Regardless of sector, industry or audience, companies around the world are being encouraged to consider more than just their profit margins. Success and influence are no longer determined solely by how much money your business can accrue: green credentials, corporate social responsibility, and goodwill initiatives are all equally important when it comes to building a brand and ultimately making a difference.
So, with that in mind, what should brands be doing to make themselves a more attractive proposition for partners, suppliers, clients and end consumers alike?
Not only can ‘going green’ reduce costs associated with energy and waste, but it can also drastically minimize CO2 emissions and enhance your reputation with consumers. According to a report released in Forbes, 88% of consumers want to deal with brands that will help them reduce their environmental and social footprint. However, the same study found that consumers believe only 28% of brands currently make it ‘easier’ for them to live in a more eco-friendly way.
Consumers want to help the planet, and there is a huge gap in the market for brands that are willing to help them do it.
If your company is focused on creating a product, you should try to use materials that have been sustainably sourced. Not only will this enhance your reputation, but research has found that 66% of people will actually pay more for a product if it has been sustainably sourced. In fact, some of the worlds biggest companies are putting huge efforts into making sure their products are created using only the most appropriate materials.
Did you know, for example, that over a third (34%) of all fibers used in ASOS brands come from sustainable sources? In fact, the brand is so committed to utilizing eco-friendly materials that it has its own sustainability scheme – the Sustainable Sourcing Programme – and has also signed up to support the Global Fashion Agenda’s (GFA) commitment to speed up the transition to a more ‘circular’ fashion industry.
Of course, taking part in sustainable sourcing is also a wise move because it means you have clarity on exactly where materials are coming from, and how much is available. With resources becoming ever more scarce due to population growth and increased demand for goods, having ready access to materials from a reliable supplier is only going to become more essential.
Minimizing waste is something that all companies should be doing already, but there is absolutely no harm in taking your recycling and waste reduction commitments to the next level. By doing things such as composting any organic material you would otherwise throw away; reducing the amount of packaging you use; and going paperless, you will save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and even enhance your operations.
According to research carried out by Mintel, nearly three out of every four people (73%) say that a company’s level of ‘charitable giving’ makes them more willing to consider becoming a customer. Not only that, but the research also found that a whopping 84% consider it ‘important’ that a company they purchase from has a strong charitable focus, while 65% say that businesses should feel an obligation to ‘give back’ to society.
Of course, giving to charity is not something that should be done on a whim, or simply in order to garner a few additional customers; it is something that should be embedded within your organization from the outset – forming a core part of your overall value proposition.
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