Previously, many in the business community thought that “going green” would be the death knell for profits. Instead, sustainability has emerged over the past decade as one of the most powerful new business trends. With the threat of climate change on everyone’s mind, the demand for change in the business world continues to grow. Here are some ways your company’s environmental awareness can boost sales.
The public demands action
Increasingly, the general public across the world and in the United States is demanding action on climate change. In 2020, NBC reported that 57% of Americans believed global warming was caused by human action, up from 48% in 2014. This concern is clearly starting to cross ideological lines, meaning that regardless of your industry, Showcasing your corporate environmental responsibility can be a powerful business development tool.
It is important to walk visibly on this commitment. Talking about your green credentials is a good thing, and including hints of your company’s sustainability policy during prospect outreach or on your landing page itself can help get the word out, but what matters the most is to live the lifestyle. Try to institute policies like recycling, environmental philanthropy and the use of renewable resources. In other words, make sure potential customers see your business living its vision throughout their journey with your brand.
Young employees value sustainability
A commitment to sustainable practices not only makes a good impression on your prospects, but also on your sales force. A Fast Company study found that 40% of millennials chose to work at a company because of their social policies, far more than the 17% of baby boomers who said the same. In fact, 30% of these young workers said they had left a job in the past because there was no sustainability plan. Millennials are also the most educated generation, with most holding at least a bachelor’s degree. As these socialites quickly become the bulk of the workforce, it’s important to make clear when onboarding that your business isn’t just about making money; it’s about making a difference.
Green energy has incentives
The public desire for environmental responsibility eventually translated into legislative action. At the federal, state, and local levels, this largely takes the form of tax breaks, mandates, and other financial incentives for installing green power. The federal investment tax credit (ITC) is the largest of these, providing up to 26% credit for the installation of solar photovoltaic cells on residential and commercial properties. Additional incentives vary from municipality to municipality, so do your research thoroughly before acting.
Of course, pure economic logic is another powerful incentive to go renewable. Renewable energies are becoming increasingly robust and efficient. Residential solar panels are generally expected to pay for themselves in 6-10 years, and fully disconnecting from the grid makes operations less vulnerable to power interruptions in the event of a grid outage. A major selling point of sustainability has always been a sense of resilience.
The value of your products matters
It’s not just the vision of your business that matters to modern consumers, it’s the quality of your offerings and the perceived authenticity of your brand. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of equating features (what a product is) with benefits (what a product does). It can be expensive. In a crowded market, the best way to stand out is to focus on quality, not price. This extends to sustainability, with responsibility often equated by customers with quality. A Nielsen report highlighted this trend by showing the statistical increase in sales that occurs when customers associate a brand with sustainability. Enter the sales process knowing exactly how your product will improve a customer’s life and the world and you will earn their trust.
When thinking about strategies to increase sales in the new year, keep sustainability at the top of your list. It’s good for the planet and your bottom line.