Grow a Greener Business

Tips to Making a Difference

If you dedicate yourself to growing a greener business, will anyone care?  The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study suggests they will. Grow a Greener Business with Trash Recycling Of the 8,000 respondents surveyed:

  • 72% would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t.

  • 71% would help a socially-conscious brand promote their products or services.

  • 73% of consumers would switch if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause.

Though consumers are not universally “green” in their behavior – or even their beliefs – the number of people who live or aspire to live a more sustainable lifestyle is growing. Cultivating a greener business can generate goodwill, differentiate your brand, build loyalty with customers and employees alike, and raise your profile within your local market.

Growing a green business doesn’t mean the same thing today that it did ten years ago. For one thing, simply applying a green image to your company won’t do the trick. Consumers are jaded, and in the era of social media it’s pointless to try to get away with appearing eco-friendly if you’re not.

Growing a Greener Business

On the positive side, taking simple steps to “green up” your business practices can make a meaningful difference. In a post entitled, “7 Sustainability Trends to Watch for in 2013,” the Sustainable Business Forum suggests these starting points (among others):

  • Manage consumption. Looking for ways to reduce consumption, increase recycling, shrink waste – along with tactics like allying with local businesses to minimize fuel and transportation costs – makes your business demonstrably greener.
  • Engage customers. Your clients may have suggestions on making your products and practices greener; they may work for or champion causes they’d like you to support; they may promote your business for its alignment with green issues. The key here: Ask. Solicit feedback. Make sure they’re aware of your efforts. Remember: Your existing customers are a good gauge of what prospective customers might like.
  • Build long-term strategy. Make sustainability an ongoing strategic priority, not a quick promotional gimmick. One week of rah-rah recycling doesn’t make the same impact as, say, a standing commitment to recycling all documents through an eco-friendly shredding service like Sergeant Shredder.

Need ideas for making your commitment concrete? Check out Eco-Profiles. Using a simple online template, you can create a profile for your business that shows the actual steps you’re taking to grow a greener business. You can also use it as a roadmap for future improvements.

So, how will you grow a greener business?