The Future of Business is Green
The past few years, the impact we and businesses have on our environment has been shown more and more on TV and social media. People are becoming more conscious of the impact they have on the environment. Some studies have even suggested that people are increasingly found to have eco-anxiety, a fear of environmental damage. This is especially the case for younger people who have not only grown up learning about climate change and its impacts but are also likely to be more affected if things don't change. This has lead to some companies changing marketing strategies to make them seem more environmentally conscious (even if they are not). There are always ways for companies to improve their carbon footprint and those that don't at least try, could find themselves out of business.
With more and more documentaries about climate change and how businesses contribute to them, more people are keen to look for more eco-friendly companies to do business with. Increasingly people are willing to spend more money on a product if it is environmentally friendly. Companies who sell cheaper items which are worse for the environment have recently been under attack. These include fast fashion companies like Primark, New Look and H&M. Many people previously loved the fact that they could buy cheap clothes and thus have more clothes and keep on top of fashion trends. More recently, with the exposure of the water pollution and waste produced by these companies, people have tried shopping more consciously in an attempt to break the system. Since then these companies have released some sustainability lines and other attempted environmental improvements. While this is still not enough it shows they are trying and this has brought back some customers but not all. These companies were to an extent forced to make these changes by their customers. Companies that are more environmentally friendly may find themselves with more loyal customers who will be willing to spend more money on their products.
This mindset is not exclusive to businesses selling products. A recent study by The Wall Street Journal found that companies who chose to carbon offset their emissions proved lucrative. Companies have started to pay land owners to not cut down trees or plant more trees in an attempt to offset their carbon emissions. These companies have found that this has brought in more investors as investors are increasingly looking for greener firms. This not only suggests that you could find investors more easily if you are a greener company but it also suggests that green companies are the future and are lucrative, otherwise investors wouldn't be interested.
Often the more environmentally friendly route is also the more wallet friendly route. With certain things there will be a higher upfront cost such as switching to eco-friendly energy sources but in the long run you will likely save on money. For example, should your company have the ability to put up solar panels there will be a large upfront cost for these but over the years these should pay for themselves in energy bill savings. I understand that this is not possible for all companies, such as those renting offices, but there are other eco and wallet friendly solutions out there. For employees who are within cycling distance from work would save money on fuel and do their bit for the environment by cycling in. Also (as suggested in a previous blog) a four day week or more working from home could save you money and help save the planet. Encouraging your employees to be less wasteful and more environmentally conscious will also help to save money.
In recent years the impact of global warming has become more clear. There are more wildfires, lasting longer and having a bigger impact, increased flooding due to sea levels rising and severe plastic pollution in our seas. Despite global warming having an impact on the world for many years we are all beginning to see the effects of global warming on a more personally level. To an extent this is a good thing as it pushes us to make a change to our lives now but is it too little, too late? Corporations are responsible for the majority of global warming contributions, individuals are doing their best to encourage change within these corporations but ultimately it is up to them to make the change. With a little research companies can find cost effective ways of reducing their carbon footprint and help save the planet.