The more we learn about our environmental impact, the more we understand the responsibility of supporting sustainability efforts.
Adopting a green approach to business practices shows a commitment to promoting future global ecological and social balance.
Sustainability is a long-term goal that can drive positive change in the environmental sphere when incorporated into corporate strategies.
As more consumers align with companies that share their values, going green is good for the environment and is also good for your business. Sustainability has fast become a business opportunity, benefiting your business finances, reputation, workplace culture, and employee morale.
Therefore it just makes good business sense, so let’s look at the why and how of going green.
Why Go Green?
From customer relations to tax incentives, the benefits of going green are a major drawcard for business owners looking to incorporate sustainability in their corporate strategy.
Strengthen brand reputation
Sustainability is a modern expectation of brands these days. For your brand to strengthen and retain its reputation within your industry, it’s essential to showcase your sustainability efforts. How potential customers perceive your brand will come down to multiple factors, with sustainability measures high on the list.
Build customer base
Sustainability is a central factor in how we shop these days. Eco-conscious consumers are on the rise, and this sizable demographic advocate for brands that prioritize environmental, social, and ethical standards.
The experts agree. In a recent State of the Industry report, Jenkins Freshpac Systems had this to say on making the shift to more sustainable practices:
Some businesses question – why make the switch from plastic packaging to something more sustainable? Well, from our viewpoint, a better question is: Why wouldn’t you? Consumers are making more and more purchasing decisions with sustainability in mind, so this should be enough incentive for any business to become more environmentally friendly.
A corporate sustainability strategy will help you tap into this market and build your base.
Increase customer loyalty
Plus, going green is also an opportunity to increase the loyalty of your current customers.
Sustainability is the way of the future, and we’re all jumping on board in our own time. Whether associating with ethical companies or ditching plastic packaging, consumers take their own steps to cut their environmental impact.
Many consumers are eco-warriors, so there’s an opportunity to show them you’re aware. You care too about your carbon footprint and sustainability giving your existing customers the motive to stay loyal.
Improve employee happiness
Your employees are a top priority. Did you know that employees of green companies are happier, more motivated, and feel more valued? This is because sustainability initiatives show a business has a social conscience, resulting in positive company culture and higher quality of (work) life.
Employees like to know the company they’re working for is a force for positive change. Going green will not only strengthen employee loyalty but improve applicant numbers for vacant positions.
Enjoy tax benefits
Governments worldwide incentivize corporate sustainability, offering tax-related benefits to companies that invest in green technology and renewable energy. Check out your local tax systems to see what sustainability measures to adopt to qualify for tax credits or deductions.
How do you go green?
Now that we know the business benefits of going green, it’s time to look at how to go green. Going green requires an open mind and a willingness to see the bigger picture. The sustainable measures of eco-conscious corporations – big or small – have the potential to impact our world significantly.
Employee workplace flexibility
Giving your employees the option to work from home is a win-win for you and your staff. Not only good for productivity but working from home is also an excellent sustainability initiative. Working from home requires no commuting, reducing fuel emissions with fewer cars on the road. Less staff in the office also means reduced workplace energy consumption, and there are opportunities to save on energy while running your business from home.
Innovative technologies have given us an array of simple ways to reduce energy consumption. If you’re serious about going green, consider adopting the following energy-efficient initiatives.
Swap outdated light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs
Install heating and cooling with a high energy-efficiency rating
Invest in electric or hybrid vehicles to slash company fuel emissions
Replace glass windows with double-glazing
Upgrade to energy-efficient staff room appliances
Improve office ventilation and insulation
Packaging is a leading contributor to the world’s growing plastic problem. No matter how many ‘green’ measures your company takes, all your efforts go out the window if you package products in plastic. You won’t be taken seriously as a sustainable business if you’re stuck in the dark ages of plastic packaging.
With so many sustainable packaging options available, there is simply no reason to use plastic. Sustainable packaging is compostable or biodegradable while still offering a durable and protective seal for your products.
Digitalizing your company’s documentation can significantly reduce – possibly eliminate – the need for paper in the office. Going paperless is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. If it’s necessary to use paper, opt for recycled paper and ensure your employees print double-sided to halve your workplace consumption.
Employee sustainability training
When your business has officially ‘gone green’, sustainability will become part of your employees’ job descriptions. Staff sustainability training ensures all of your employees share and support your environmental values and understand their role in implementing them.
Green businesses understand the global dependence on sustainability. While the prospect of going green may be daunting, small steps towards a more sustainable business can have major benefits for both your business and the environment. There’s no time like the present to go green. It makes good business sense, especially when consumers are all for it!