Florida is an ecologically diverse state that draws tourists from around the world for its beautiful everglades, deep sea fishing, and sandy beaches. However, the industries that thrive in Florida have not always been too concerned with the impact that they have on the sensitive environment or sustainable practices in general.
Times are changing rapidly, and the ecological and political landscape in Florida is now at a junction where businesses are interested in offering more environmentally and socially responsible options for their customers. Let’s take a look at how businesses in the state are making a difference for the better.
As the millennial generation begins to finally flex their financial muscles, they have shown businesses in the United States that they like to support companies that engage in good corporate social responsibility. Even corporate giant Disney has taken like a duck to water to the new demand for corporate social responsibility, focusing on environmental stewardship, conservation, and philanthropy.
One of the best results from companies engaging in corporate social responsibility is successful self-policing in regards to environmental impact. While certain factions of the U.S. government are fine deregulating any industry, corporations are truly beholden to the consumer above all.
Even industries where environmental conservation has been antithetical to their business model are started to become more open-minded to the idea of becoming ecologically friendly. Deep sea fishing charters are now offering catch-and-release options for their customers, allowing them to experience the thrill of reeling in a marlin without killing it. This new, kinder deep sea fishing not only allows tourists to have an unforgettable experience, but it minimizes damage to an already vulnerable ecosystem.
Eco-awareness is reaching new heights in 2019. Sustainability not only attracts a younger generation, but it is actually good for business in a variety of ways. Companies that engage in sustainability tend to have higher employee retention rates and overall job satisfaction. Additionally, consumers have been shown to be willing to pay up to 10 percent more for eco-friendly products.
Giving Back to Communities
Corporate social responsibility also goes much further than simply taking initiative in caring for the environment. Businesses that practice good corporate social responsibility also give back to their communities. This is a win-win: The community receives help completing projects and funding causes while the company gains respect and confidence from the community. Businesses that choose to support causes that they actually care about tend to thrive and gain the support of the community around them.
Companies like Florida Blue are a perfect example of a business successfully giving back to their community through corporate citizenship. Florida Blue’s corporate social responsibility strategy focuses on providing improvements to education and literacy locally, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and promoting arts and culture. They have been successful because they listened to their local community’s needs and acted to address them as effectively as possible.
Corporate social responsibility is just a pleasant side effect of the rise of green business in the mainstream. As more and more companies realize that the youth in the United States demand action in regards to climate change and ecological awareness, they see the potential that comes from becoming socially responsible. While Mitt Romney famously stated that “Corporations are people, too,” they are now at least attempting to act like it.
Long-Term Sustainability in Market Opportunities
Florida businesses are seeing the benefits of long-term sustainability, and they are capitalizing on it at a rapid pace. Businesses in the sunshine state of all sizes are focusing more on people and the planet as well as profit. While unfortunately we are still in the throes of late-stage capitalism, and many companies are doing irreparable harm to the environment with no regard for the consequences of their actions. However, some businesses understand that long-term sustainability in business is the future.
Evaluating the long-term sustainability of market opportunities isn’t the most challenging obstacle facing Florida businesses. They simply have to identify environmental and social sustainability issues relevant to their business, assess and incorporate those issues into their long-term strategy, and communicate the approach to sustainability issues and the influence of these factors on strategy to stakeholders. A comprehensive understanding of the viability of long-term sustainability is often enough to sway even the most opposed to environmental action when they see that it is good for business.
This isn’t exactly a radical approach to business either. Energy companies and private businesses like Tesla and Patagonia have been divesting from fossil fuels with great success in the past decade. When these companies divest from fossil fuels, they naturally need to invest in sustainability efforts, which bolsters the renewable energy industry.
At the end of the day, we only get one planet, and there are several businesses in Florida that are beginning to understand the grave situation humanity has found itself in. When these companies promote sustainable tourism, corporate social responsibility, and further invest in long-term sustainability efforts, they show the rest of the business world that not only can they be better stewards of the planet, but that they can still make a profit doing it.