Going Green Can Help Your Business

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As we all know, climate change has become an increasingly important issue in society. But, did you know 76% of Americans expect companies to take action against climate change? Yes, you read that right. Americans are pushing more than ever for businesses to adopt more sustainable practices to combat climate change. And, after facing a global pandemic that has led to increased awareness of environmentalism and social responsibility, businesses are positioned to grow by strengthening their relationship with mother nature.

How does a business become sustainable?

Business sustainability is the practice of incorporating eco-friendly practices into your business operations. “Sustainability is a business approach to creating long-term value by taking into consideration how a given organization operates in the ecological, social, and economic environment,” according to the International Institute for Management Development. A sustainable business works in the best interest of their environment and society – and of course, their own business as well.

One brand that goes out of its way to market itself as a sustainable business is Patagonia. The company has made substantial efforts in terms of handling the climate crisis. Patagonia has turned 527 tons of fishing nets into gear, keeping all of that plastic out of the ocean and putting it into our closets. Aside from their innovative methods of handling issues with waste, they have also pledged 1% of all sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Among other things, Patagonia is extremely transparent with its customers about how the company operates in terms of sustainability and its carbon footprint.

What are the benefits of sustainability?

While practicing sustainable business habits improves the environment and society as a whole, it can also help your business. First, it enhances brand reputation. Consumers will always get behind a brand that is making effort to improve the environment. Caring about the environment leaves a good impression on people who care about your company’s ethics and core values because it shows that you care about more than just money.

Aside from a good reputation, sustainable businesses are also more likely to perform better than average. According to Audri Choi, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at Morgan Stanley, “in one meta-analysis, 88% of studies found that companies that adhered to social or environmental standards showed better operational performance, and 80% of studies showed a positive effect on stock price performance”. This is a sure-fire way for your business to gain a competitive advantage in your industry.

How do I make my business more sustainable?

  • Go Green, but don’t Greenwash. Remember when Starbucks came out with a strawless lid? Well, turns out it takes more plastic to produce their sippy-cup style lids than their previous separate plastic straw and lid. This is an example of greenwashing; when a company falsely claims their products or policies are made sustainably. While you should consider integrating more environmentally-conscious business practices, DON’T FAKE IT! Lying about your sustainability practices will only hurt your business in the long run because it negatively affects your brand’s reputation and makes customers lose trust in your company.
  • Commit to the cause. Try to incorporate sustainability into your company culture. Whether it’s going paperless, using LED lighting, or using recycling bins in the workplace, small steps make a big difference. But, if you’re willing to go the extra mile, it’s worth the investment. Switching to a renewable energy supplier, such as using solar panels, can be a great start in your business’s sustainability journey. Although the initial installation can be expensive, making the switch will give you free renewable energy for years to come. This massively reduces your business’s carbon footprint and energy expenses in the process. Additionally, the government offers tax credits, rebates, and savings for companies that use sustainable business practices, which can save your company a ton of money.
  • Make charitable donations. Find ways to donate to an environmental cause or support local programs and initiatives dedicated to sustainability. It’s always good to give back to the causes you stand behind. Corporate philanthropy curates a positive culture and workplace within the company and the community it’s are a part of.
  • Don’t forget marketing. All of these efforts are well-placed, but it’s important to market the effort your business is making for the environment. Patagonia is only able to continuously give back, come up with new ways to support its green efforts, and continue to uphold the promises they’ve made because they market their business and that aspect of it very well.

Ultimately, there are more pros than cons when integrating sustainable practices into your business. Business owners and consumers alike need to do their part to help with our current climate crisis. So, why not start with your business?

Author Details

Laura N.

Junior Marketing Associate at Tipsy Social. Marist College senior studying advertising and public relations. Born in Columbia, grew up on Long Island.