Conscious Capitalism: What It Means For Your Small Business
According to a recent survey, more than 70% of consumers in the UK feel that businesses have not done enough to manage their own negative impact on the environment. Another 80% of consumers responded that they have switched away from brands or boycotted certain brands and products altogether if they feel the brand is not environmentally friendly.
On the other end, nearly 90% of brands feel they should probably take more responsibility for the environmental footprint they create. Stateside, another survey shows that more than a third of consumers are willing to pay more money to buy a product that is eco-friendly.
These trends are not likely to reverse. Starting with millennials, who are increasingly becoming the majority of the spending population, and working down through younger consumers, factors like sustainability and being eco-friendly are as important of a consideration before a purchase as cost.
If your business is deliberately turning a blind eye to its potential environmental impact, it could be costing you money.
While your product or service might not inherently cause a risk to the environment, consumers like to see that you’re aware of your environmental footprint. That includes how you handle your own waste, whether your facilities are eco-friendly, how you handle shipping and transportation, and, maybe most importantly, how active you are in the communities you operate in and what you do that people see.
There is an increased demand for products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. Products made from recycled goods and products that don’t impact the environment now are able to sell as well, if not better than their counterparts that one might consider to be of higher quality.
Take the impossible meat trend. The Impossible brand, the most identifiable business created plant-based meatless products and fashioning them into burgers is on the brink of a shortage of product because of how quickly their product found its way into the mainstream.
The major fast food chains in the US, who have long earned millions off of high margin products that are as environmentally damaging as they are unhealthy, have been pushed to try to offer a version of a meatless product. Just looking back a decade, you could barely remember if these chains offered vegetarian options outside of fries - now they offer expensive plant-based products.
Why? The demand is off the charts right now, and will only continue to rise.
This is more than a trend, and aside from personal beliefs, it’s important to realize that a lot of ideas and concepts have already established themselves as the norm.
Consumers now to look specifically for products and services that help them reduce their environmental impact, and seek to buy from businesses that share their values.
What can you do to be on the forefront of the eco-friendly revolution?