The environment has become a bigger and bigger talking point over the past few decades, and an increasing number of businesses are taking the hint. It seems that almost every brand in the world is exhibiting the fact that they’re “going green”, and as you’ve probably figured, it’s not always out of the goodness of the CEO’s heart! Here are some of the key motivating factors that are prompting businesses to be more environmentally friendly.
The most obvious reason that pushes businesses towards a greener way of doing things is it’s a great method to help their PR. Any brand that makes a big point of how environmentally friendly they are can gain the sympathy and loyalty of like-minded customers. More and more, we’re seeing companies that are making green changes, like recycling and reducing their waste, using recycled materials in their manufacturing, and applying processes that are better for the environment. Additionally, many companies are making large, public donations to environmental causes, like conserving endangered species, or setting up sustainable farming projects in developing countries. Whether the higher-ups at these brands care that much about the planet or not is always debatable, but the pressure from consumers is certainly having a positive effect!
Companies that make a point to reduce their energy consumption, and make their processes easier on the environment, not only help the planet, but also themselves in the form of reduced expenses. If you were to tell a modern farmer about how much agriculture is straining the world’s water supply, many of them would be liable to shrug it off. On the other hand, if you offered a way to check your irrigation water usage, and save a small fortune on your water bills, they’ll be much more interested! Large manufacturing firms are jumping on this bandwagon more than any other niche, due to the huge amount of carbon emissions they typically have to produce. For these companies, billions of dollars can be saved each year by investing in eco-friendly changes within the organization. Even smaller businesses, which may be struggling to keep their profit margins up, can have greatly reduced energy costs, simply by using energy-saving light bulbs and turning off computers when they’re not in use.
We may be hearing about it more now, but the biggest shift towards green business occurred in the wake of the recession in the late nineties. The Obama administration’s economic stimulus plan provided a range of incentives for businesses to be more environmentally friendly in the form of tax credits, which freed up more of their capital. While Trump has promised to roll back a lot of Obama’s green policies, there are still various tax credits available to businesses that show eco-friendly practices, such as using solar power, or using hybrid or fully electric vehicles for their fleets and outsourced logistics. The immediate future of these incentives is uncertain, with the leader of the free world taking a lot of the environmental pressure off. However, it’s very unlikely that we’ll see green government incentives totally disappear.
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