Business mentality has shifted. Profitability remains important. Notoriety is often more important than profitability, as good and bad attention can help drive profitability. (Reputation management can fix the online backlash.) Perhaps now, more than ever before, what you do in business is second to how you do it.
Why the collective enterprise shift? Why is going green in business good?
Millennials. According to the Census Bureau, millennials outnumber baby boomers. In order for businesses to be competitive and stay competitive, their product or service offerings should appeal to the millennial mindset.
Because millennials possess a DIY mentality and appreciate acquiring knowledge, knowing how to save time and financial resources whenever possible will provide you with some clues. Certain business practices will also need to align with cost- and time-effectiveness on a local, national and global scale. After all, the accepted business mantra is “Think Local, Grow Global.”
So how do we do this, attain, maintain and grow financial success without sacrificing human consciousness? Be green.
Being green in business today is far different than it was 10 years ago. Your green initiatives must go beyond a mere positioning statement. It has to literally define your existence. Seriously.
Being Green Before Was the Seed for What’s Blossomed Today
If you were in business within the first decade of the year 2000 or worked for a company back then, having the ability to say you were a “green” corporation was all the rage. There were changes to the way employees experienced the office space, eliminating the use of paper, unnecessary lighting, and low-flush toilets.
This was all a very big deal. Companies wanted to boast about these changes. So they’d do a press release about how green they were. They’d add a tab on their website menu dedicated to their green initiative so that the public would know how important the environment was to them.
Green in Business Is Good and Even Better for Industries
Construction and real estate companies seized the opportunities available in green. Energy efficiency was proving to be big business. Properties, both residential and commercial, that had low-e windows, artificial grass or solar panels seemed more attractive to buyers and tenants who were looking for built-in ways to lower operating costs. But this wasn’t enough – and that’s a good thing.
Public Outcry and Government Support Create a Brighter Hue
“The use of green products generated more than $500 million in energy-efficiency savings and more to come in 2017.” Inc.com
The spiritual floodgates of consciousness have opened up about thinking greener. With government programs now supporting the private sector in selling green products to consumers, the opportunities appear, in a word, limitless. Business, maybe even your business, needs to step it up.
What was good enough before isn’t enough today.
Baby Boomers, Millennials and Generation Z Demand More
Many of today’s baby boomers came from a more holistic approach to living. Remember hippies? For them, in the 1960s and 1970s, life was all about peace, love and harmony. Those desires still live in the hearts and minds of many mid-lifers and young seniors.
Millennials and Gen Zers invoke a deeper consciousness about the products they buy. They don’t take our natural resources for granted. Water is treated like a gift: It is used for washing and rinsing in the sinks and showers of America but turned off during those moments in between. Additionally, if your business, at its core, doesn’t have an environmental social consciousness, your product or service – no matter how good – isn’t even considered.
Green Today Must Translate to a Greener Tomorrow
Consumers want to feel comfortable in the products and services they sign up for, not just for today but how they impact tomorrow. It’s a strange paradox really. Although people don’t want to “own” anything, when they do make a decision, it should make a positive difference to someone else down the road, whether it’s their family, friends or strangers abroad. Doing business green-minded allows this to play out, naturally.
Green Is Good for Business Profitability and Longevity
If you watch what’s trending (and who doesn’t), people are demanding that feelings matter. Many business success stories are not led by how magnificent their sales are but by how their business connects people. The sales funnel lives in the relationship-nurturing process.
So is there room for sentiments in business? Absolutely, and sharing them through your green philosophy is a great way to communicate them.
Going green in business is good for producing cost and time efficiencies in logistics, production, employee head count, and more. When businesses can minimize operating expenses and increase customer satisfaction, not only do they have a better ability to expand their market share, but grow positive brand awareness and existing customer loyalty, which collectively goes a long way in building longevity.
Incorporating green into your company doesn’t have to be a long-winded, complicated process. For example, allowing employees to work remotely lessens gas consumption and pollution. There are little modifications that can be made to help all of us realize the big picture: Together, we can create a more sustainable way to live and thrive.
Even if your business doesn’t directly fall into the following types of industry, you can certainly think of ways to use them to help your company’s environmental stance.
Sustainability businesses include:
- Printer Ink Recycling
- Cleaning Services
- Solar Installations
- Energy Auditing
- Home and Commercial Property Improvement
- Organic Foods
These Companies Should Make You Green with Envy
There are three different companies that I’d like to highlight as complete purveyors of green. I believe their missions will serve to inspire and remind us all that it’s never too late to do business better.
Every business that uses water, plastic or fuel, with the right alternative, can strengthen their green. Here are a few examples of how it gets done.
With its consumer focus on the millennial market, Airespot took a look at urban living and wanted to make it more proficient for professionals and local businesses. They’ve done it with one seamless app. The Airespot app is available for those living in specific high-rise apartments where getting to and from anywhere can be a challenge.
The purpose of the Airespot app is to connect apartment owners or property managers with their tenants and also put them in touch with local service providers who can make their life easier, all at a discount. Dog sitters and walkers, cleaning services and restaurants are part of the mix.
Through app use, residents can get what they want with a swipe, but what makes this even sweeter is that the more people that use the same business service, the deeper their discount. Residential logistics issues are solved.
Dynamic Water Technologies, LLC
Large-scale enterprises like resorts, hotels, industrial and manufacturing plants need expansive water systems to keep their businesses running. Over time, these systems require upgrades to sustain safety and health requirements, costing millions of dollars in new equipment and production delays.
Dynamic Water Technologies in Scottsdale, Arizona, part of Universal Environmental Technology (UET), provides businesses a cost-effective and time sensitive solution. Through best-in class technology and sustainable engineering, chemical additives to water are removed and water consumption is reduced. In fact, Dynamic’s clients experience up to 80 percent in water savings and up to 40 percent in energy savings.
The Plastic Bank
Imagine combining two of the world’s largest problems and solving them with one multifaceted idea: world hunger and oceanic pollution, eradicated. The idea behind The Plastic Bank is for people – in both private and public sectors – to work together to remove the plastic waste in our oceans and prevent it from ever getting there. But who and how?
Some of the worst offenders in oceanic plastic waste come from the most impoverished countries. The Plastic Bank offers the poor a way to generate income and sustain their own livelihood, simply by cleaning up the plastic.
Individuals can bring plastic to designated recycling centers where they have the option of being paid in local currency, or in green-generated goods or services. Sustainability drives The Plastic Bank’s entire business lifecycle.
Is Your Business Green Enough?
Truly green companies use sustainable solutions at every possible opportunity. How green do you think you are? Could your business pass the judgment of your customers on this subject?
If you’re not sure, use the following questions as a guideline:
- Does your business give back to the community in every business transaction?
- Does your business represent a green mentality in operations?
- Does your business represent a green mentality in its culture?
- Does your product or service (in its use) support a lower carbon footprint?
- Do you partner with other green-minded corporations?