Why business should care about sustainability
Businesses should care about sustainability because their consumers do! That’s our answer in short but here we delve deeper into the connection between sustainability and consumerism and why it matters for your business.
From public relations to saving the planet one plastic bottle at a time, there are many reasons why businesses should care about sustainability.
We’ve looked at why companies should consider adopting more sustainable practices, now more than ever.
The next generation of consumers
Drastic changes are happening to the world around us, and consumers are conscious of it. The result of this awareness is a more selective buying process.
Generation Z was found to value sustainability over brand names when making purchasing decisions (62%) and 73% were willing to pay more for sustainable products (First Insight, 2020).
Climate change and the livelihood of the planet affect all who live on the planet, and it’s fallen on the shoulders of this generation to fix the future. This has caused widespread anxiety among Generation Z, whose children will live to experience the damage caused by generations before them.
Gen Z makes up 40% of global consumers and 20% of the workforce (2020). Therefore, they have buying power. They also want to share values and goals with companies they buy from and engage with.
When businesses care about sustainability and prove they’re taking action too, they gain the trust and loyalty of this generation.
A moral responsibility
Being a sustainable company isn’t just about writing it into your mission statement and hanging it on the wall for all to see. It isn’t just about good PR either. Companies have a moral responsibility to maintain environmental social governance (ESG).
To survive the years ahead, businesses should have a vested interest in doing their bit to minimise damage to the planet. It’s for their own good and the good of the people living in communities around the world.
Sustainability isn’t just good PR; it’s also an important part of ESG (environmental social governance) commitments that companies make as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy. When done right, these efforts can boost employee morale while also increasing brand loyalty among customers who share similar values.
Connecting with customers
The idea that sustainability can help companies build trust and loyalty is not new, but it’s still important to highlight how this can be achieved.
Being sustainable is about doing the right thing for the planet and the communities around it. Companies that embrace this idea will naturally align with consumers who care about these issues more than those businesses that don’t make the effort.
If a consumer has the choice to buy from two businesses that sell the same product but there is evidence that one of them practices ESG and the other doesn’t, they’re more likely to buy from the more sustainable of the two.
Sustainability improves reputation and reputation attracts customers, employees, partners and investors.
It’s not just Gen Z that cares about the planet of course. Consumers now demand more from businesses and they’re voting with their wallets by handing over their earnings to brands that align with their values.
When a company practices sustainability, they’re not just checking a moral tick box. They’re welcoming new customers and protecting the profit they make from those who already buy from them.
Acting sustainably helps to draw in new customers as it gives them an additional unique selling point – an extra reason for choosing one product over another.
Nowadays, some people may choose one brand over another simply because they believe it will reduce their carbon footprint.
What sustainability looks like in business
There are many ways a business can become more sustainable. Businesses should care about sustainability and make it a part of their company’s mission.
Employees and investors are also keen to work with companies that are ethical and have environmental strategies. This means:
- Creating products using sustainably sourced materials from reputable, ethical traders
- Working with local suppliers to lower emissions
- Giving back to local or global causes
- Allowing teams to work remotely to cut down on greenhouse gasses
- Introducing thorough waste management systems that include recycling and reusing
- Improving energy efficiency through insulation, LED bulbs, and water management
- Safely managing the disposal of chemicals and hard-to-recycle plastics
To sum up
When sustainability is woven through the very foundations of a business, brand loyalty grows. Businesses should care about sustainability because these kinds of values will help keep them in business.