The unexpected benefits of corporate environmental responsibility
1) Positive Brand Perception
As consumers become more environmentally aware, they begin to make purchasing choices based on environmental factors. By improving a company’s environmental record and commitments, managers and business owners can take advantage of this emerging market and avoid losing customers who are beginning to alter their purchasing decisions. Innocent Smoothies are a prime example of a brand that capitalises on its green image to attract and retain new customers. Similarly, a business park such as Arlington Business Park, or Harwell Oxford which boasts excellent green credentials is more likely to attract occupiers.
2) Increased Brand Awareness
By press releasing various environmental initiatives and finishing high up in environmental league tables, such as Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, a company and its brands can gain vital media exposure, as Dell did when it committed to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions to 40% of 2008 levels by 2015 . This makes consumers more aware of a company and its products and more likely to make purchases.
3) Reduced Packaging Costs
Decreasing the amount of packaging that products use is an effective way to reduce landfill waste and use of the earth’s resources. It also means that the amount of materials purchased for packaging decreases. This can result in a substantial cost saving for a business.
4) Reduced Energy Costs
By instituting energy-saving measures, such as motion-activated lights in company buildings, and investing in energy efficient office technology and manufacturing machinery, companies can put a dent in their energy use and energy bills. With energy prices rising, making this investment now is a perfect way to help the environment and avoid increasing future costs.
5) Reduced Stationery and Printing Costs
By moving towards paperless offices and instituting policies such as double-sided printing, a business can reduce its waste and its use of paper which often sues harmful chemicals in its production. This results in less cost to purchase such materials.
6) Reduced Waste Disposal Costs
By instituting recycling policies and reducing the amount of waste produced, a company can vastly decrease its waste disposal bills while also minimising the amount of material it sends to environmentally damaging landfills. Some recycling efforts can actually reap a profit in and of themselves by allowing the company to sell or re-use the materials they separate out from waste. Products that are recyclable are attractive to consumers on their own merits.
7) Improved Employee Morale
As consumers become more environmentally aware, so too do employees and staff of businesses. By making environmental responsibility a part of a company’s business plan, employees become more satisfied with their work and happier to be part of an ethical company. This increases their work ethic and their productivity and reduces employee turnover – all things that any company will benefit from.