How to green your business (and why it makes financial sense)

How to green your business (and why it makes financial sense)

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On a planet with finite and rapidly declining resources, talking the talk isn’t enough when it comes to sustainability. Businesses need to walk the walk, and create environmentally friendly offerings that positively impact the planet, and not just because it’s the right thing to do – but because in the current economic climate, it is the only thing that makes long-term business sense.

Going Green: The best business decision you can make

According to a recent study by Havas Media Group, the majority of people wouldn’t care if 73% of brands ceased to exist – so what does it take to be part of the 17% of brands they do care about? In a nutshell, businesses need to be meaningful in order to have the kind of connection required to succeed in a crowded financial marketplace. They need to resonate with consumers not only for their product, but for the message and meaning they represent.

Consumers put their money where their heart is

Global consumers are more likely than ever to vote with their dollar, spending more with socially and environmentally responsible businesses, according to a recent Nielsen study. Moreover, the region most likely to choose businesses with a sustainable message is the Asia-Pacific region, with a whopping 64% of consumers reporting a propensity to choose a product or service based on the environmental or social impacts of the business that provides it.

Sustainable steps to take

So, you’ve decided to make your business more environmentally responsible – now what? Depending on the current situation and how eco-friendly your business currently is, there are a range of steps you can take. Internally, you can:

  • Ensure there are adequate recycling bins and a firm recycling policy in place, as well as employee education as to why this is important.
  • Make office buildings and vehicles as energy-efficient as possible by creating energy-use policies, switching to solar power, fitting energy-saving light bulbs and offering carpool/public transport subsidies to employees.
  • Conduct a green audit in order to discover the ways in which your business can run more efficiently, with the minimal impact. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection can assist you in assessing your waste, water and energy inefficiencies with its free ecoBIZ program.

When it comes to the products and services your business offers, there are also many ways to become more sustainable. These include:

  • Ensuring suppliers at all levels are both ethical and environmentally sound, and publicising this fact
  • Maintaining transparency at all stages of production and distribution so it is easier for socially and environmentally-conscious buyers to ensure their choices are based in fact
  • Offsetting your carbon footprint
  • Supporting other local sustainable businesses

Like any solid investment, investing in the green future of your business is going to involve work – but it will yield invaluable long term returns, not only in brand loyalty from consumers and a more efficient business, but financially too.


 * – Nielsen

 ** – Havas Media


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