Many businesses fancy the idea of going green, but when it comes to actually doing so, a lot of them get hung up on various misconceptions they hear left and right, making excuses not take the plunge.
Sustainability has had many names throughout history, from “tree huggers” in the ’60s to the “Save the Planet” movement from the ’80s. Now we like to call it “environmental sustainability”, but the purpose has always remained the same: finding ways to do a little less harm to the world around us.
Customers, competitors, investors, business partners – everyone is starting to become more and more invested in sustainable business practices, so they all want to know what you are doing about it.
If you’ve considered going green, chances are you’ve been doing your research and may have found an abundance of reasons why it could be beneficial for your business. At the same time, you probably heard a few reasons why you shouldn’t even bother trying.
While it is true that going green does not come free of challenges, most of the reasons you may have heard against it are nothing but myths and misconceptions. We’ve gathered a few of these and will be discussing them below, to put an end to some of these wrong beliefs.
Sustainability is very expensive
It’s no secret to anyone that making some changes in your business structure and processes in order to reduce your carbon footprint will result in some costs. But if you think about it, so will happen for any kind of renovation you may be planning. While it is true that there are some significant initial costs when
deciding to go green, these will pay off in the near future.
By becoming more conscious with your business processes, you will end up reducing expenses in the long term. Reduced energy and water use will result in lower utility bills and a significant cut in resources consumption.
Investors don’t care if your business is sustainable
If you believe all investors are looking for when betting their money on a company are the products or services that company provides, then you still have to learn a thing or two about business. When they choose a company to invest in, investors are looking at many other aspects, including company reputation and sustainability practices. When asked, 75% of senior executives in investment companies believe a business’ sustainability performance is a serious aspect to take into consideration when making investment decisions. What’s more, 50% of them state they would never invest in a company that has a poor sustainability reputation.
Consumers won’t pay for it
Consumers sit at the core of any business, which makes their opinion very valuable for company owners. So, when they hear consumers may not be willing to pay more for sustainable products, it is only natural to want to turn the other way.
However, studies show 66% of consumers, especially millennials, are open to paying more for sustainable products. In fact, they are comfortable with as much as a 25% increase in product prices, as long as the sustainability claims on the package reflect the reality going on with the company’s business practices.
It’s the government’s responsibility
Governments are not the only ones responsible for sustainability. In fact, government environmental intervention should be complementary to corporate sustainability, not a replacement.
While the government is responsible for issuing regulations and providing the means for a business to go green, it is ultimately the company’s duty to take advantage of those practices and make a change for the better. What’s more, in many countries, the government provides quite some significant advantages
for businesses who decide to step up their sustainability game, precisely to stimulate businesses to take action.
Employees won’t care and won’t be open to change
Despite the common belief that employees don’t care much about sustainability, studies are here to show otherwise. Employees not only care about working for a green business, but they are actually more likely to be productive, engaged and loyal to a company that cares about the planet.
And if you are worried your employees may not be open to change, now is a good time to take things one at a time and teach them how to be more conscious. Something as simple as installing compactors or balers for cardboard, so that workers can dispose of it in a more conscious way, is enough for them to get a taste of how good it feels to give something back to the planet.
Sustainability is not essential
Many believe sustainability to be something that’s nice to have, but not necessarily essential. While in the past, people didn’t seem to care as much about sustainability, things are very different now.
Adopting sustainable practices is now deemed paramount for the future of any business, as consumers, investors, and employees place it at the top of their requirements list when it comes to associating themselves with a company.
Making changes to the supply chain is too daunting
Assessing your supply chain can, indeed, be a pain, but that does not mean it can’t be tackled in a productive and logical way. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and remember that sustainability is not a race, but a process that takes time and dedication to complete.
The best way to make changes to the supply chain is to first conduct a sustainability audit and, based on the results, start drawing out a long-term plan to go green. Identify what are the things that can be changed without disrupting your business activity and start with them, then, work your way up to the more challenging ones.
Corporate sustainability is nothing but a passing trend
Sustainability in business is not a fading trend, it’s simply the new and improved way to do business. It’s not something that will go away anytime soon, especially since people are becoming more and more concerned with what’s happening with the planet.
If anything, we believe sustainability will soon become the only way to do business, specifically if you take into consideration the technological advancements that are going to make things easier for business owners all over the world.