There is pressure for every business nowadays to make significant changes in how they operate to become eco-friendly. As the adverse consequences of the warming planet are felt in many nations, including the United States, customers demand that corporations start to minimize the environmental impact of their products and services.
The Environmentalist Brands
That is why even the likes of Apple, Samsung, Adidas, and LEGO are pouring resources toward what has now been dubbed as “green marketing,” a strategy that promotes environmentally-friendly products and business services. Apple’s new line of iPhones, for example, are made with recycled rare earth materials. Its fiercest rival Samsung has launched an initiative that encourages the public to reuse their old smartphones and turn them into baby monitors or light sensors. Adidas has turned plastic wastes collected from the ocean into running shoes. LEGO is developing toys made from plant-based materials.
However, many businesses may feel apprehensive about adopting sustainable practices. Plastic is cheaper which allows small and medium enterprises to offer competitive pricing and still earn a profit. Moreover, many businesses rely on manufacturing from overseas, particularly in East and Southeast Asia where the cost of materials and labor is much lower.
But, there is a lot to be gained from being environmentally-friendly. Consumers are also conscious of how their actions are affecting the planet. They want to swap the products that they are currently using for an alternative that does not harm nature either directly or indirectly. Any investment that goes toward making a business sustainable will be rewarded with more customers, most of whom are willing to pay more for good quality and environmentally friendly products.
Here are the changes that businesses can include in their green marketing methods.
An Office Powered by Renewable Energy
Many corporations are pledging to cut back on their reliance on the grid and power their facilities through renewable energy sources. Apple has built a solar farm around its flying saucer campus in Cupertino, California. Google claims that 100% of its offices and data centers around the world are now powered using renewable energy.
Businesses that want to follow these corporations should also switch to renewable energy sources. The grid in the U.S. still burns fossil fuels, which have an enormous environmental impact and emits tons of greenhouse gases, to generate electricity. Although the upfront cost is still quite expensive, it pays for itself by saving on utility expenses and improving the business’ reputation.
For SMEs that cannot make the shift to renewable energy sources yet, other changes can be made. The HVAC in the building must go through testing, adjusting, and balancing. This optimizes the property’s energy consumption, reducing wastage. Almost all buildings waste about 10% of their total energy because of HVAC. By making adjustments or mechanical fixes, the energy used to heat or cool an office building will be used more efficiently.
Going with Eco-Friendly Packaging
Eliminating single-use plastic and opting for paper or any biodegradable material for packaging is one of the most effective ways to tell your consumers that your business is sustainable.
People who ascribe to the zero-waste lifestyle do not buy anything that comes in single-use plastic packaging. However, all customers who are conscious of their carbon footprint, even if they are now living a zero-waste lifestyle, try to reduce trash that can neither be recycled nor discarded to a compost pile. Most use paper bags and cardboard boxes. However, packaging that looks like plastic but is actually made from materials sourced from plants and therefore biodegradable also exists.
Businesses should also encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags or jars whenever they shop to minimize the use of plastic packaging.
Support Projects that Save the Environment from Destruction
However, nobody is perfect. Even after massive investments toward creating a business that does not harm the environment, there are some things that directly or indirectly create carbon footprint or the measure of greenhouse gases generated by an individual or corporation’s actions.
Many businesses address this by joining carbon offset schemes. Through it, businesses can invest their money into projects that are designed to reduce emissions. This includes helping the development of clean energy technologies or planting trees to recreate forests.
Through carbon offset schemes, businesses can claim to neutralize a specific activity that generates greenhouse gases by reducing emissions somewhere else in the world, usually in developing countries. For example, a business executive takes their private plane international to meet business partners. They can pay to offset the greenhouse gases emitted by the trip and neutralize them.
Consumers want more from the companies they support. Refusing to be a sustainable business will only harm the reputation of your venture, causing you to lose customers and profit.