Why Being Eco-Friendly is Good for Business

corporate social responsibility

If you want to make sure your business is around for a long time to come, you’ll need to do all you can to make your customers happy as well as satisfying other stakeholders like employees and investors. You also need to balance inputs and outlays to avoid a cash shortfall, plus you’ll need a great USP (unique selling proposition). This might seem like you’ve already got a lot on your plate, but the great thing about this is that if you can make your business as eco-friendly as possible, you can tick a lot of these boxes and be very successful as a result. With that in mind, here are some of the reasons why being eco-friendly is good for business.

Why being eco-friendly is good for business

Consumers care about sustainability and eco-friendliness

As you can see below, consumers regardless of country or product lines, want to buy from companies that share their values, so you gain a lot of potential customers (or lose them) by aligning with those values they hold dear. And, according to a recent report shared by Forbes, most consumers want to buy from companies whose products are eco-friendly and sustainable. This is especially true in Western and developed countries where incomes allow for wide consumer choice.

eco-friendliness is good for business
Image courtesy of Customer Insight Group

The number of US consumers who care about eco-friendliness and sustainability continues to grow at a significant rate.  A study from 2019 shows that 54% of US consumers either agree or strongly agree that they will PAY MORE for products that are eco-friendly versus only 35% a mere 8 years earlier. Potentially more importantly, the same study shows that consumers are increasingly willing to advocate for brands they view as eco-friendly thus a brand’s reach is increased when advocates see them as eco-friendly whether or not those reached care about sustainable business practices or eco-friendliness.

Positive reputation

Your business’s reputation is absolutely vital and really can be seen as one of its biggest assets. If your brand has a good reputation, people will want to buy your products (as we saw above), and they’ll keep coming back because they know you’re working hard at making things as good as possible.

Of course, getting that reputation can be tricky and a lot of hard work, and keeping it can be even harder – even the smallest issue can cause your reputation to falter. Recovering from damage to your reputation takes a long time and may never happen. For instance, Evian Water was found to contain contaminants in 2020, costing the brand much of its reputation for water purity and millions of dollars in sales. Today, 23 years later, the company still struggles to regain its prominence.

By going green and adopting more eco-friendly practices like using less paper, recycling more, adding tinted windows from https://metrotinttx.com/ to your office so you use less energy, opting for electric vehicles, and switching to reusable containers versus single-use plastics, you’ll show customers that you’re doing all you can to protect the planet, and your reputation and brand image will benefit as a result.

Saving money

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of business owners make when they think about going green in their business is that it’s an expensive proposition that results in lower profits. If that’s the way your business thinks, it might put off the idea until they have more funds or are in a better financial position, which could take years – business is a very fickle thing.

The truth is that being more eco-friendly in your business probably isn’t as expensive as you might think, and there are lots of incentives and grants that can help you with the bigger elements, like new boilers and solar panels, for example.

More than that, when you do some extra digging, you’ll find that there’s a correlation between sustainability and profitability. First, you can save money if you become more environmentally friendly in your business. You’ll avoid fines, and you’ll save money on your energy bills, for example. Plus, because you’ll attract more customers who like the fact that you run a sustainable business, you should make more money overall because you’ll be selling more. Making environmentally conscious decisions, such as selecting energy-efficient equipment and choosing renewable energy sources from reputable business power suppliers, can lead to substantial savings on your energy bills.

A competitive edge

How many competitors do you have? Although the answer is different for every business and the degree of competition represented by our competition varies, when you analyze your competition objectively, you’ll see the true threat they pose. The thing to remember is that no matter whether you have one competitor or hundreds, you’re going to need to work out how to build a sustainable competitive advantage that results in a clear reason for consumers to choose your brand.

Businesses that invest in green tech and other sustainable solutions can use these efforts to get ahead of their competition. The technology itself might be something that gives you a real competitive edge, but sometimes just the fact that you’re making sustainable choices and your competition isn’t can be enough – that’s something your customers are happy to see, and it’s something that makes them pick you. In fact, you might even be able to charge more compared to your competition because people will want to use your services or buy your products anyway. For example, Starbucks pays for fair trade coffee, resulting in higher prices that it passes on to the legions of consumers willing to wait in line to buy their sustainable products. That’s something you’ll need to explore, but it might be possible.

Because businesses can’t turn on a dime, especially when it comes to making sustainable choices, you can extend your competitive advantage over the long run, something impossible to do with other strategies such as promotions and price discounts.

Employee satisfaction

When you think about why being eco-friendly is good for business, you probably start thinking about your customers and how they might be affected – in a positive way, of course. However, what about your staff?

Today’s employees tend to want to work in places that have a good reputation, as mentioned above, and that take the environment seriously, just like they do. So if you can do all you can to make that happen, you’ll have more people applying for jobs, meaning you can choose the very best candidates and really boost the efficiency of your business. Plus, the employees you hire are a lot happier in their roles if they know the business is a sustainable one, and that makes them more productive and more loyal. A happy, fulfilled staff results in lower turnover and less absenteeism (along with fewer other behaviors resulting from poor workplace satisfaction), which saves you the time, money, and effort required to constantly recruit new employees and the costs resulting during the time it takes new recruits to get up to speed in your business.

Conclusion

The initial costs and disruption you might experience when implementing an eco-friendly program may seem daunting but the long-term return on this investment far outweighs these initial annoyances because eco-friendliness is good for businesses are all types.

Need marketing help to support business growth?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.