Environmental friendliness and adherence to the principles of sustainable development are not a fashion trend anymore: it is a competitive advantage for every company. This helps both in the fight for customers and in hunting the best employees on the market. It was acknowledged that 64% of people buy from those brands they trust. If a company pursues a willing environmental policy, the level of trust for the brand grows, and sales increase with it. Discover the benefits of eco-business and advantages it can give you and your customers.
Wait a minute, what is it all about?
Minimal environmental impacts, use of natural resources, ergonomic and waste-free production, waste recycling - these are the main pillars of an environmentally friendly or “green” business.
Eco-business strives to make a positive impact on the environment by principles, strategies and practices that improve the quality of life for society and the planet as a whole. At the same time, SMEs have a big advantage over big business: it is much easier for small businesses to start green changes and get the first results.
But a green business doesn't necessarily mean recycling waste or working on an organic farm. The main idea is to adhere to the following principles:
- Compliance of the business with your purpose and interests;
- Offer of a really useful and necessary product or service for the consumer;
- Provision for employees with comfortable working conditions;
- Rational use of resources;
- Socially active position: participation in public initiatives aimed at shaping the ecological consciousness of society.
All in all, the business sector aimed at eco-friendly activities is rather attractive and proved to be very prospective as it is an attractive area for capital investment. Moreover, the environmental business is supported by the government, and companies from almost all industries and services are involved in it.
Business gets what?
An environmentally responsible business has a number of opportunities that, in turn, affect their profitability, adaptability to a rapidly changing world and the ability to innovate in the process of these transformations.
Listing the main advantageous categories for business embracing sustainable goals, it is possible to name the following, but there are many more:
- Brand value and reputation
- Operational efficiency
- Risk management
- Direct financial benefit
- Growth and development
- New business opportunities
An absolute advantage is the growth that is possible thanks to green innovation. Choosing nonviolent means of production provides the manufacturer with multiple variations. A more flexible response to scientific and technological advances and the ability to apply them in business contribute to the dynamic development in parallel with the accelerating trends in the field of eco-development.
Also there is notably small competition in the eco-friendly business market. Due to stereotypes and fear of high resource costs, many companies are missing out on the opportunities offered by adopting socially responsible business practices.
As a long-run benefit, the company's sustainability enhances the ability to hire the best talent and has a positive impact on employee loyalty. Millennials now make up a significant proportion of the world's economically active population. For this generation, environmental protection is a core value and this is reflected in the choice of employers. Business understands this. Therefore, more and more companies are paying attention to environmental issues.
In fact, genuine care for nature is a good way to win your brand a positive image in the market among competitors. There is a strong tendency within all the high-developed countries towards sustainable and caring business management. Companies driven by nature tolerated ideals are more demanded both in the market as reliable producers and in society as responsible and pragmatic brands thus making people want to buy from them.
At what costs
Contrary to the well-established prejudice that environmental friendliness is very expensive and unprofitable for business development, the transition on the wheels of “green” corporate attitude can not only save spending on the maintenance of environmentally harmful means of production, but also of energy and waste recycling. For example, choosing LED bulbs can last for 20 years or more and use about 30% less energy. Another example is the trend towards new types of cafeterias in companies. General Mills installed a salad area to eat at a low cost in the corporate cafeteria, and removed junk food from vending machines. This is not only part of a campaign to encourage people to eat less eco-damaging foods that are not just good for their health, but also a company’s carbon footprint reduction plan in a big perspective. Thus there is prominent data on how sustainability priority cuts costs and promotes macro-economic benefits as overall GDP growth and expands the employment sector.
Today, as in the international community, there is a large number of discussions on the material benefits of environmental responsibility of business: after all, entrepreneurship is, first of all, about profit. Research shows that business fears are unfounded. So, according to the report of the European Commission 2016, investment in eco-business is one of the fastest growing financial areas in Europe. Of course, against the backdrop of the pandemic, the global economy is experiencing an outflow of investment in all areas, however, after the global recovery to the point of the before COVID-19 level of economic efficiency there are all chances for an even greater acceleration.
Innovations, cost reduction, reputation improvement are the actual business profits. Consumers tend to choose more deliberately what to buy and from whom, and evidently the image of an aware, nature cherishing enterprise fosters buying more from one boosting profits.