It ain't easy being green, but more and more businesses are finding that it's good business. Many studies find that customers prefer companies that are able to establish and demonstrate their environmentally conscious credentials.
Andrew Woodward, Communications Director at Sustainable Business Australia, told The Pulse that the desire to buy with environmentally sustainable businesses was rising.
"More and more customers are looking for businesses that are making an effort with sustainability," he said. "People like to be seen to be doing the right thing. When they can, they'll gravitate toward companies that are doing the right thing."
He added companies want to reduce their carbon footprint not just to appeal to customers, but because it's the right thing to do.
"Businesses at all levels are behaving more responsibly and doing the right thing, even though it may not deliver a financial result," said Woodward. "That's just the business environment these days. It costs no more to behave responsibly."
So how does a business reduce its carbon footprint? Woodward suggested that businesses of all sizes could benefit from reviewing the following areas: travel, printing, supply chain and energy supply.
The path to environmental sustainability can be long, but there are things you can do immediately that will make a difference. The simplest thing, Woodward said, was to buy carbon offsets for your business. "Just as you can buy carbon offsets for flights, you can buy them for you, your family, your car and your business," he said. "For an individual, you can be 'carbon neutral' for about $250 a year. This goes into things that produce green energy or carbon capture."
He said he used South Pole Carbon, a service which invests in green projects and assesses your potential contribution to them based on your business' energy use. From there, business owners can look to make more substantive changes, like looking into their premises and equipment, as well as their policies and procedures.