You can’t ignore your conscience any longer: The planet’s in trouble, and our well-being is at stake.
Consumers have opportunities every day to make smarter, greener choices. With the number of brands that are getting involved with their communities, developing better products and showing how people can make a change, there’s no excuse to not get on board.
Green companies are influencing the way we live our lives, and they’re having an impact on the world we live in.
What Is Green Business?
A green business has a mission: to be socially responsible in their policies and practices in order to improve the environment and the quality of life for employees and customers. There are several benefits for these eco-friendly businesses and the environment overall:
- All sorts of activities, from product development to customer service, are handled in a more socially conscious way.
- Business owners lower their carbon footprint by recycling, using alternative energy sources or prioritizing locally-sourced products.
- Employees work in healthy conditions and earn a livable wage.
- Consumers trust that the products they use or consume have been made with safe ingredients.
- Customers become engaged in sustainability initiatives.
- Employers and teams volunteer to improve their local community.
How Companies Are Going Green
Businesses are putting green initiatives first, even before profitability. While going green isn’t new, it has been gaining traction in recent years. This is partly thanks to millennials, who are demanding that the companies they work for and buy from are socially responsible.
Smart companies know that they have to invest in sustainability in order to see the benefits. Whenever a company makes a major change, whether it’s in the materials they use or the workflows they create, it costs money. Eco-conscious businesses understand that they’ll get a high return on investment, making the initial output of time and money more than worth it. More importantly, they realize the major positive impact they’ll have on the environment.
A great example of a company that invests in order to better the lives of its employees is Adobe. More than three-quarters of Adobe workspaces are LEED-certified, which means they’re healthy, green and efficient. Several companies have attained LEED certifications, many in the tourism and appliance industries.
Creating Better Green Products
Environmentally friendly products don’t make a huge splash on their own unless they have cost or well-being benefits for the consumer. Marketers understand this, and they focus on these aspects in their marketing campaigns. Why buy organic food? You’ll lead a healthier lifestyle. What’s the point in buying a Toyota Prius? You’ll save gas money.
Guilting consumers into purchasing green products for the sake of saving the Earth isn’t enough of a motivator — and that guilt trip may even turn some customers off completely.
This means that green retailers should focus on developing environmentally friendly products that also cover two important bases: value and performance. Not only do the products have to be eco-conscious, but they should be highly valuable for the customer by improving their life, and they should also be superior to other similar products on the market.
A great example of a company doing this well is REI. They’re leaders in the outdoor gear field, but they’re also highly devoted to conservation, only selling merchandise from sustainable brands and donating millions of dollars each year to environmental causes. They also have a strong volunteer community made up of customers and employees.
Society should be seeking out eco-conscious businesses and supporting them. These brands are making huge strides when it comes to the things that matter to you the most — politically, socially and personally. McCormick, for example, is improving the livelihood of farmers and fighting for equality for women and people of color.
There are so many green products on shelves today that they can get lost. Consumers don’t know why they should choose one green product over another, or if they should choose a green product at all, especially if it’s at a higher price point. It’s also difficult to decipher what certain green buzzwords, like “organic,” actually mean, and to decide if that claim is even legitimate.
Marketers strive to solve these problems through transparency:
- Offer facts and statistics with hard numbers about the state of the environment today and how the company has helped.
- Clarify how much was spent vs. how much was saved (in terms of both money and resources) on green efforts.
- Write sustainability plans and make them available to read on the brand website.
- Show customers how they can get involved through donations or volunteering and describe the impact they’ll make.
The more details a customer has, the more trusting they’ll be of the brand. Seventh Generation has a YouTube channel with everything from promotional to explanatory videos. In the Seventh Generation Science section, they test products to show customers how well they perform. This establishes the brand as an authority in their niche and builds trust with consumers.
This is where video marketing, as opposed to text-only or images, can shine. Brands can say a lot in under two minutes, providing customers with the information they need to make an informed decision. Since social media videos can be shared and commented on, customers can also see what others are saying about the products, which increases social proof.
Doing Your Part
It’s of the utmost importance to support eco-friendly businesses and to understand the consequences of not supporting them. The impact can be personal and local as well as global.
As climate change becomes more of a threat, the need for businesses that are protecting the planet and its people is even more critical. Agriculture and the livelihood of farmers are impacted; natural habitats are no longer able to host the animals that need them; and weather conditions are becoming more extreme, dangerous and disastrous.
We have to protect our environment before it’s too late.