How can you translate your sustainability stance into good business? Many businesses are now moving towards sustainability. Whether that's reducing plastic production, reducing fossil fuel emissions, or becoming carbon neutral, it all has an impact. But, depending on how well the business follows through with their pledge, a sustainable stance can backfire.
If your business is half-hearted on their sustainability goals, the customers will be able to tell. When businesses – especially major corporations – go public with a sustainability statement, the public tends to be cautious. The business can be praised for their actions – and criticised for not doing enough or for not backing up their intentions with results. When a business – whether it's a small locally owned cafe or a multinational corporation – claims to be environmentally friendly but is thought to be able to do more, they often attract more ire than if they had not made a sustainability statement in the first place. However, this is not a reason not to try. Businesses that make no attempt to be sustainable will start to feel the pressure from their customers, clients, and even corporate buyers. If customers see that a business is not following through with their sustainability pledge, they can come 'under fire' from the general public. This is known as greenwashing – and greenwashing is something that customers tend not to like.
If your business is committed to going sustainable, and doesn't cut corners, business may well increase. However, if a business pledges sustainability and not only means it, but follows through, they are likely to attract young, more environmentally conscious customers. By taking action on issues that customers care about – including social issues – they will also retain current customers who might be looking to make a difference. So if you own a business, and you're looking to become more environmentally and socially responsible, go for it – but don't be half-hearted about it, because customers will know. Anything is better than nothing, it's true – but if you want the good business that comes from a sustainable stance, you'll have to go all the way.
Planet Friendly Packaging acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by COVID-19. Stay safe.