The benefits of running a business ecologically (+ 3 tips)
Corporate social responsibility, climate change, the reuse of raw materials … Sustainability is increasingly becoming the front page head line and gaining importance among consumers. As a retailer, you also reap the benefits of an ecologically ran business. The Compost Bag Company shares some striking figures and practical tips.
Corporate social responsibility is a real buzzword that many companies like to juggle with. But the term means much more than, say, an annual generous donation to charity. A company that does business in a socially responsible manner not only talks about human rights, consumer interests and social, ethical and environmental issues, but also includes these elements in its core strategy.
Sustainable supply chain, less financial risk
More and more consumers expect companies to be ecological. Research shows that 87% of middle-class consumers take into account sustainability when they purchase a product or a service. In addition, 92% of the millennials do not find profit, but the “ethical result” the most important success factor of a company. In short, sustainability is no longer a plus, but a requirement for the customer.
Corporate social responsibility requires an effort, but also creates an opportunity to distinguish oneself from the rest. Moreover, the financial risk decreases when you invest in a sustainable supply chain, where you take a close look at all suppliers and production processes. After all, consumers are prepared to pay more when a company organizes its supply chain in a sustainable way, which compensates for possible extra expenses.
3 tips for running your retail shop in a sustainable way
Although an ecological business model sounds nice, companies often have no idea how to get started. With these 3 initiatives you are already taking a step in the right direction.
- Make sustainability a strategic core pillar
Sustainability should not just be a slogan, but must be part of your business strategy. In this way you not only give your company image a boost, you also save on material and energy consumption.
Example: make use of the green innovations if you grow your business. Think of solar panels, recycled materials and LED lighting. Some supermarkets already provide charging stations for customers who drive electrically.
- Give your customers complete transparency
No less than 81% of the millennials show interest in the story behind a product: the people, the ingredients and the production process. In a world where everything can be found online, it makes little sense to disguise things. Open communication is the best strategy to create an image of reliability. Moreover, you can explain why you did not take certain steps yet.
Example: more and more consumers are tired of the many plastic packaging. But plastic remains the most effective way to pack food and thus prevent food waste. By providing insight into how, as a retailer, you approach that challenge in the short and long term, you make it clear that you take the customer’s opinion seriously.
- Address the customer where politicians are inadequate
Citizens sometimes get annoyed by the slow evolution of policy. Where governments fail, companies come up with solutions. In this way you gain credibility and the consumer finds more connection with your company.
Example: Several supermarkets take the initiative to reduce plastic consumption by, e.g. banning the plastic produce bags and offering a (sustainable) alternative.
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