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Why a Sustainability Approach is Essential for Businesses in Today’s World

People are more aware of their personal impact on the environment than ever before. Their conscientiousness extends to the brands they choose to buy from. Customers working on reducing their carbon footprint are likely to look at your sustainability approach before purchasing.

Your green commitment impacts the world around you. Embracing change to work toward net zero emissions ensures your local ecosystem stays healthy for future generations. Small, local changes can also impact the entire globe over time.

Here are the top benefits of embracing a sustainability approach for your brand and how you can reduce your carbon footprint today.

1. Do Your Part

After the global climate conference in Glasgow in 2021, more than 100 governments made a net-zero commitment. Around 88% of global emissions are impacted by the agreements. The concept is an excellent one and a way to improve the future of the planet.

Committing your company to its own net zero plan ensures you do your part and join the effort alongside big players and small brands. Any industry can jump on board to reduce waste and use less energy.

2. Improve Your Brand Reputation

Adopting a sustainability approach shows you care about the world around you. People looking for like-minded companies will see what you’re doing to improve your processes and reduce environmental impact.

You can probably name a few companies that have a negative effect on the environment, dump chemicals into waterways or otherwise impact plants and wildlife. At times, these companies harm humans who drink from untreated water or are exposed to toxic substances.

If you are part of an industry guilty of pollution, make sure you take measures to avoid a similar situation. Ensure people know what you’re doing to change things by being completely transparent.

3. Produce Sustainable Products

If your brand manufactures a product, look for ways to use sustainable materials and reduce carbon emissions during production. Making sustainability a crucial part of your business model leads to awards such as the Sustainability Leadership Award from Business Intelligence Group. Receiving accolades puts your name in front of customers who otherwise might not hear about your brand.

For example, using 93% natural quartz crystals for countertop production creates low emissions with high durability products. Look for alternative materials to go greener.

4. Improve Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Customers choose a brand to buy from based on the UVP the company brings that no one else offers. Embracing sustainability not only improves the world and gives you a purpose but it also attracts like-minded customers.

Anyone who cares about reducing their carbon footprint will look at your approach and see if it matches their expectations. You may win business by having a slightly better or different model than a competitor.

Consider what your customers care about. If they want the local forests to remain intact, ensuring you use a renewable material may be at the top of their list. The commitment has to make sense to what you sell. If you manufacture bottled water, embracing water conservation efforts makes perfect sense for your industry.

5. Reach Net Zero

Reducing your carbon footprint to nothing or even less than zero is a big task. Every little thing your company does comes into play. If you use more energy in your office than you create, you’re not at net zero.

Any product you sell has to be 100% recyclable and use green materials that don’t negatively impact the environment in their production. People are willing to pay a bit more for a brand that has a true commitment to being green.

However, if you state you’re at net zero and customers find out you aren’t, you could be setting yourself up for negative publicity. You may even want to hire a third-party, neutral consultant to ensure you aren’t missing any of the finer details of being sustainable.

6. Gain Customer Loyalty

From the minute people wake up until they close their eyes to sleep, they see thousands of ads a day. They hear messages on the radio, from friends, on social media and get materials in the mail. Because of all the advertising chatter, they’ve learned to tune out a lot of messages.

One way to gain your customers’ loyalty is to care about the same things they do. If they are passionate about preserving the environment for the future, then they will hear your message about your own commitment to the same.

Involve your customers by inviting them to make suggestions for how to be even greener. Things such as adding solar panels to your business property and collecting rainwater can ensure you have some energy in reserve and can remain net zero.

7. Attract Top Employees

Owl Labs surveyed 2,000 American workers. They found flexibility was key to keeping top performers. Around 62% of respondents said they’d take a 10% pay cut to have a hybrid or fully remote job. Some said they’d outright quit if a company rescinded their ability to work from home.

Fortunately, letting your employees work from home reduces your carbon footprint as a brand. Employees aren’t putting emissions into the air as they drive to and from work. They use less fuel, less wear and tear on a car, clothes, lunch boxes and many other things that have a slight impact on the environment.

Since people want the option to work from home, you’ll attract and retain employees if offering them the ability. Plus, you can use it in your marketing to attract more employees who care about reducing their environmental impact.

Write Out Your Sustainability Approach

Organizations should take the time to write out their sustainability approach. Putting plans into writing ensures you don’t miss any vital elements. You’ll also be able to share what you’re doing if asked. Embracing green measures requires effort and time. Appoint at least one person to oversee your plans and set you back on course if you flounder. Sustainability improves your company morale and helps fulfill your brand’s personal mission.

 

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.

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