Today, most highly visible companies have recognized the value in adopting strategies that promote sustainability and environmental consciousness. A high percentage of consumers prefer products from companies that project positive views of sustainability.
In 2012, the Sheldon Group published a study to determine the impact of sustainability on American consumer choices. Researchers divided the population into four groups: Actives, Seekers, Indifferents, and Skeptics. The results showed:
Companies around the world have already viewed results from this study and scores of other surveys that also show a growing majority of consumers prefer sustainable products. As a result, companies are actively embracing the concept of sustainability and have been integrating strategies into their mission statements.
Maintaining profitability is a challenge for any business working toward sustainable practices. Processes that conserve energy and water are helping to drive profitability rather than limit it. Raw materials from natural or organic sources are performing as well or better than complicated petrochemical-based products. Moreover, many of the best sustainability ideas are coming from office staffs or the factory floor, where most of your company's activity resides.
After a sustainability leader is chosen to provide direction and coordination, the next step is to educate your entire company about the positive benefits of sustainable practices. The leader should empower every employee to play a role in moving the company toward. Sharing your company’s sustainability strategies and specific goals is important to achieving company-wide participation and ultimately enhance your reputation in the eyes of consumers.
Engaging employees in a brainstorming session can uncover innovative ideas for reducing energy and water usage, eliminating waste, and adjusting processes. Allowing individuals to express their ideas enhances their engagement in the process, fostering continued commitment, involvement, and progress.
As individuals learn more about the positive effects of sustainability at work, employees frequently transfer their new knowledge to their personal lives. Many employees will alter their buying habits as they feel more commitment to and pride in their own environment. Companies that have adopted a “greener” approach to business participate in more community activities to support their image as a responsible corporate citizen.
How do you promote sustainability in your business and community? Share your thoughts below in the comments!