There is no doubt about the impact climate change has had on the economy. The physical effects have been vast, but the economic effects of climate change have shifted the mindsets of thousands of business owners.
Sustainability is now the new frontier of business. Fortune 500 companies and small family businesses are all searching for ways to become more sustainable. Consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z’s, are increasingly interested in a company’s ethical standard, and they do not tolerate environmental immorality.
Adopting sustainability practices offers a myriad of benefits while adding a dimension to your brand. From simple energy savings to joining the trendsetting sustainable business movement, any business can benefit from adopting sustainability into their practices.
Profit-hungry companies are no longer in favor of the public. Instead, consumers are looking for well-rounded businesses that have other interests rather than solely making money. An interest in bettering humanity and the planet is the new hot business model.
Creating a sustainable business reflects the morals of its owners, which customers appreciate.
It is the most nebulous of the benefits to sustainable practice, but can be the most rewarding. However, there are still many benefits to having a business that shows a commitment to humans and environmental ethics.
On a practical level, sustainable and ethical business practices avoid scandal and protect workers. In the age of social media, one exposé on harmful business practices can ruin a company. There is no tolerance for that brand of ignorant business operations.
Sustainable practices are often grouped with labor ethics, forming the basis for this new ethical business trend. These practices create strong company morale, from which employees feel proud to work there.
Environmentally sustainable business practices allow a company to opt out of destructive practices that harm humans, animals, and the planet.
These practices give business owners the opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet, instead of solely focusing on creating personal wealth. This is often rewarded with increased interest from customers, investors, and employees.
Today's employees like working for a company that shares their values, rather than a soulless mega-corporation. Sustainable businesses can recruit younger talent who value sustainability and ethics more than older job applicants.
Younger generations have increased interest in sustainability versus older ones. Millennials, Gen-Z, and every generation after will feel the bulk of the effects of climate change, so they have an increased stake in the game. They are jaded by mega-corporations that have destroyed the planet for the sake of profits.
Adopting sustainable practices will appeal to ethics-driven customers. 58% of US consumers consider environmental sustainability when making purchases, which is sure to increase as climate change affects us further.
Environmental sustainability gives companies an opportunity to transform their identity. People are attracted to brands with values, and this inclination can be targeted to build a more loyal, stronger customer base. Sustainable brands can diversify your consumer base, and so long as their trust isn’t broken, can build stronger customer loyalty.
Sustainability can also attract investors, as impact investing grows to encompass ⅓ of the market. If you can build a business on strong sustainability practices, customers will show their appreciation.
The simplest yet most approachable benefit of sustainable practices is the financial savings it offers. There is no guarantee that sustainable practices will be immediately or astronomically profitable, but operation costs can be lowered, regardless. Simple shifts, like creating energy-efficient offices and commercial spaces, can save over 20% of a company’s energy bill.
Motion-sensor lighting, LED bulbs, and efficient air conditioning are simple swaps that a company of any size can implement, and with the cost savings, ones that will pay for themselves. Companies can use government subsidies and tax incentives to adopt other sustainable practices. This allows less upfront capital to invest in newer technology like renewable energy, without the financial burden.
A strategic plan can create win-win solutions. Sustainability relies on efficiency rather than abundance, quality over quantity. Increasing productivity and streamlining over-complicated processes can offer savings without complicated sustainability tactics.
Adopting sustainable practices can also ensure that a company will not be penalized for breaking laws on environmental health and safety. Sustainability can be practical and has merits other than its connection to the growing economic and ethical movement.
The most exciting prospect for sustainable practice is the idea of being on the frontier of a new movement in business. Climate change and environmental degradation create a massive challenge for the way we operate our businesses, but this challenge breeds the opportunity for innovation.
Instead of fighting this change, sustainable businesses embrace the challenge and use it to better themselves. Right now, adopting sustainability is a choice, but it will become industry-standard soon enough. Joining the movement now will prevent your business from becoming irrelevant in the future.
There is a growing preference for environmental sustainability, and most people can see that. 62% of company leaders see sustainability as a necessity for competitive businesses. The trend is growing, set to be worth $12 trillion a year by 2030.
Environmental sustainability creates economic sustainability, and companies that cannot adapt will not survive. Environmentally destructive practices will no longer be tolerated by customers, investors, or governments.
Sustainable practices offer a wide range of benefits, from tangible monetary benefits today to large-scale societal shifts tomorrow. Adopting sustainability can offer opportunities to save money, increase profitability, and build a more well-rounded business model.
While environmental sustainability seems overwhelming and frightening at times, it's a necessary component of doing business in the twenty-first century. Without adapting to the new normal, it won't be surprising to see older business models left in the dust.
If you want to take your sustainable brand to the next level, check out my FREE 5-day email course, How to Build Your Sustainable Brand, which will help you understand your brand, tell the story it needs to tell, and show your passion to the customers who will value and support your brand.