How Sustainable Practices and Conservation Efforts help businesses?
It’s not just a PR gimmick
Our environment is limited. The amount of space we have to work with, the lasting quality of the resources we have, and even limits on certain resources which can never be replaced.
Many businesses use up these resources without considering the long-term effects. Most may shut down long before we are in critical danger of exhausting these precious resources. But perhaps that could be avoided if active measures are taken.
Sustainable practices and conservation efforts are more important than most people realize. Private citizens often can’t do enough to sustain the efforts needed to make major environmental or societal impacts. They don’t have the sway of influence or the earning ability that a business does.
A business can outperform all private models for environmental protection efforts by committing a small amount of yearly profit towards those efforts.
The payoff? A healthier planet. In a much more practical way. There are several advantages to putting these practices at the forefront of future development plans.
The primary goal of sustainable practices is to ensure a business is contributing as much or more to the environment as they are taking away from it. Any business will inevitably contribute to some environmental damage.
Something has to generate the power to keep the lights on, the indoor water has to come from somewhere, food is raised on land, the road it’s connected to leads to pollution. It may seem like a hopeless effort to overcome that, but it’s not about taking an early lead.
The effort itself is like planting a tree. Once it starts growing, it will take years to mature and become as tall as it can be. All the time and energy put into a single tree can seem like a waste if it’s all you focus on.
The payoff is in the future when one business makes enough of an impact over time to grow a million trees. It may take years but committing to conservation efforts always yields positive growth.
Green businesses are “in” right now, and will remain an “in” thing to support until the Earth is no longer in danger. Which will likely never be the case, if current models are to be believed.
Engaging with the environmental conversation in a progressive light creates an immediate positive image which leads to more public support. It’s a very efficient marketing tactic. All they have to do is follow-through.
But promising the moon and delivering a moon-shaped pebble will undo that goodwill. It’s important to keep sustainability within reason for what your business can accomplish. Simple donations or carbon offsets are a quick and easy way to contribute to a greater environmental cause.
The bigger move is to innovate on sustainable solutions for business problems. Buy recycled napkins for your restaurant or make sure your electricity is being provided by green energy providers. It may cost more upfront, but the good image it creates will pay for itself.
As environmental regulations continue to increase in intensity, anyone who isn’t moving towards a sustainable, conservation-minded goal will be in more danger than the people taking risks with new clean energy and green alternatives.
Companies that are serial polluters are fined so frequently that it’s like a regular tax for them. Which they often skip on paying through legal loopholes. But those same loopholes can work to the benefit of sustainable practicing businesses. Certain states offer tax incentives for sustainable businesses or even allow tax offsets for proven returns in clean, green energy.
You won’t need to make major changes to your business if you stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your business. As long as the Earth exists and the environment is in danger, the need for sustainable practices will have to increase. Comply now, and you won’t have to undergo the costs of reforming later.
Nearly every business owner will agree, when asked, that sustainability is a core issue to their business and a problem they work to solve every day. Of those who respond positively to the idea, about 25% of businesses have sustainability incorporated into their business structure from top to bottom. Most say what they’ll do and never do it. And that creates issues of trustworthiness with investors.
It’s more than a PR situation. Investors want to see results from a business. Following through on sustainability and conservation efforts from the get-go shows proper planning. And an ability to follow through with risk and reward assessment.
Making the right calls and sticking to them will attract customers who care about the environment, employees that want to work with you, and investors who will want to help expand your business because you do what you say you will do. Honesty, it turns out, is a very positive trait to have.
The more sustainable you are, the less you will need to reach out for help from others. Cheap energy pays for itself and paying small profit sums to conservation efforts increases your influence and reach with larger companies.
If you’re the only business in town that’s contributing to something like a nature preserve or investing in a solar farm, you’ll stand out much more as a positive force in the community. Reducing the reliance on others will make you more of a leader. This is how small businesses become big industry leaders.
Like any aspect of business, you’ll achieve rewards only if you put in the work. Saying you care about the environment is easy. Recycling is easy. Donating is easy. Making a difference is hard, but if you pull it off, you will be one of the rare people whose business is helping the planet rather than hurting it.
That’s a legacy that will outlast the competition in more ways than one.
Thank you for reading. I decided to combine the nature of “sharing is caring” with the importance of this subject affecting us all into creating a 5-day free email course titled “How to Build Your Sustainable Brand”.
The course is currently in beta and will cover 5 different lessons that will help you better understand, grow, and attract clients to your sustainable brand.
Sign up and be the first to receive it here.