketing content. The question is, why is going sustainable worth it? Why are so many businesses investing in “going green,” operating efficiently, and reducing their carbon footprint? Here are a few of the reasons that embracing sustainability as a business isn’t just good for the Earth, but also for your bottom line.
Sustainability Boosts Brand Awareness and Brand Reputation
If you’re trying to start a business, it’s always wise to research your target demographic. When it comes to the 21st century, the largest two demographics — Millennials and Generation Z — are very much aware of the negative effects that businesses can have on the environment. In fact, Gen Zers and Millennials are the most likely groups to see the link between human activity and climate change.
This connection between environmental awareness and business practices means any organization that prioritizes sustainability is putting itself in a favorable position by aligning with consumer sentiment. This is beneficial because 87% of American consumers have clarified that they’ll make a purchase specifically because a company advocated for an issue that they care about. Brands that embrace sustainable practices will stand out and their reputation will be able to thrive as it basks in the public spotlight of approval.
Sustainability Can Attract Potential Investors
If you’re in the startup phase of your company, integrating sustainability into your core message can be a huge selling point for potential investors. If you’re looking for high-rolling investors, having an eco-friendly focus will show them that you’re aware of the power of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
If you’re raising money through fundraising platforms, a sustainability message can make your brand much more attractive, encouraging smaller investors to part with their money in the name of supporting an ethically minded enterprise.
Sustainability Provides Good PR Opportunities
There’s nothing like a good CSR initiative to get people talking. If your brand establishes a name for being sustainable in its business activities, it can have a tremendous impact on your marketing, as well.
Not only does it enable you to produce rockstar content that trumpets your brand’s commitment to sustainable practices, but it can also create a huge buzz via word-of-mouth marketing as happy, inspired customers share their knowledge about your company’s earth-friendly focus.
Sustainability Can Reduce Costs and Boost Productivity
Sustainable business practices can often both reduce costs and boost the productivity of your workforce. Much of this is a natural consequence of the sustainable activity itself. For instance, embracing a remote workforce can reduce the cost of maintaining a corporate office space. In the same vein, going paperless dramatically lowers the cost of office supplies.
In addition, being a sustainable company has great potential to boost your productivity. By espousing a sustainable message, you will attract quality talent that is committed not just to getting their work done but also to supporting your business model and overall success. After all, 54% of employees report staying at a company longer than was in their best interest specifically because of a strong sense of belonging and community.
How to Embrace Sustainability in Your Company
While it’s easy to rattle off the various reasons why embracing sustainability is good for business, it can be challenging to actually implement an eco-friendly focus into your company’s operations and overall message. Here are a few suggestions for ways to do so:
- Consider your current environmental impact: Start by gauging how well your company operates, sustainably speaking, so that you can identify areas for improvement.
- Apply the three “R’s” on a regular basis: Try to repair, reuse, and recycle whenever possible.
- Look for the little things: Aim to be environmentally conscious in little ways with everything from LED lightbulbs to eco-friendly bathroom cleaners.
- Incorporate remote work: Remote work can save incredible amounts of resources that would otherwise be spent on a communal workspace.
- Invest in green energy: Look for opportunities in your area to utilize clean green energy, such as a local green electricity company or installing solar panels for your building’s energy use.
- Build sustainability into your company culture: Embrace sustainability on a deep level that resonates with your company’s values and beliefs.
- Think outside of the box: Don’t be afraid to look for unique ways to be sustainable, such as offering paid time off for environmentally friendly volunteer work.
By investing in sustainability, you put your company’s money where its mouth is, reinforcing your eco-friendly message and all of its benefits in the process.
Embracing Sustainability in Your Small Business
Embracing sustainability is an absolute must in modern business culture. It sends a message that your company is aware of corporate social responsibility. This, in turn, can lead to a plethora of benefits, from greater brand awareness to effective word-of-mouth marketing, reduced operating costs, and greater productivity.
All it takes is a little focus and planning to begin working sustainability into your business’s daily activities and company culture. The rest of the benefits will follow from there.