As today is World Earth Day 2021, I thought it would be the perfect occasion to discuss the importance of “going green” and how you can use sustainability and clean energy concepts to improve your business. “Going green” isn’t just good for the environment- it can also draw you more customers, lower your bills and provide a huge advantage over your competitors. Here’s why.
It’s no secret that the earth is in danger. Resources are running out, rainforest and species are being lost, and health risks associated with pollution have led to the premature death of around 3 million people. We simply cannot continue in this fashion. Working to use sustainable and renewable resources will help to lower greenhouse gas emissions, protect vulnerable species and, arguably the most important, make the world a better place for future generations. How does this affect your business? Well, put simply: if there is no planet, there is no business.
According to The World Wildlife Fund, Fortune 500 companies are taking earnest steps to reduce their energy emissions and are investing in sustainability. 48% of Fortune 500 companies have set energy targets and are working towards 100% renewable energy goals. “Its smart business and it’s what their customers want,” said Marty Spitzer, WFF’s senior director of climate and renewable energy. Apple and Google have also both proudly publicised their large investments into sustainability- and they promised to switch to using 100% renewable resources by 2020.
So, how can going green help your business?
The main draw for businesses to go green is that consumers are beginning to demand it; they want to know that companies they do business with are environmentally aware. Indeed, a study by Unilever found that a third of British consumers would prefer to buy sustainable products. Younger generations in particular are actively seeking out brands and companies that match their own green values; this trend is likely to only rise as time goes on, making it more and more important to consider adopting greener, more sustainable attitudes for your brand/business.
Businesses that place emphasis on their green efforts are likely to improve their reputation and attract like-minded consumers who share those green values. Perhaps you could use sustainability efforts as part of your marketing campaign- talk about what your business has done to help the environment on social media in order to engage consumers.
Not only does working on sustainability help the environment, but it also reduces the costs of your bills- in 2016, 190 of the Fortune 500 companies saved almost $3.7bn combined through their green initiatives and actions! Take steps to reduce your energy emissions such as turning off lights, computers and machines when not in use- the average business consumes enough power per year to power 65 homes! You can also switch to LED or CFL lightbulbs, ensure to recycle and reduce your paper usage by only printing when necessary, and by keeping digital records rather than paper ones. Maybe you could even reward your employees for walking, cycling or using public transport to get to work.
More and more investors are wanting to invest in sustainable businesses as consumers and the general population alike are gravitating towards these brands. A business plan that highlights how you will address sustainability stands a higher chance of attracting investors- for example, clean energy pulled in $2bn of foreign investment to India between 2014 and 2016. You can use online business planning software to save wasting paper.
The market for green products is expanding rapidly, and this is something you should make use of- not just for the planet, but for your business! What is your business doing for the planet?