Sustainability is good business
2. Sustainability can cut your costs. This is the low hanging fruit of sustainability and it’s not difficult to take on. Focusing on what you take, make and waste in your buildings, stores, fleets and manufacturing plants can be a successful sustainable strategy for both the environment and for your company. What if you could reduce your energy costs by using a sustainable resource or a more efficient process? What if you could reduce your waste disposal costs by creating less waste through recycling or pre-cycling? What if you could use less water? What if you could use the sun to pre-heat the water you need for the process? What if you could reduce your water, energy and waste?
3. Sustainability can build your brand. You survive and thrive as a business because your customers choose to do business with you. If you lose the respect, trust or loyalty of your customers, you’re finished. Consumers today hold companies (your brand) to a much higher standard than ever before. They expect and reward companies that hold themselves responsible for the people the company affects and the planet it uses resources from. A sustainability focus allows you to make sure that you earn a profit while keeping your eyes on the positive treatment of people and the planet as well. Short-term profit margin focus only is no longer acceptable to customers and they can let the entire world know with one mouse click. The more your company acts like a decent local and global citizen, the more your customers appreciate it and the more loyal they are to your brand.
4. Sustainability can grow your revenue. From a business perspective, this is the most fascinating area of “being green.” New products and services are developed every day, but what if business used its problem-solving skills with sustainability as a guide? Viewing the market through the business lenses of sustainability allows you to see the market in a way you’ve never seen it before and capitalize on what you see. Because it’s a paradigm shift, you may be able to see solutions that others focused only on short-term profit can’t see.
Let’s say you're in the industrial floor polisher industry and everyone in your industry is worried about the toxic/hazardous chemicals used in the process. You are less likely to see that you can solve the problem with a totally different cleaning process (using water, ionization, for instance) rather than using less toxic strategies, unless you're seeing the world through integrated sustainability lenses (reducing negative impact on planet and people). Through these lenses, our products and services take on new dimensions. We may even be able to take our core competencies and create new problem-solving products for the global market, which will lead us to long term revenue growth!
Sustainability is good business for the planet, good for the people of the planet and good for business. What is your company waiting for?
Steve Trash is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant, who uses his distinct presentation style to speak on the importance of sustainability and actionable guidelines to enact eco-friendly practices in business. As a member of the National Recycling Coalition and the North American Environmental Education Association, he is spearheading the campaign to reduce wasteful corporate procedures and promote environmentally sound business methods. To learn more, please visit http://www.stevetrash.net/, call 256-710-7216 or email GreenSteveTrash@gmail.com.
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