Over the last few years, sustainable or ‘green’ business has gone from being niche, to being the norm—at least to a certain extent. While this is an encouraging trend, we can still be doing more.
With the nation-wide COVID-19 lockdown highlighting just how much our daily lives are impacting the environment, there’s no arguing with the fact that the time has well and truly come for everyone—including businesses of all sizes—to be doing everything they can to reduce their impact on the environment. As well as the most important reason, protecting our planet, there are plenty of extra incentives to be more green in business.
When it comes to corporate sustainability, good intentions are no longer good enough—and that’s partly due to increased accountability. From a legislative point of view, environmental regulation and reporting is getting stricter and being applied more widely, with the results being made publicly available; meaning there’s nowhere to hide anymore.
Plus, from a consumer perspective, it’s very easy for people to fact-check businesses’ environmental claims online, to find out how sustainable a company is actually being behind the scenes. It no longer pays to appear to be taking green matters seriously—for instance, through a green ad campaign; businesses have to actually be taking steps towards more eco-friendly practises, and doing so transparently.
Back in 2007, a groundbreaking global survey on corporate environmental behaviour showed that 53% of people—or 1.1 billion consumers—strongly preferred to do business with sustainable companies. Now, more than a decade on from this initial research, environmental responsibility has become more than just a preference for a lot of people; it’s a demand. That’s because consumers are increasingly seeking out companies that align with their personal values.
So, as attitudes continue to change, as scientific evidence of climate change continues to mount, and as more and more sustainable products and services enter the market, companies should no longer see being green as a slight competitive advantage—but rather, as something that could determine whether their business succeeds or fails, whether a customer buys or walks away.
Failing to meet environmental targets won’t just be off-putting to consumers, but to investors as well. Whether investors themselves have personal preferences about green policies or not, analysts can demonstrate the way consumers are leaning—so, in a choice between two equivalent companies, the greener one will win out in today’s market.
As well as responding to legislative requirements and consumer expectations, being green benefits your business internally as well—because sustainability actually reduces overheads in the long term. So it shouldn’t just be about achieving the bare minimum that’s legally required—or worse, paying lip service to environmental responsibility just to satisfy your customers.
Being more sustainable in your day-to-day operations—for example, by running energy-efficient premises—can save businesses of all sizes a lot of money. Often much more than they expect. Simply switching to LED lighting can vastly improve energy efficiency—which, in turn, achieves savings. It’s a quick fix that improves your bottom line…and what could be bad about that?
As we emerge from lockdown in the coming weeks, the pressure is on to try and build on the environmental progress we’ve seen, not undo it. So now’s the perfect time to embark on an energy efficiency project.
For more info on energy and water conservation, renewable energy sources, and other bespoke utility projects—get in touch through our contact form below, give us a call on 0141 226 8525, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.