Businesses are responsible for a lot of what’s negatively impacting our environment, with many having extensive carbon footprints, irresponsible waste practices, and systems that produce mass pollution.
If companies commit to turning things around with detailed sustainability initiatives, our planet’s health will benefit. But if that’s not enough to convince you to implement eco-friendly practices in your business, this might.
Shopkick revealed that 55% of consumers consider a brand’s sustainability practices when deciding whether to support and make a purchase from them.
If you’re genuine about your eco-conscious choices and can show that commitment to consumers, it could be just what they need to take them from a potential customer to an actual customer. That’s a huge benefit for your business because it translates into profitability.
At the same time, your customers stand to benefit when you prioritize sustainability.
Rewards Your Customers Reap When You Prioritize Sustainability
Successful businesses are always concerned with how to improve the lives of their customers. If you look at sustainability with this lens, there won’t be as much hesitation to put the effort and resources toward making the transition to more eco-conscious practices.
Your customers reap meaningful rewards when you prioritize sustainability. Here are three of the most notable.
You can hand the savings down to your customers
Businesses that have successfully implemented sustainability initiatives can testify to how much money those moves saved them.
For example, when a company wants to go carbon neutral, they invest in renewable energy and efficiency solutions. These systems help cut energy consumption considerably, and the company’s electricity bill is much lower because of it. Over time, these savings add up.
Or, let’s say your business is in the food industry. Transportation costs can influence food prices. It costs more to transport food when fuel prices go up, and those added costs usually get handed down to your customers.
Investing in energy-efficient vehicles, bulk shipping, and route optimization tools can help keep transportation costs in check and food costs down.
You can pass the savings from your sustainability commitments down to your customers. Make your products and services more affordable with price adjustments. Or, you could increase the value of your offerings by reinvesting your savings into product or service development.
They get a free education on sustainability
No, you’re not a university or certified instructor with an environmental science degree. But when you decide to make sustainability a priority in your business, you have to learn as much as you can about how to do this the right way.
No half-truths, wavering commitments, or greenwashing. You have to educate yourself and your team on what it means to be environmentally friendly, what in your business is stopping you from doing this, and how to move toward a more sustainable operation.
As you do this, you share your journey with your customers through marketing content and your brand story. You reveal what you’re doing, why, and how with videos, images, and behind-the-scenes content you share across your marketing channels to further connect with customers.
As a result, they get a sort of free education on sustainability. You’re equipping them with a lot of the information they need to make informed decisions about eco-friendliness.
Customers get to live in a healthier world
Whether you think so or not, what you do to be more sustainable in your business matters in the grand scheme of things. It’s one less company contributing to pollution, waste, climate change, and the depletion of natural resources. And that, in turn, leaves your customers with a healthier world to live in.
The eco-conscious choices you make indirectly impact your customers’ quality of life. For instance, let’s say you decide to change your vehicle fleet to all-electric cars to cut your contributions to air pollution.
This means less harmful fumes and toxins in the air, which also means cleaner air for your customers to breathe. As they breathe cleaner air, they may have fewer respiratory issues and headaches. They’re less at risk of damaging key organs, and therefore they’re healthier.
How to Move Toward a More Sustainable Business
Your customers can gain a lot from your pledge to sustainability. However, your words must be backed by action. Taking small, consistent steps toward sustainability is better than making a grand gesture one time.
If you’re not sure where to start, make these your first steps toward a more eco-friendly operation.
Determine where you currently are and create a detailed sustainability plan
Improving anything starts with understanding where you currently are. In this case, it’s understanding where you are with sustainability in your business right now.
Think about what your ideal vision is for sustainability. Then, go through your systems, processes, and company culture to gauge how far away you are from that vision. Determine what changes you need to make, as well as:
- How you’ll make those changes
- What the changes will cost
- What the timeline is for fully implementing those changes
- Who’s involved in making these changes
- Any other resources you’ll need to make them happen
Take these details and turn them into a polished sustainability plan. Take each of the bullet points above and flesh them out so they’re detailed sections in a tangible document.
Physically documenting your sustainability initiatives and goals will make them more real. You also have a blueprint to follow to ensure your eco-friendly practices are embedded in your business.
Make a conscious effort as a brand to care about environmental and human health. Our planet will benefit and your customers will too.
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