What the Statistics Say
55% of consumers will choose green products and services over those that do not outline any green initiatives at all. Consumers who fall into the category of “millennials” are even more willing to choose green products and services. Reports show that 72% of millennials will favour green choices over products and services that do not offer any green initiatives. This is significant because millennial consumers will become the new customers of your business.
When surveyed, 75% of consumers agreed that they would be more likely to purchase from a company that adopts environmentally-conscious practices. However, when asked if they are willing to pay for more environmentally and/or socially conscious products, only half of all consumers responded yes.
So, what does this mean for your business?
What Does Going Green Cost Me?
Establishing green practices into your company will often not be costly, rather most green practices will save you money. For example: installing LED bulbs in your office can reduce energy consumption by up to 75% and lengthen the lifespan of your light fixtures by 2 to 3 times.
There are many government programs in North America that will reward companies for making a conscious effort to be eco-friendly. Additionally, certain regions in Canada and the United States are in the early stages of introducing a carbon tax. This means the smaller the carbon footprint your company creates, the less it will be taxed.
Embracing green initiatives for your business can lead to more efficient work and a lower cost to you. As the statistics show, consumers are very interested in services with green initiatives that are not more expensive than comparable non-green services. Since many green initiatives save your business money, you will generate more business without having to spend more or charge your customers more.
Educate Your Customers
Be very transparent with your audience of how you are being green. Today’s consumers are quick to accuse of “green-washing” if they see a company being vague with their eco-friendly practices. Outline on your website, blog, etc. exactly what practices and initiatives you have adopted. You can also look into reputable programs and certifications that have strict guidelines in order to be stamped as a “green company.” These programs provide guidance and verified proof that you have made a change.
Partner with Other Green Companies
What can your company do to make a positive change? Perhaps your company chooses an environment-based charity to donate to on a regular basis. Maybe your employees all go together on a tree planting expedition. Or it can be something even more simple than that. When looking for a new product or service for your company to use, make sure their values line up with those of the company. Work with organizations that are also taking the initiative to reduce their negative impact on the environment. It will be another thing to include in the messaging to your key audience.
How to Market a New Green Initiative
The company’s values and mission should explicitly state that sustainability is an important initiative for the company. Everything the company does should reflect this. If your business has been established for years, it will take some time to become fully sustainable. In that case, create a long-term plan that is advertised to the public that explains how you will have sustainable practices infiltrate every aspect of your business.
Advertise to your consumers how your product or service will save them money. Do you maintain batteries so they will be replaced less often? Do you sell energy-efficient heating and cooling systems? These are key messages to portray to your customers.
Proof This Will Work
A 2014 study on sustainability and profitability found that companies that are actively doing something about climate change achieve an 18% higher ROI than companies that do not. The most significant insight of this study found that companies with sustainability messaging are able to achieve 67% higher ROI than competitors who do not disclose their carbon emissions. This proves that companies that take green initiatives will be more profitable overall.