The benefits of being green have become increasingly apparent for businesses the world over, and in the U.S., sustainable business practices are proving more and more to be the mark of an industry leader.
How do you measure the success or impact of your organization?
- Product quality?
- Customer satisfaction?
- Client reviews and testimonials?
- Investor interest?
- Employee retention?
All of the above are important benchmarks for success. But how do you measure good will? Now, more than ever, investors, employees and customers are socially-minded and environmentally conscious. People identify with companies when they feel that company aligns with their beliefs, and that creates priceless good will.
Businesses show their commitment with sustainable practices like:
- Recycling everything you can, and making it clear and simple for employees and customers to participate – paper, plastic, batteries, compost, etc…
- Using recycled and reclaimed materials in your office and as resource material.
- Using energy efficient appliances and lighting sources.
- Using alternative energy sources (like solar, wind, geothermal, etc…)
- Having incentives for employees to travel by public transportation.
- Having environmentally preferable options across your product range.
- Buying Renewable Energy Credits to “offset” your energy use.
- Using “greener” products and doing business with greener service providers in the local community.
- Placing collection bins for recycling clothing on your property (for retailers, shopping center owners and property managers).
Seventy percent of corporate missions now have a sustainability component, according to a 2011 study by MIT. Greening your company not only gives you a modern, competitive edge (read: forward-thinker), it is also good for the bottom line (read: MORE profitable).
Why Go Green?
Attracting the Best & The Brightest
Working for a thought leader is what the best young minds want to do, and nothing shows forward thinking leadership like a commitment to sustainable business practices. According to the Academy of Management, a survey of a major career fair’s attendees reported greater attraction to a recruiter when they believed a company was more environmentally-friendly. Companies with sustainable practices were viewed as more attractive, even when compared to the most popular and desirable employers at the fair. And it has been proven that green initiatives can increase employee’s pride in their workplace…and we all know there are big benefits in that.
C is for Community Businesses that take an active interest in community well-being can generate community support, loyalty and good will. By creating your “social license to operate” you show that you are focused on a bigger picture by being part of the “good work” of your city or town. In the Occupy Wall Street Survey, Douglas Simon reported, “media initiatives with a corporate social responsibility focus generates 35-50% more positive media coverage on television, radio, web and social media than comparable programs without the CSR hook.”
Attracting Investors Preba Greenstreet, chair of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Foundation recently cited case studies at a UN event that stated “while profit and shareholder value may be the end game, responsible businesses have attracted more investors, reduced their risks and addressed stakeholder concerns by creating and perpetuating shared value.” Bottom line: good works attract good investors.