Customers Demand Green

by | Jun 24, 2019

Consumers Are Choosing Businesses with Green Practices

Here’s the proof

Early American corporate leaders like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were also leaders in corporate philanthropy. Through the years, following their example, corporate philanthropy continued to grow, becoming more institutionalized in the early 1950s. According to the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals in “Corporate Social Responsibility: A Brief History,” Howard Bowen is known as the “Father of Corporate Social Responsibility.” In his 1953 book, The Social Responsibilities of the Businessman, the American economist and Grinnell (Iowa) College president, first publicly connected the responsibility of corporations to society.

In the years since Bowen’s book, Corporate Social Responsibility has evolved from what was seen as just a “nice thing to do” to more of a corporate necessity.

According to a January, 2019 article in Forbes magazine, investor interest in environmental, social and governance factors has gone mainstream. The article continues, citing a recent study from Oxford University which found that more than “80% of mainstream investors now consider environmental, social and governance information when making investment decisions.”

This investor interest, combined with increasing consumer and employee demands, have resulted in more and more business leaders realizing that attaining sustainability is a necessary step in preparing for the future success of their business.

If you do an internet search for phrases like “green consumer demographics 2018,” you’ll find numerous links like these from the last quarter of 2018:

It’s Official: Customers Prefer Sustainable Companies
Entrepreneur Magazine, December 2018

Was 2018 the Year of the Influential Sustainable Consumer?
U.S. Sustainability Market to Reach $150 Billion By 2021
Nielsen report, December 2018

Customers Demand Green
Small Business Association

Consumers are increasingly using their spending power to effect change.

The number of consumers looking for sustainability in the companies they do business with and the products they buy continues to grow. According to a November 2018 Nielsen study, “Global Consumers Seek Companies That Care About Environmental Issues,” almost half of U.S. consumers (48%) are likely to change what they buy to meet environmental standards.

The Nielsen study continues: “While still juggling convenience, price and awareness along with their need to better the world, they’re looking for companies to step up as partners in their quest to do good …” This isn’t a trend a company can simply side-step. Sooner or later, whether through government regulation, sheer force of nature, or public outcry, companies will need to respond. No matter what market you’re in, connecting sustainability factors to how it impacts consumers is the key.”

In addition to making choices about where to shop and where to eat and drink, many of these concerned consumers are going to be looking for a place to live and – if you are one of the large multi-family developments – you want to give them every reason to choose you.

If you need a second reason for a waste audit …
                                                       … remember that your customers may be watching

Read more:
The Business ROI of Social Investments

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