There has been a concerted effort amongst a number of industries to ‘go green’ with mounting pressure from more switched-on millennial consumers and an overall moral shift in public opinion leading businesses to put a greater focus on how their practices affect the environment.
However, whilst going green (which can mean anything from focusing on eco-friendly products and services to making a greater effort to reduce waste and energy consumption) might look good and feel good, does it also lead to increased revenue. If managed properly, it most certainly can. It’s official – an eco-friendly business is a profitable business.
Ignoring negative bias
The only pervasive negative stigma attached to eco-friendly business is that many consumers assume that going green means. Well. More green. However, whilst there is a perceived higher cost, the vast majority of eco-friendly brands are not much more expensive than their less green counterparts. Indeed, in many cases, they are actually more affordable. According to a survey by RetailMeNot, 3 out of 5 consumers said they would always choose a more eco-friendly product if there was a cost saving attached and they also said they would view that business more favourably.
Why being an eco-friendly business increases revenue
A study from the Guardian revealed that 70% of consumers would be positively influenced by brands that use sustainable packaging and recyclable materials. Another study by Cone Communications, meanwhile, revealed that 84% of consumers will always seek out environmentally responsible products whenever possible. The better the public opinion; the better the sales and the greater the customer loyalty. This is surely incredibly encouraging news for companies like First Mile, which use sustainable packaging and recycling as a backbone of their business model.
The amount of waste that many businesses (even small businesses) manage to create on an annual basis can be astounding. By putting greater effort into using less energy and fewer materials, not only will the environment benefit but so will your bottom line. Remember, going green means cutting down on energy bills, which is perhaps one of the largest business overheads. This can mean many small things adding up to lead to a big saving. For example, an LED bulb can last for up to 25 times longer than a conventional light and is even cheaper. Eco-friendly packaging is also generally made from recycled material, which means it is generally more affordable.
There are numerous eco-friendly tax relief schemes for UK and US businesses to incentivise businesses to undertake more eco-friendly practices. These practices generally mean utilising renewable energy or using electric and hybrid vehicles and are remarkably easy to implement in existing small businesses.
Millennials spend around $600 billion per year and it’s this market that is ready to be leveraged. Beyond that, green businesses are more sustainability and sustainability boosts revenue. Not only does it mean cutting operating costs and boosting public perception, but it might leave your shoulders feeling a little lighter too when you realise your business is acting as a force for good.