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Friday, November 15, 2013

How the green movement can help your bottom line

Company branding is enhanced by green campaigns
The majority of customers prefer green friendly companies
By Bruce LeGros

You cannot have failed to notice the emphasis placed on helping the environment in recent years. Since the introduction of Treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol which entered into force in 2005 and commits countries to stabilise their greenhouse gas emissions.

Companies seem to be falling over themselves to be labelled ‘green’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ as consumers become more savvy about the impact their decisions have on the environment. The Natural Marketing Institute conducted research that suggests customers are 58% more likely to purchase from a company that they believe to be environmentally friendly.

As a business, being seen to be environmentally friendly is beneficial for several reasons. Using recycled materials or sending your waste to be recycled can save you money, and it helps to cultivate your image as an environmentally friendly company, therefore appealing to new consumers. There are also numerous benefits to the culture of your company, including employee satisfaction.

Waste management

Depending on your line of business, there are ample savings to be made from recycling waste rather than sending it to landfill. Companies surveyed in the UK have shown that a company can save 4% of turnover by using waste minimisation techniques. It is also possible to reduce your costs for managing your waste by finding local companies who will charge far less to take away your recycling than sending it to landfill.

If you are sending your recycling away then you will pay less landfill tax, but if you handle your recycling yourself it means using fewer raw materials. All of these benefits will save you money, but are quite dependent on the type of industry you operate in.

It is also possible to invest in machinery that is capable of turning your waste into something you can sell for a profit. Machines can turn waste products into fuel for open fires, such as briquetters that turn waste into blocks. There is also the option of recycling your waste, machines from companies such as Weima UK provide you with a wealth of options to reduce your landfill.

Improve investment opportunity

As the environment becomes more of a consideration for companies and governments alike, more investors are recognising the long term benefits of a company that has a sustainability plan in place. Research conducted by Goldman Sachs has shown companies with a good reputation regarding environment issues outperform other companies in their industry by 25%. Company executives are also aware of the importance of having a solid sustainability initiative in place, with over half believing revenue will increase if they have one.

Better brand perception

More customers are making purchases based on their social and environmental values, this is in contrast to classic factors in the decision making process. As consumers are becoming more aware of environmental damage being caused by humans and our processes, they view environmentally friendly companies in a far better light. Research from the Natural Marketing Institute has found that consumers are happy to spend up to 20% more on products and services that are friendlier to the environment. This is arguably the most important reason to make your company more environmentally friendly, consumers are your harshest critics and will vote with their feet.

Employee satisfaction

Nobody wants to feel like they are working for a company that is heartless. Employees are likely to hold the same values as your consumers and want to work for a company that does the right thing. If your employees are not happy with how you operate then they are less likely to go the extra mile, which may ultimately cost you money. This is supported by evidence from Towers Perrin Global Workforce research that found companies with a highly engaged workforce can enjoy a 19% increase in revenue.

About the author: Bruce LeGros is a waste management expert and understands the importance of recycling for your business and the environment. His company is Fercell and they provide products for all waste management needs.

Image license: Woodsy; RGBStock royalty free