Over the past decade, momentum has built for eco-conscious business strategies considering the planet.
Emphasis for brands to donate, support and respond to environmental change is mounting, and rightly so!
Our climate is experiencing rapid change and global heating is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Whether you’re reading the news, watching political debates or in social conversations; the environment is a hot topic.
As more and more research is beginning to show, it is no longer an option for brands to ignore their responsibility of sustainability.
But this doesn’t mean your business growth needs to suffer!
If you knew that your overall sales could increase by up to 20% just by improving your brand’s role in social and environmental practices, why would you not get involved?
So, think about the planet, when you think about your profits!
What is sustainability?
First things first, it is important to have a clear understanding of what is meant by sustainability.
Sustainability refers to the ability to continue existence in the future without the depletion of natural resources. When we think of a sustainable community, this involves individuals who focus on protecting our environment and society.
I recall a time when sustainability was a niche of a brand, but this is no longer an option – it is now a norm. This is because life cannot continue the way it is if we do not collectively make more sustainable choices.
What is a sustainable business?
So how is sustainability relevant to your brand?
On initial thoughts, it seems like the burden of sustainability should be placed with governments or leading organisations, right? However, for sustainability to be successful this needs to be a collective effort from everyone. Research demonstrates that consumers deem brands equally as responsible for the positive change they are looking for, as governments.
For your business sustainability entails a business strategy that supports the community, environment and society – this is what consumers are looking for. A balance of the people, the planet with profits.
Why is it important?
The message is loud and clear, consumers want to support brands that reflect their values and support their future.
A recent study shows that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that are environmentally conscious. With a sustainable business strategy, supporting environmental causes your brand can improve customer trust and loyalty.
Products and services with an environmental benefit are 87% more likely to be chosen if given the opportunity.
Investment is also an important consideration, as sustainability is the future, investors are becoming increasingly aware of the link a company has with environmental causes. Investment firms universally prioritise brands with environmental and social consciousness.
If this hasn’t convinced you enough already – employees, especially Millennial and Gen-Z individuals are expressing the desire to work for and alongside companies that demonstrate environmentally responsible brand values. A study suggests that more than 10% of employees were happy to reduce their pay for up to £10,000 to join an organisation affiliated with sustainability.
So, how can your business strategy protect the planet?
While sustainability seems like a big mission, small changes towards a more sustainable business strategy make a huge difference. It is not a problem how you start, it’s a great step to be starting in the first place!
Here are a few simple suggestions to incorporate sustainability into your brand and business strategy:
1. Reduce Your Waste
While such simple advice, reducing your waste has many benefits for your business and the environment.
Reducing collective waste will help the increasing problem of landfill waste and consequently the generation of greenhouse gases.
By changing your brand’s behaviour to waste management you are supporting the environment as well as the potential to save your business money.
With the global trend emphasising the responsibility of businesses to become sustainable, becoming a zero waste or reduced waste company creates a good sustainable reputation and influence for your brand.
In fact, 88% of consumers are considerate of a brand’s environmental footprint.
Reducing waste and optimising manufacturing can reduce costs while helping your business become sustainable.
2. Become a B-Corp Brand
Improving customer perception of your brand in terms of sustainability can seem like a tricky task.
A move you may want to consider is the journey to becoming a B-Corp Brand.
The B Corp Certification is given to brands that meet a standard of performance, accountability, and transparency. To become a B Corp business a brand must have a focus on charity and employee welfare.
The process to becoming a fully certificated B Corp brand can be lengthy, but the B Corp Impact Assessment is a great guide to improving your business as a force for good
Joining the B-Corp movement, which is becoming increasingly popular, brings many benefits for your business:
- It improves consumers, community and supplier trust in your brand
- It increases investor and investment opportunities
- It can improve the long-term efficiency and effectiveness of your business through a long-term resilient plan
Due to the certification process, consumers will have a level of trust and confidence in your business with this label.
Having this boost on other competitors may be exactly what your business needs to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.
Supporting your B-Corp certificate, impact reporting tools can be used to monitor progress.
Impact reporting is really important to us at Views For Change, which is why we have our Impact Tooklit for brands to verify and communicate the impact of their campaigns with their stakeholders and the public.
3. Support environmental charities
A simple, yet important step for your business is to begin supporting environmental charities.
The UK is full of change-making organisations that are promoting sustainable and environmental aims through local and government schemes.
Improving your contributions to social and environmental causes will improve customer perception, loyalty, and trust.
While displaying your affiliations with charities is important, lump-sum donations are a thing of the past.
Using the Views For Change platform, you can donate to your environmental cause in lockstep with the performance of your business. Integrate your advertising campaigns and each time someone takes an action on your ad, you can reward them with a micro-donation.
This is not only an effective way to generate funds for your cause but also to improve your brand image and impact communications to your customers and potential customers.
The more your business grows, the more you donate to support environmental causes. The more you donate to support environmental causes, the more your business grows.
It comes hand in hand, your business performance can increase with care about the planet.
If you want to get started, the View for Change platform can be one of the simplest, yet most effective tools to add to your CSR and Marketing Stack.
Ask us for a live demo today!