Consumers are noticing the negative impact their habits are having on their homes, and so they are taking action to fight climate change. They want to do good, but to do this, they need help. Indeed, 88% of buyers wish that brands would help them make a difference, and are constantly looking for sustainable businesses to purchase from.
Sustainable businesses are those who meet their companies needs whilst taking into consideration the environment and its people. Not only is it beneficial for their customers, but also for them.
There are many advantages to becoming a sustainable company that will help you stand out from your competitors and gain more customers. Who doesn’t want that?
Here are some of the benefits you can gain when becoming a sustainable business.
1. Improves Brand Image and Reputation
A crucial component of growing a business is to develop a solid reputation. Without it, potential customers will see you as untrustworthy, negatively impacting your sales and profitability.
One aspect that can affect your valuable reputation is based on your environmental and social efforts. Today, consumers want to purchase from sustainable companies whilst avoiding brands that are incentivising climate change and global warming.
Consumers want to do good, but to do this, they need your support. Over 70% of shoppers want brands to be fully transparent about their products, so they can be informed if their purchases are guilt-free. However, 43% of consumers think companies are making it hard for them to find products and services that are ethical and green.
So, if you are adopting sustainable practices, make sure to let your existing and potential customers know about it. Promote this aspect as much as possible because this is what will set you apart from your competitors and improve your brand’s image.
Patagonia was acknowledged as the company with the best reputation in the United States in 2021, based on the Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation ranking.
The outerwear clothing company ranked highly on all the eight categories that define the final ranking, including products/services, trust, ethics, vision, culture, growth, affinity and citizenship.
Patagonia is adored by its customers for several reasons. Firstly, the brand utilizes sustainable materials in all its garments and was seen as a pioneer during the 1990s for incorporating organic cotton, Hemp and recycled PET in its production.
Also, conscious consumers love Patagonia because of its activism. Indeed, since 1985, the outerwear brand has given 1% of its annual profits to environmental and social groups and, so far, they have donated around $100 million.
2. Attracts a Larger Audience
The UN produced the Good Life Goals, a series of actions that individuals can take to minimize their impact on the environment. Part of these 85 goals pushes citizens to purchase from businesses that have taken on social and environmental responsibilities.
Nowadays, more and more consumers are looking for brands that can help them preserve the planet whilst satisfying their shopping needs. So, by adopting this shift, you will retain your existing customers and expand your target audience to conscious consumers who want to purchase from sustainable brands.
3. Increases Employee Retention
Becoming sustainable can also help attract and retain employees. Think about it, with everything going on, people want to work for companies that are having a positive impact on society and the environment. They want to be part of the solution and feel proud of the work they are doing every day.
Thus, incorporating sustainable practices will increase your employees’ job satisfaction, productivity and retention, which in turn can solidify your positive reputation.
Schneider Electric was chosen as the most sustainable company in 2021, based on the Corporate Knight Global 100 ranking. Their technological progress, environmental commitment and complete transparency have led the business to be recognised worldwide for its sustainable efforts.
Schneider Electric’s positive impact has also improved its reputation and employee satisfaction.
Indeed, last year Fortune Magazine placed the company as part of the 10 best large workplaces in manufacturing and production. Also, this year Schneider Electric ranked highly in the Great Place to Work National Employee Engagement Survey. The data shows that most employees, 89%, said that the business is honest and ethical and they are proud to be working at Schneider Electric.
4. Increases Chances for Funding and Investments
Investors are increasingly using ESG criteria to determine if a company is worth investing in by understanding its growth opportunities and business risks. These non-financial factors stand for Environmental, Social and Governance, and investors are now taking these into consideration to determine a business’ sustainable efforts.
Today, investors, especially the younger generations, want to invest in businesses that are making a difference and have a real chance for short term and long term financial growth. Indeed, this sustainable investing has grown 140% in 2020, and this number is steadily increasing.
The relatively new form of investment demonstrates that becoming sustainable will increase your chances for funding and business growth.
A Sustainable Future
Sustainable businesses reap many benefits such as improved reputation, larger audience acquisition, employee retention and better funding opportunities.
If that sounds like something you’d want to benefit from, incorporating a few sustainable practices into your business model is a great way to start this journey. However, remember that your audience won’t surely know about this shift, so be sure to let everyone know about your new commitment.
Gaia Vezzoso is the copywriter and creative content producer at Psydro. Born and raised in Milan, she moved to Brighton to study sociology. These international and social influences have helped her bring a unique perspective to the world of marketing; an industry in which she hopes to help as many small and large businesses as possible.