Being environmentally conscious seems to be an intimidating concept to many people. They tend to get confused upon hearing the term climate change. To them, it takes effort, research, and a significant amount of money to be environmentally conscious. What they do not realize is that they can do their part in protecting the environment in their little ways.
Efforts to raise awareness on the impact of environmental damage have been successful through the years. From individuals to households even to businesses, significant actions to protect the environment have shown positive results.
The challenge then is to sustain and find more ways to continue green living, especially with industries where wastes and unsafe practices are widespread.
But, as they say, no effort is ever too small. It’s a positive change for as long as you contribute to the green efforts, no matter how small.
More and More People Are Becoming Environmentally Conscious
According to a recent study conducted by the Southern Cross University, 93% of respondents from the United States and Australia showed concern about the environment. The study showed that their main environmental issues are plastic pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change.
The study revealed that 77 percent of the respondents are interested in learning how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some have already started doing their part by recycling, using reusable bags, and avoiding single-use plastics. Others expressed the challenges they face in sustaining a greener lifestyle. These include inconvenience and the high price of eco-friendly products.
This awareness among individuals and households also reflects how they consume products and avail services from companies.
People Trust Environment-friendly Companies too
According to a 2017 study, customers also prefer companies that support environmental issues. More than half of millennial consumers said they brought a product that benefits the environment within the past year. The majority of consumers also positively see companies that have environmental advocacy. They are also more loyal to these companies. And interestingly, 92 percent of the customers said that they trust a company supporting environmental issues.
GreenPrint’s Business of Sustainability Index released this year also suggested the same thing. The majority of millennials are willing to shell out more money for green products. Americans are also more concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy. They are even aware of carbon emissions and said they are willing to change brands if the product contributes to this issue.
These studies reveal how consumers are even more aware of the effects of industries on the environment. These show that it affects how they choose their brands and products. Thus, it is now a challenge for businesses to go green, not only to attract their target market but more so to protect the environment.
Yet small and medium scale businesses tend to get intimidated by the concept of sustainable business, thinking that it is complicated and expensive.
Green Businesses Matter, No Matter How Small
You don’t have to think grand when going green as a small and medium enterprise. There are simple ways to start a sustainable business. Here are some tips:
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
You can start with the use of plastics within your stores or offices. Avoid using single-use plastics and encourage your customers to use metal straws, tumblers, and other reusable utensils. Go paperless. Go digital and cut on physical documents, so you don’t needlessly waste paper. Maximize paper and use front and back when printing.
One way businesses can cut on power costs is by looking at alternative energy sources. This measure is especially helpful if your company owns the building. Explore the use of solar power. See if you can sustain your daily operations using solar energy. You might also want to implement a hybrid work setup so your employees will not have to be in the office every day. This will surely cut your electricity cost. If you can implement a completely remote work setup, that’s a better alternative. That way, you won’t need to operate in the office and monitor their work online.
Educate Your Team about Environmental Protection
It takes your team to understand the whole concept of sustainable business operations to embrace these changes. Suppose they know the impact of being environmentally conscious. In that case, they will be motivated to make it a lifestyle within the business.
By going green, you get to help the world in its fight against climate change and other environmental issues. Aside from this, you also get the trust of your customers that you are committed to sustainability and that your products, services, and practices are environment-friendly.