It is not only individuals that can and should care about the impacts they have on the environment. At a more macro level, businesses also have a serious responsibility in terms of demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and environmental protection; many customers are immediately attracted to businesses that give serious treatment to this responsibility.
You are unlikely to have the opportunity to have customers sit and down and listen to your organisational policy around environmental protection, but there are a number of discreet but effective ways in which you can communicate your company’s approach to the environment. Here we consider three of these:
1: The bags you provide
Typically, we shop for an item or find out about a service and walk away with a bag containing our purchase or relevant information. Essentially, shopping bags are widely used and are one of the best vehicles for showcasing your business’ environmental priorities.
When your business provides recyclable bags or promotional bags that are designed for use and reuse (including biodegradable plastic bags), you are conveying a message that your business cares about the environment and has at least considered ways that it can reduce its negative environmental impacts.
The provision of bags of this nature also shows that your organisation is committed to encouraging customers to behave responsibly in terms of the ways that they use and reuse bags.
2: The ways that you promote
Because promotional activities are so critical to the perceptions that people have of your business, it is important that they too are ‘environmentally friendly’. Think carefully about the types of promotional items that you provide. Too often, useless and quite undesirable items, made from environmentally harmful products and using environmentally damaging processes, are distributed to actual and potential customers and these really do not help to create positive messages about your organisation’s approach to the environment and sustainability.
Offer customers promotional items that are useful and practical, as customers tend to appreciate them very much. Green bags are a great example here as these bags have an infinite number of uses, are strong and durable and can prominently and effectively display the details of your organisation. Customers love to receive good quality promotional bags as they use them as shopping bags and for many other purposes, while simultaneously and quite unknowingly showcasing your business’ details to audiences you may never have considered.
3: Raising awareness of your activities and processes
Quite often, businesses have an opportunity to raise awareness of the different activities that they do that have an environmental focus. By facilitating a recycling program (perhaps one to which community members can contribute) or sponsoring an initiative with an environmental focus, awareness of your organisation’s commitment to the environment can be shared.
While the idea is that a business will not become involved with or sponsor an initiative purely to raise its own profile as ‘environmentally responsible’, genuine involvement and commitment to environmental sustainability can and should be a source of pride.
Businesses have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the environment in a number of ways. While this is true, it is important that a business is genuine and committed in terms of its environmental approach and is recognised as being proactive and displaying leadership in terms of sustainability and the minimisation of harmful environmental impacts.