You’ve heard the buzzwords. Corporate responsibility, sustainability, CSR, social impact. It can be a lot to think about! Whatever word you identify with, adding a strategy to make your business more socially and environmentally responsible is a smart idea for multiple reasons.
Does your business work with, for, employ, want to employ, or market to millennials? Consider focusing on the environment to attract the millennial market. Interested in cutting costs? Sustainability can help with that too. Read on for reasons to consider an environmental angle in business.
Millennials Care about the Environment
Millennials care about the environment in purchasing. Research shows millennials are twice as likely as their older generation counterparts to change their purchasing habits to reduce or change their environmental impact.
If you’re selling a product, this research is extremely valuable. As the millennial buyer matures and makes up a wider swath of purchasers, this will continue to be true.
You’re probably already targeting millennial customers by posting on Instagram or blogging. Consider selling eco-friendly products or sharing your environmental activities as another way to attract millennials.
Stocking eco-friendly products, looking for environmental savings in processes, and publicizing any environmental habits ensures millennial consumers are aware of your practices. And awareness can lead to purchasing.
Millennials Care about the Environment as Employees
Surveys show that millennials prefer to work for companies that have a sustainability strategy. This research says they are even willing to take a pay cut to do so.
If you’re trying to attract employees, especially younger ones, it’s important to consider this factor and plan for it. Sharing your sustainability information or mission, environmentally-minded employee benefits, or eco-friendly products are all ways to attract millennials to apply to open positions.
If you’re curious about how current employees feel about this, ask them! Ask what benefits they would like to see or ways the company should be helping the environment. This should help either reinforce the need for sustainability or illuminate other needs employees have.
Sustainability Benefits Your Bottom Line
Acting in a way that benefits the environment benefits your bottom line. Reducing paper use, changing to LED bulbs, and using video chat instead of traveling to meetings are all ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money.
Depending on your business model, this may take some thinking and Googling. If you’re in an office, you have control over lights, purchasing, and environmental inputs. If you work from home or from a co-working space, you’ve already lowered your work carbon footprint.
Think of what you can do with lower costs and operating expenses. These cost saving measures are all well and good. But studies also show an 18% higher return on equity for companies that disclose sustainability activities.
Investors and the stock market have also rewarded companies with impressive sustainability statistics. There is real market power, as well as cost saving power, in sustainable activities.
These are just a few of the reasons to add sustainable practices to your business. Find one that resonates with you and give it a shot. Which of these reasons made you curious about sustainability in your business? Share in the comments below.
About the Author
Eliza Erskine founded Green Buoy Consulting in 2018 to help small and early stage businesses with sustainability. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and lives in New York City.