Building a Sustainable Business and Planet

children holding soil

The constant threat of global warming looms greater as each year passes and brings about negative consequences in our planet, with the melting of polar ice caps and extremes in natural disasters happening more frequently.

Majority of us live in a consumerist and urban existence, leading to the consumption of natural resources every day. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing these resources for our survival. Still, we can minimize the impact of these activities and protect the earth for future generations by building a sustainable world, a world that can produce needs and maintain balance.

A Sustainable Business

Businesses today face pressure in terms of trying to remain relevant in many social issues such as inclusivity, convenience, and sustainability. Today, numerous companies have come up with innovations and solutions in helping build a greener future.

This comes with the support of customers who are more aware of how important protecting the environment has become. Companies have started engaging in Green marketing initiatives, including but not limited to:

  • Hershey’s: The famous chocolate brand has made environmental friendly initiatives such as repurposing products for charitable purposes and reducing greenhouse gases by half by 2025.
  • IKEA: The Swedish furniture giant’s People and Planet strategy helps customers by not having to choose between environmental friendly choices and affordable, stylish options. IKEA is sustainable by using solar panels in most of their US buildings, acquiring cotton from sustainable sources, and working on renewable wood and energy sources in 2020.

Green Marketing Tactics

With the rise of environmental movements, green marketing has become a term and initiative that seeks to put the focus on benefitting the environment. Aside from the brands listed above, green marketing may also include services and products that:

  • Were produced from recycled material.
  • Follow environmentally friendly guidelines.
  • Are designed to be reused for the long term.
  • Do not use ozone-depleting materials.

Also, not all businesses that say they are environmental friendly are necessarily true.

green business concept

Reverse Logistics

Being sustainable can also have an impact on the products we return. Retailers typically have the most returns on months after Christmas, resulting in about 8% to 12% of overall sales. By utilizing and improving reverse logistics and warranty management technologies, businesses can reduce their costs.

They also improve customer relations and experience, as well as become cost-effective and sustainable due to proper waste management and liquidation.

Green Marketing for Small Businesses

You might think that big companies like IKEA and Hershey’s can easily go green, but small businesses can too! Practicing green market initiatives are committed to sustainable development and social responsibility.

Not only is it good for the environment, but also more marketable and appealing to more customers who are environmentally conscious. The good news is, people are indeed willing to pay more for environment-friendly options.

According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Nielsen Global Corporate Social Responsibility, results showed that more than 50% of 30,000 respondents from 60 countries:

  • Check the packaging to see if the product is sustainable.
  • Had a purchase from at least one eco-friendly company within the last six months.
  • Will pay more money for products and services and brands that are eco-friendly.

The Costs of a Sustainable Business

It’s beneficial and friendly to the earth and is more appealing to more customers. Still, you’ll have to increase production costs a bit more when switching to green marketing initiatives and materials. You’ll also want to be authentic and not make false claims about your business being “eco-friendly,” which can harm your company’s credibility.

Benefits vs the Costs

If you have a small business and want to be more environment-friendly, doing it in these low doses can help you get started:

  • Turning off computers and electronics when not in use, being sustainable isn’t just limited to avoiding plastic, right?
  • Take advantage of digital files and rely less on print.
  • Promoting your initiatives to improve business and brand reputation.
  • Switching to recycled products and recycling trash.

Eventually, your business can start getting more involved in more green marketing initiatives as well as increasing bottom lines, even in just the short term. Not only will your business benefit, but also our planet in the long run.

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