From sole traders to large corporations, almost any company can reap the rewards of moving their business in a green direction. In a world where climate change is a real threat, it's more important than ever to consider the environment in business strategy, and we need to do it fast.
Numerous studies show that employees and consumers are placing more value on environmentally friendly products and companies. In fact, customers are willing to pay more if they believe a company's values align with their own.
The increase in public awareness into the climate change crisis means that more and more people are making lifestyle changes. For some people that means commuting by bike rather than car, for others the focus is on recycling, but for all, the easiest win is by simply purchasing products from a green company.
In a world where eco credentials have become important, employees and customers become true brand ambassadors when they believe that they support an ethical enterprise. And word spreads.
Have you noticed that many businesses have recently shifted their brand image to gain a green(er) reputation? Ikea now sources wood from sustainable foresters, McDonalds has banned plastic straws and Volvo has pledged that half its cars will be fully electric by 2025. These companies have made these changes because consumers are increasingly demanding social responsibility from businesses.
Companies who have made changes are proud to shout about them. After all, what better way to show your customers that you're current and that you care?
Many eco-friendly business practices also naturally lead to cost savings. From installing solar panels and energy saving equipment, to encouraging recycling and simply switching off the lights, there are lots a business can do. Whilst there might be an initial outlay for training or physical products, changing behaviours has long term benefits with some pay backs being remarkably short term. Many businesses find ways to offset these initial costs through grants, tax incentives and green schemes. It's worth looking out for any deals that affect you or your industry. See www.gov.uk/green-taxes-and-reliefs for details of government schemes.
As a green business, you can turn your small change into a big win by telling others what you've done. Not only are you letting the public know that you care about them and the planet, you can inspire others to do the same. The more people shout about their credentials, the more consumers get on board. And the more consumers who care, the more businesses, conglomerates and even governments will sit up and listen. We need big change to happen at the top, what better way to encourage it than by being part of the movement?
I think you'll agree that aside from being able to sleep at night, the benefits for businesses to go green are huge.