Nanos Research recently reported that more Canadians listed the environment as their top concern than any other issue. Why should businesses care? Because a large chunk of consumers is making buying decisions based on a company’s environmental practices.
According to another recent study, this one by Deloitte, found that 42% of millennials choose to do business with companies they believe are having a positive impact on society or the environment. Perhaps more importantly, 37% have stopped buying from companies they view as unethical.
While you may tend to dismiss millennials as your market, they are now adults 25 to 40 years of age, and about half of all working age Canadians. That’s a lot of buying power. Plus, the newest generation, 9- to 24-year-olds, known as Gen Z, have also taken up the climate action cause and their buying power will increase as they age.
If your other objection to getting on board the environment train is that your business doesn’t really have an impact, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the issue. You may have practices that stem from saving money, or that are so routine that you don’t really think about it. You may have suppliers that have great practices that you don’t know about. Or maybe there are things that you could change, now that you know how much your consumers care.
Some thought prompts:
- Recycling – Paper, cardboard, electronics, Styrofoam, donations of still usable goods.
- Saving energy – Turning off lights, computers, equipment, when not in use.
- Reducing water consumption – Less frequent washing of fleet vehicles, native plants in outdoor spaces that don’t need watering, recycling water for industrial use.
- Reducing travel – Sticking with video conferencing and work from home post-pandemic, consolidating deliveries or in-home services by neighbourhood.
- Suppliers and vendors – Buying from those who have good practices and enforcing your policies with vendors who sell your goods.
- Hosting or supporting related community events – Paid time off for volunteers to plant trees, remediate parks, clean up lakes.
The easiest part is letting your market know what you’re doing to play your part, and we can help by adding content to your website, writing an article for your customer newsletter, or posting to your social media accounts. So, give the environment a bit more of your attention. It’s a big deal for your customers, as well as your own family and generations to come.