Written by Lisa Walker
According to research by Ernst & Young, 84% of customers consider sustainability one of their top priorities while making purchases; however, 47% of these feel sustainable products are priced beyond their budget. From the perspective of a business owner, this is a key indicator to look at, as making your business sustainable will help acquire more customers, but, you will need to work towards keeping prices affordable. You’ll also need to educate your employees and customers on some of the myths surrounding going green.
If you’re still in two minds regarding whether an investment towards sustainability is worth the cost, Sustainable Broomfield hopes this article puts those doubts to rest. In addition to an increased customer base, here are more advantages a sustainable business enjoys:
Good Business Reputation
In the corporate world, in addition to revenue, companies are judged based on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and over the years, sustainability has leaped to the top of the CSR list. Businesses that have made being sustainable a priority are viewed in high regard and garner a respected position in the industry.
Additionally, being known for your CSR sends the message that you as a business value sustainability above profits. This is a strong Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to have when marketing your products, especially as a new business.
An Influx of Funds and Talent
Similar to customers, investors and workers alike want to position themselves with sustainable businesses. Having green practices as a core part of your business plan helps you stand out from the competition and rake in funds. Similarly, you will be able to attract top talent from the competitive job market.
When it comes to the challenges of balancing sustainability with low costs, it will require the participation of everyone in your business to make it possible. Here’s how:
As reported by the Environmental and Energy Study Insitute (ESSI), in addition to contributing majorly towards CO2 emissions, air travel is expensive. Instead of holding in-person conferences or traveling for events, opt to host them online. If you do need to host an in-person event, choose a local venue, allowing you to support fellow sustainable businesses in the community.
Have a Buy-Back Program
A popular method used by sustainable businesses that sell commodities is having a great buy-back program through which customers return goods they no longer need in exchange for points or offers.
Through an efficient buy-back program, you will develop a loyal following of customers who will consistently buy new products from you and reduce manufacturing costs by recycling/reusing materials collected from customers.
Be Vocal About Your Business
Business Wire notes that 61% of customers reported wanting to learn more about sustainable products before making purchase decisions. Social media is a powerful medium to educate customers about your products, sustainability practices, and its impact on the environment. This can involve creating posts and videos about your mission, such as supporting the sale of fair-trade coffee, or promoting good health through organic food products.
Additionally, you should regularly share positive product reviews from your customers on your timeline. To make social media posting and content creation easier, use a platform that offers automated post scheduling, customizable campaigns, social graphics, email templates and more.
Go Beyond Work
When it comes to truly practicing sustainability, you cannot just leave it at the office door. One of the best ways to live a green lifestyle is by moving into an eco-friendly home having the following features: energy-saving appliances and lighting, a location with a great walkability score, efficient waste recycling policies, and community areas powered by renewable energy. Many Denver apartments offer such options, so do a little research when looking at renting one of the nearly 5,000 available units.
In addition, incentivize employees to either move into eco-homes or introduce some of the above-mentioned features to their existing homes. Incentives can include additional time off or reimbursement for costs up to a certain amount. They can use free online directories to find the type of rental they’re looking for
As you see, going sustainable will require numerous changes to your business. The best way to make these changes is to focus on one thing at a time and slowly phase out inefficient and excessive practices. In addition, if you haven’t already, establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for your business. An LLC makes you eligible to pay lower taxes, avoid hefty lawyer fees and provide flexibility in management, all of which will make it easier to make your business sustainable.
Making your business sustainable helps you achieve the perfect balance between being a profitable and responsible organization with whom everyone from investors to customers will want to be associated with.