This is a Guest Post by Jens Ourom, Climate Smart
As every aspect of the economy grows, it inevitably grows in complexity.
As sustainability and economy grow further intertwined in the public conscience, the nature of the business benefits of ‘going green’ further expand and evolve, into what may seem aspects of business unrelated to sustainability.
The traditional mentality that going green must inevitably cost money has begun to shift towards a more nuanced outlook that recognizes there are better margins to be achieved through efficiency initiatives. The critical mass of business case studies that have saved money through their green initiatives, has perhaps advanced this ultra-tangible aspect of the sustainability business case most effectively.
Marketing & Increased Market Share
It is likely not cost savings alone that has turned the tide in favour of the sustainability business case.
Intricately linked with efficiency initiatives, is the communications and marketing efforts that can be made, highlighting a business’ commitment to efficiency and the environment. The increased value of a product or offering, and increased market share that may come with this differentiation makes for a very strong business case.
Indeed, here in BC an entire subset of the economy has arisen in order to meet the demands of consumers seeking greener alternatives. This ‘green economy’ is one of the local economy’s fastest-growing sectors, as in most developed countries throughout the world.
However, the additional revenue-generating benefits going green do not stop at the consumer – big businesses, organizations (such as health authorities and school districts) and municipalities are increasingly interested in doing business with more sustainable partners, and this is reflected by increasingly common (and now, quantifiable) sustainable procurement policies, implemented via RFP requirements, as one example.
Reduced HR Costs Through Employee Retention, and Recruitment of Better Talent
Perhaps more interestingly, are the business cases made through less easily quantified benefits, such as happier, healthier employees. HR is a cost to businesses, and data shows that the more evolved a company’s sustainability commitment is, the lower a company’s turnover becomes – and that in addition to decreased sick time extended to healthier, happier employees. Certain local businesses, such as Level Ground Trading and Left Coast Natural Foods have seen such benefit in this aspect of their business, that they actually reward employees financially for choosing a sustainable method of transport to and from work – whether via foot, bicycle, transit or carpool.
This guest post by Jens Ourom. Jen hails from a small, family-run business background and liaises directly with the 600+ local companies (such as Level Ground Trading & Left Coast Natural Foods) that have worked with Vancouver’s Climate Smart Business, to measure, manage and reduce their carbon footprints. As part of the Client Relations and Business Development team at Climate Smart, he is constantly evaluating what currently drives more sustainable business practices, and what will continue to drive them.
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