Green Business

Tomorrow Thinking: TODAY

Why should a Business Go Green?

Going green by reducing environmental impacts is now essential for any successful business. 

But why is it essential and what does going green actually mean? This web-based platform explains the why’s and what’s. It provides a one-stop shop to showcase all things green. Over the coming months you will be provided with solutions to help you at every stage of your going green journey. Our aim is to give you the power to make informed decisions that support a sustainable environmentally conscious future for your business.

In this article, we answer the why go green question. Articles two and three in this series address how to go green and what a green business looks like.

Why Go Green? The Rise of the Green Consumer.

The single most important reason for a business to go green is because customers want to buy products that have a minimal impact on the environment. There is a growing body of evidence that shows the numbers of consumers researching the eco-credentials of products is on the increase.

In 2021 a survey of 2,000 consumers found 72% of them check to see if a company they are buying from acts in an environmentally friendly way [1].

Google researched the UK consumers’ attitude to sustainability issues in 2020 [2] and observed:

‘a marked increase in sustainability-related searches in just the last 12 months alone, particularly for ‘zero waste’, which has grown 6x faster than ‘sustainability’ searches. Consumers are significantly more educated on this issue, and as a result they have rapidly increasing expectations of brands to be enabling the goals they have for changing their own behaviour.’

In 2021, PwC found that 69% of consumers are committed to lowering their carbon footprint [3] commenting that:

‘Eco-friendly consumerism is here to stay’

There are many more examples of an increase in green consumerism. All this evidence points in one direction. Companies who want to increase the market share of any product or service, will need to demonstrate that they are green. They will need to show that their company has adopted sustainability principles and that their products are eco-friendly.

Why Go Green? The Benefits of Having a Green Brand.

Significant numbers of UK consumers are making positive choices to purchase green brands. Nearly two-thirds did this in 2021 [4]. If your brand isn’t green, you are missing out on business. One in three consumers have ceased buying products they do not consider to be sustainable [4].

When looking for an ethical brand the top five areas consumers look for are:

  • Evidence of waste reduction
  • Reducing the brand’s carbon footprint
  • The use of sustainable packaging
  • Committing to ethical working
  • Respect of Human Rights

A brand cannot become green overnight. A business demonstrates its green brand by embracing green principles and becoming more sustainable. If it does this, the many benefits of having a green brand will follow.

Two respected sources have indicated that the number of consumers embracing sustainability is only going to increase [4,5]. In 2021, a representative sample of UK adults were asked if they are embracing sustainability. The answer was a resounding yes, with 61% saying that they had already reduced the purchase of single use plastics. A significant proportion of consumers are choosing to purchase brands with environmentally stable practices and values.

There is evidence that the percentage of consumers calling themselves eco-friendly is on a constant upwards trend [5]. What is noticeable is that this consumer behaviour covers almost EVERY business sector. It is clear that the benefits of having a green brand can be significant.

Why Go Green? Making a Business More Efficient

Going green translates into the business bottom line. Substantial cost savings can be made by becoming green and sustainable. Some businesses switch to a green energy tariff. Others go further and encourage the whole workforce to help them go green.

Steps on the journey to becoming green could start by:

  • Focusing on areas of the business that produce carbon dioxide emissions
  • Determining how key resources, such as energy, water and transport are used
  • Setting realistic targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions
  • Encouraging the whole workforce to help reduce emissions

Once benefits of going green are demonstrated, the focus might widen to include waste minimisation and procurement processes. Increases in efficiency will flow from setting and working towards realistic targets.

The answer to the question why should a business go green is clear to see. If a business wants to continue trading and growing it needs to adapt.

It is also clear that increasing numbers of consumers expect businesses to be green. They will check this before purchasing goods and services. Businesses that fail to go green are likely to find their pool of customers shrinking year on year. Going green, therefore makes both business and environmental sense.

By going green, your impact on the environment is reduced. So not only does your business benefit, but so does the planet.

Sources

[1] Renewable Returns: How SMEs can Benefit from the Green Economy. E.ON 2021 (Benefiting from green recovery
[2] Destination zero: The latest consumer trends around sustainability. Justine McCullagh February 2020. Think with Google
[3] PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey June 2021
[4] Deloitte Shifting Sands: Are Consumers Still Embracing Sustainability? Changes and Key Findings in Sustainability and Consumer behaviour in 2021.
[5] PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey December 2021