What’s good for the environment is ultimately good for business. No company can hope to have a good image without green credentials. Consumers are starting to really care about this sort of thing, and they’re more discerning than ever. The demand for environmentally-friendly products and services is strong and growing, with many willing to pay more and demonstrating loyalty and goodwill towards companies with good green credentials.
Running an environmentally friendly business helps you reduce your impact on the environment and preserves natural resources.
Your business can help the environment in many ways.
For example, you can:
– Use products that reduce your reliance on natural resources (rainwater tanks, solar hot water systems)
– Use products that are made from recycled material (office supplies made from recycled plastic, furniture made from recycled rubber)
– Look at all your business activities to see if you can do anything differently (reducing air travel by holding conference calls instead of interstate meetings).
Reducing the environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainability of your business. If you are less dependent on natural resources than your competitors and have ways to deal with rising costs due to climate change, your business will have a greater chance of long-term success.
Improve Financial and Investment Opportunity
Financial and investment analysts have recognized companies who have developed sustainability plans with regards to energy efficiency and reduction of environmental impact as an important evaluator criterion. A Goldman Sachs study revealed that companies in six industries considered leaders in environmental social and governance policies have outperformed the general stock market by 25% with 72% of the companies outperforming their peers since August 2005.
Minimise Carbon Risk and Improve Energy Efficiency
In Ernst and Young’s 2008 report on ‘The Top 10 Business Risks for Business’ highlight two key business risks:
1.failure to respond and plan for environmental regulations
2.energy efficiency as important business risks to mitigate.
It is estimated that companies will be required to cut 25% of carbon emissions by 2020 and 50-80% by 2050 which will be mandated by both state and federal regulations. This will affect the availability and costs of energy which are expected to double within the next 10 years.
Increase Employee Retention and Recruitment
Employees want to work with companies who are ‘doing the right thing’ and being proactive with corporate environmental and social programs. A 2007 survey by “Adecco”, an international HR company, found that 52% of employed adults feel their companies should do more about the environment. More importantly, companies want their employees to be loyal and ethical to the organisation. Being eco-friendly attracts the best employees and specialists – today’s young talents are reported to be more inclined to work at companies, where practice is environmentally conscious.
Nowadays, the pressure of being green is greater than ever. Consumers are more aware of the pressing environmental issues and expect businesses to be proactive in their activities. Evidence shows that even investors seem to prefer companies that are open about their eco-friendly policies and emphasise the benefits they bring to local ecosystems and communities.
Adopting eco-friendly practices mitigates risk and positively impacts the company’s public image at times, it can save face.
Being green is a great advantage not only towards establishing warmer relations with consumers, but investors as well. Having green certificates is appreciated by stakeholders and investors alike. Boasting eco-friendly credentials and qualifications might provide access to new partnerships and business opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.
In short, being eco-friendly is a uniquely beneficial strategy for a business to adopt. The demand for eco-friendly products and services is on the rise and companies can use this trend to actively create closer consumer communities and foster the engagement with their brand.