A few years ago, not too many brands would second-guess their own internal policies that weren’t really based on the health of our planet.
Today, however, that mindset has drastically changed to reflect the greater awareness of any customer base for any industry out there.
In fact, sustainability and strong environmental initiatives have become the pillars upon which certain brands have built their reputations and the key factor in their customers’ loyalty.
Research has shown that 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust businesses that help with social as well as environmental issues and that is the kind of majority no brand can afford to ignore.
Companies of all sizes need to rethink their current operations and introduce better business models that embrace environmentalism at their very core.
That is not just a step in the right direction to impress the customers, but a necessity in the modern world if we truly want to make a difference and preserve our natural resources for future generations.
And it shouldn’t be complicated to take a few steps to a better future for all of us. Everyone can be a hero today, in their own unique way.
This is not a cliche but you can start thinking and supporting sustainability today. If you own a small business, you should take care of energy consumption, you can minimize the use of paper (no one likes paperwork, let’s just be honest here).
Bigger the company, the bigger the responsibility. It is important to set a good example for others. It is not some trend that will simply go away – it is a part of the bigger picture and all of us are included.
As this awareness continues to grow, more companies can look up to brands that have done exemplary work in this respect.
Take a look at the following names in various industries, and learn from the best in business on how to green up your own efforts.
1. Diversifying investments
So many great things come from Scandinavia, or in this case Finland, that it can be very hard to keep track of them all.
In the case of Kesko, the famous Finnish grocery retailer, they’ve done great work in terms of environmental initiatives. In fact, Kesko has belonged to “The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations” ever since its launch, making it one of those few businesses that know how to make sustainability a part of their DNA.
They, however, don’t stick to a cookie-cutter investment strategy, but they diversify and pour funds where they will make the greatest impact.
For instance, in addition to traditional environmental organizations, Kesko also helps take care of veterans, and they invest in scientific research.
Relevant fields of all sorts benefit from the existence of this single brand from Finland, and more companies can look at the way they do business and pick up a lesson or two for their own operations.
2. Reaching new heights
Although environmentalism is and should be perceived as an ongoing process, and not a one-time effort or a project, some companies reach certain sustainability results that are so challenging that they are worth mentioning as stand-alone achievements.
In the case of Biogen, a biotech company with an already noble goal to find innovative treatments for various diseases, that milestone was carbon neutrality, which they’ve reached in 2015.
No matter the industry, such an immense goal is truly difficult, but their outstanding commitment has enabled them to do just that.
Of course, reaching this milestone is far from the end of their environmental contribution.
They continue to lead the way in how they operate on a daily basis, from selecting the most energy-efficient technology, to recycling and composting close to 99 percent of their waste to avoid the landfills.
Another way in which they contribute is by investing in green energy initiatives in the US, Denmark, and Switzerland.
3. Multi-layered green initiatives for the environment
For corporations that have earned a fortune over the years, it becomes too simple to just pour funds in the most profitable areas without ever considering their environmental impact.
Some, however, stand out with their impeccable dedication to sustainability and local contribution, which helps them transform and protect certain natural regions of the world.
A perfect example of green leadership comes from Jack Brown of Invest Islands in Indonesia, where they’ve done great work through eco-design, recycling facilities, and investing in the local economic growth.
His foundation has thus far achieved truly remarkable results, from building a school in the village of Batu Banke to empower local education of impoverished families, all the way to ensuring payments for widows and single moms to clean the local beaches.
Every single aspect of their design and build lifecycle is created to support the local ecosystems as well as cultural heritage, thus promoting a healthy balance between preservation and profit.
4. Transforming the beauty industry
One nude product at a time, Lush prides itself on the brand’s efforts to lead the way in producing sustainable, cruelty-free, plastic-free products that are as healthy as they are fragrant.
Instead of shelves and piles of plastic-packed shower gels and shampoos, Lush has created a collection of bars: for bathing, showering, washing your hair, conditioning, tending to your face, it’s all there, sans the plastic wrapping and bottles.
As for the products that require packaging due to their liquid form, they offer rewards and incentives to come back to the store and return the bottles.
Their recycling takes over from there, helping maintain the entire production cycle as clean and Earth-friendly as possible.
If your customers can make a similar difference, give them the means and the opportunity to do so, and you’ll be able to become a leader in your field, too.
Sustainability is no longer merely a buzzword for marketers to throw around with no proof to back up their claims.
Brands today need to step up to the challenge of the climate crisis, and do their best to provide smarter, eco-friendlier solutions that will help us clean the planet one mindful step at a time.
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Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. He enjoys writing and providing insight based on both practice and theory.