Part of your company’s overall branding strategy should focus on causes everyone in the business cares about. Making your company more environmentally friendly and sustainable is something everyone in the company works on together, from the person who cleans the offices at night to the CEO.
In the last 10 years, the carbon emissions from companies declined by about 10 percent globally. More and more companies today embrace green practices. However, they’re also starting to see how incorporating sustainable practices leads to higher long-term revenue.
1. Attract Customers With the Same Mission
One of the most apparent reasons focusing on eco-friendly practices raises revenue is that it makes your brand more attractive to consumers who also care about reducing carbon emissions. Even people who aren’t as passionate about environmental concerns as others can see the benefits of preserving the earth for future generations.
Imagine you’re a shopper looking at two different brands and one brand touts their green initiative while the other doesn’t. All other things being equal, you’d be more likely to go with the brand doing something to make the world a better place.
Household cleaning products put pollutions into local groundwater and waterways. Many are looking to cut back on the pollutants they introduce into their local environment. Seventh Generation is a viable alternative. The company makes it no secret that they’re on a mission. They want to clean up the world for the next seven generations through green products and initiatives. They get behind campaigns, which also helps get the word out about their products and increases their revenue.
2. Take Tax Credits
Paying business taxes takes a chunk out of your profits. However, there are often tax credits for green initiatives. This reduces your overall tax burden and puts more profit in your pocket. Keep in mind, tax credits vary by year and what your local and state government offers. You can almost always take off the cost of upgrading to more energy efficient systems.
3. Save on Energy Costs
Building or remodeling your offices or manufacturing facility to be green doesn’t have to cost more money than traditional building methods. You may have to get creative and reuse materials. Do factor in the energy savings of a more efficient building. Remember, the payoff is in the reduction of carbon emissions and creating a more eco-friendly model.
CORE Design Group specializes in sustainable buildings. They estimate buildings in the US account for around 39 percent of carbon emissions and 40 percent of energy consumption. What if you could lessen energy use and improve the design of every building and community for a more environmentally responsible option?
4. Add a Community Garden
Embracing environmentally friendly options doesn’t have to mean big or expensive changes, especially if you’re a smaller brand. There are little ways of going green. Add a community garden to an unused corner of your land and invite local people to work a plot. You might also add a small wildlife preserve with a pond and protection of local wildlife. Small changes often inspire others.
5. Gain Free Publicity
Starting green initiatives may result in free publicity. While you should approach any projects from the standpoint of wanting to do something positive either locally or on a national scale, it’s also okay to toot your own horn a little and send out a press release announcing the event and why your brand cares about the environment.
Patagonia calls themselves “the activist company” and they take that description to heart, hosting a variety of environmental events. They spend time supporting grassroots activists in the environmental movement, offer grants to green organizations and encourage employees to get involved in supporting nature.
6. Improve Customer Retention
Loyal customers are worth six times as much as the average customer. Shared values are one of the reasons consumers cite for sticking with a particular brand. If your customers care as much about the environment as you do, green initiatives keep them engaged with your brand and ultimately maintain your revenue high.
In addition to the future purchases of loyal customers, your word-of-mouth advertising will increase. Fans of your brand will share your social media posts and let others know what they like about your company.
7. Attract Top Employees
If your employees are the best in the industry, they’ll perform their jobs better and bring in new clients for your brand. One way of gaining the best workers in your field is offering them something of value to them personally. For example, if the employee has a job offer from another company and your company, but your company also offers three days a year paid time off to go and volunteer for something that improves the environment, the ability to spend time making a difference in the world may be the factor which gains you the best candidate available.
New Belgium is a brewing company committed to reducing waste and going green. With this in mind, they started a Beer Scouts program where they allow employees time off to get involved with a cause. They align with their mission in some way, such as Habitat for Humanity, area food banks, Bee City USA, The Nature Conservancy and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.
Put the Environment First
When choosing which causes to get behind and which green practices to implement into your business, think about what is most helpful to those around you. What changes make the world a better place for your employees and their families?
Keeping the focus on why you care about being a green company prevents you from getting caught up in just doing a project or event for recognition. People see through inauthenticity in a heartbeat. Make sure you have solid reasons for everything you do. The publicity and revenue will become a natural reward for your efforts rather than the goal of the efforts.