Is it worth it to invest in sustainable business trends? Of course it is! We’ll tell you why.
All this talk about going green and sustainable business practices is really gaining momentum. Businesses large and small are learning that by going green, they’re not just saving money and the environment, but they’re also seeing an increase in profits due to public interest and media attention.
The real question you must ask yourself is this: “Can my business afford to ignore green practices?” There are plenty of excuses and ways to justify not updating your business practices. You can argue that there isn’t enough money to go green, not enough incentive to justify the startup costs, or that the entire scientific community is wrong about global warming…
But where will that get you? The public sure as heck doesn’t want to hear that your company isn’t interested in going green. In fact, public opinion about the environment and our dwindling resources is one of the biggest driving forces behind the green trend.
Knowledge is power—the better you understand why going green and running a sustainable business will make you money instead of costing you, the easier it will be to make the transition into a modern and responsible contributor to the green movement. You’ll make more money and you’ll make the world a better place for everyone. Are there any better reasons than that?
Going Green means Making Green
Image and Public Perception
People care. Ever hear that phrase, “Vote with your dollar?” It’s as direct as it is true—business success is only possible when there’s a market for it. If there’s no demand, then there’s no business. Billions of dollars are spent on marketing campaigns trying to convince the public to want, and then buy products. But try as hard as they may, the most successful ad campaigns are those that cater to what the public already wants or needs.
Actually, over 80% of the American public wholeheartedly supports the green movement in business and demands sustainable business practices become integrated with all aspects of business. A large portion of that percentage will also go out of their way to support businesses that practice sustainability. This is exactly how people vote with their dollars—they spend their hard-earned money on what’s important to them.
So if your business completely disregards this green movement, your client base will dwindle because consumers will support your competition—the guys that DO practice sustainability. That’s just bad business. By keeping the public happy, you will not only support your bottom line, but you’ll also grow your business as your profit margins expand.
The Ecosystem, Of Course
Green isn’t a trend that will fade, either. Most people realize that we all share this planet and if we continue treating it the way we have been, there will be dire consequences, including the foreseeable end of humanity. With the growing concerns about the oceans, polar ice caps, atmosphere and extreme weather, it’s increasingly difficult to bury our heads in the sand, hoping for the best.
A company that is proactive and takes their impact on the ecosystem seriously attracts a lot of positive attention. The media is always looking for stand out examples of sustainable business success because they too depend on the general public to maintain their business. Implementing green practices into your business model means that you’re working toward a positive change—which is exactly what the public is looking for and wants to support. The media will love you, the public will encourage you and your green practices will save you money, while increasing your client base.
And perhaps the most important long-term result is that by doing your part in reducing your carbon-footprint and implemeting sustainable business practices, you’re directly affecting future generations and the welfare of the planet itself. Is there anything more important than that, really? All of the money in the world is worthless if humanity isn’t around to use it.
Green is Good
One of the best things about the trending shift toward a more sustainable business mindset is that it is already proven to increase profits. By reducing the impact of industry on the environment, a company can make more money while simultaneously growing their company brand. Not to mention all of the positive PR surrounding green business practices.
The benefits are spread across the board. Your customers and clients want it. Your bottom line will swell with savings. Not to mention the environment benefits due to your efforts in reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, there’s another benefit that cannot be overlooked: the psychological impact of sustainability. At that point, can you really afford NOT to support a sustainable business culture?
At the end of the day, your employees will feel good about your company’s conscious efforts toward sustainable business. They will learn at work and get practice training themselves to think differently about their own “carbon footprint.” They will learn to be more responsible and the positive experience will stay with them in all that they do. Your employees will take this mentality with them into their personal lives and will teach their families and friends. And there is no replacement for happy employees. Your clients too, will not only be positively influenced by your efforts, but may also take their cue from your business and begin to look for ways they can be more green as well.
Be the Pebble
Cause a ripple effect that radiates outward, affecting everyone your business reaches. Happy customers and clients create a very special business environment. A positive environment generates creativity, higher productivity, and causes people to prefer to work with and for you. You can attract both customers and employees to your company while increasing profits and reducing your negative impact on the environment.
It’s not that hard to do either. There are hundreds of resources at your disposal, offering solutions tailored to your industry. Ranging from streamlining policy, implementing new and better business practices, upgrading to energy efficient appliances, repurposing, recycling and updating, the opportunities are vast and achievable.
There are easy things that you can do right now – so there is truly no excuse to avoid a sustainable business any longer. There are also things that will take a bit of time to get up and running, but well worth the investment. To be honest, the one thing your company can’t afford is to remain in the unsustainable past. At best, it’s a finite timeline and nobody wants to remain on a sinking ship.
Image “Wind Turbines” courtesy of Flickr user Chrishna licensed under CC by 2.0.
Image “Go Green” courtesy of Flickr user Sofianos Rezk licensed under CC by 2.0.
Featured image licensed for use under the CC Public Domain license.