3 Ways Going Green Can Boost Revenue and Employee Happiness For businesses, the time has arrived to go green or go home.
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There's a lot of talk of "going green" and undertaking efforts to save the environment. But while some are content to let government officials spearhead this environmental charge, other companies are making green initiatives a foundational aspect of their business.
As it turns out, there are several valuable reasons why going green is well worth the effort.
1. Customers want to buy from green businesses
Perhaps the first and most basic reason why businesses should try to go green is because it is what their customers want. The Global Sustainability Study 2021 found that 85 percent of consumers had made changes to their buying behaviors in an effort to be more sustainable, and that sustainability was an "important" criteria when deciding to make a purchase for 61 percent of U.S. consumers.
Perhaps even more noteworthy, 34 percent of those surveyed said they were willing to pay more to do business with sustainable companies, with most respondents being willing to pay up to 25 percent more for such products or services.
This data makes it abundantly clear that going green can go a long way in helping a business stand out positively with consumers. Undertaking green initiatives and ensuring that customers are aware of them can lead to an increase in sales and customer loyalty.
Notably, many efforts to go green can also result in savings for the business, even while making its products and services more attractive to consumers. A recent Nintendo financial report noted that the company is shrinking the size of packaging for its video game consoles by 18 percent, a move that makes it cheaper to ship individual consoles, while also allowing the company to fit more units into a single shipment. Such moves can enhance profitability even without requiring customers to pay an additional premium for sustainability.
2. Going green can fuel new business ideas
Of course, going green doesn't always mean introducing more sustainable practices to current products and processes. The desire to become more environmentally focused is quite often driving new, innovative ideas that put the planet squarely in focus. Such ideas can be significant disruptors to current business models, resulting in major market opportunities.
For example, in an interview with Tech Times, Elliott Talbott, CEO of FusionOne Energy, explained how his company's green-driven technology creates new business opportunities: "Essentially, we can collect curbside plastic and process it using our HydroPlas reactor. The thermochemical treatment generates excess heat that is utilized in the generation of power which is then exported to the electricity grid. The process also creates Synthesis Gas, or SynGas, which has a very high hydrogen content. The hydrogen is separated and stored in high pressure mobile storage ready to be delivered to gas stations or depots."
This is but one real-world example — there are many out there just like it.
Whether a brand launches with a complete focus on environmental initiatives or introduces new eco-focused products or services in addition to its existing offerings, such innovations are poised to open up new markets as demand continues to increase. And, of course, such efforts are a way that brands can have a direct impact for good on the environment, rather than merely trying to reduce the potential harm of their current activities.
3. You'll create a better workplace
Finally, sustainability initiatives can have a tremendous impact on the people who matter most for your business's success — your employees. This is especially true in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shifted what employees are looking for from their business.
In fact, a 2021 IBM study revealed that "71 percent of employees and employment seekers surveyed say that environmentally sustainable companies are more attractive employers. In addition, more than two-thirds of the full potential workforce respondents are more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organizations – and nearly half surveyed would accept a lower salary to work for such organizations."
In a year that has seen problematic trends for employers such as the Great Resignation and "quiet quitting," going green can ultimately prove key to becoming more attractive as an employer, and encouraging ongoing engagement and better retention with your current team.
Of course, to succeed in such efforts, employers must truly practice what they preach when it comes to sustainability. Employees should be made aware of the company's sustainability efforts and be encouraged to participate in any way they can.
And yes, even something as simple as allowing employees to work remotely can have a positive environmental impact by reducing their emissions from commuting to work.
Going green is the future
Green, sustainable business practices are no longer a fringe idea. As the Harvard Business Review reports, sustainability has gone mainstream, with the vast majority of the largest global companies now making sustainability goals and issuing reports on these topics, and one-third of the largest public companies in Europe making a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
With the potential for innovation and the ability to better appeal to customers and top talent alike, going green should no longer be viewed as merely optional. For businesses that want to thrive in the long run, taking steps to help the planet will ultimately boost their own future prospects as well.