Eco-conscious businesses are not the latest trend.
The transition to earth-friendly operations has become a staple. The smartest innovators in the small business community are making this move.
With the crisis of climate change and food safety afoot, industry leaders are converting to more earth-friendly business models. Honestly, this is long overdue.
But the question remains: what constitutes an eco-conscious business? (Don’t worry—this blog article will show you how to make the switch!)
And other than the obvious environmental benefits, why do it?
In becoming an eco-friendly business, you’ll not only help the planet stay in homeostasis. You’ll also discover a way to increase your profits. (Keep reading to find out how.)
Bright Planning works with clients who make a positive impact—both for their customers and their planet. We are proud to do so, and we’re following their lead to reduce our carbon footprint.
But as we worked with these businesses, we noticed one often overlooked detail…
Green Businesses Generate a Ton of Cash.
In a nutshell, green businesses use more sustainable and cheaper methods. The lower overhead costs create higher profit margins. Not to mention, environment-conscious companies create more inspired, innovative solutions.
Tesla Motors, anyone?
These measures attract an audience you might not have tapped into yet. Many consumers buy in part based on the social commitment that businesses make.
In other words, if you care about the community, then you attract the community.
- Bionic Power, Inc. that allows users to charge renewable batteries as they walk. This product sells itself effortlessly to the fitness crowd.
- WhiteWave Foods that uses renewable energy to produce Silk soy products and Horizon brand organic milk. Moms and dads who want kiddos to drink milk without the hormones? They buy this stuff.
- Adura Technologies that uses building-wide light controls that save their clients 33% of overall operating budget. Businesses are always looking for ways to save money, and this solution is powerful.
- Guardian Industries that develops “vacuum glass,” which insulates homes without exposure to radiation. Homeowners pay too much for utilities as it is. And the environmental friendliness is an added bonus.
- Vestas that sells wind turbines to government institutions and allows for higher distribution of clean energy.
That said, there are eco-conscious businesses that create sustainable business models…and there are those who are ECINO.
What Is ECINO?
E.C.I.N.O = Eco-conscious in name only.
It’s not enough to slap a green label on your product and call your business a friend to Mother Earth. The audience can see right through that.
Look no further than the marketing BP (not Bright Planning, the other BP) produced after the Gulf oil spill disaster in 2010. After an oil tanker exploded while mining on the Coast, petroleum gushed into the water for 87 days.
To put this in perspective, from April until June, oil poured into a vital source of water. The total discharged equaled an estimated 4.9 million barrels or 210 million gallons.
Eleven people passed away. The area’s fishing economy collapsed nearly overnight. Carcinogens flooded the air. Food sources depleted. Gas station owners (not direct employees) had to lock their doors for the last time.
BP stood at the center of it all. The business decided to save face with a more eco-friendly tone in their marketing. The problem: the TONE changed. Not the commitment.
What Makes An Eco-Conscious Business?
There’s no clearer example than the National Park system. If you’ve ever had the immense pleasure of looking at five states from the top of Clingman’s Dome or you’ve ever peered down the red rock of the Grand Canyon, you’ve seen the beauty the world has to offer.
But there is an economy in those woods as well. Farming, fisheries, and science centers depend on the stability of our planet. The next cures for debilitating and deadly diseases are out there in the trees. Local foods will keep our kids healthy and growing.
All of it can be found within the National Park Service. Their most recent initiative involves eliminating landfills. Instead of throwing beer cans and Hershey wrappers into giant trash heaps, NPS will take an alternate route.
- No more paper cups or non-recyclable bottles sold in camp stores.
- More readily available recycling options.
- Creating compost from trash.
- Deploying marketing campaigns to spread the word.
Small businesses can also take this route. And you can do this without appearing as if you’re an ECINO.
In all your marketing content, show…
An ACTUAL commitment to reducing carbon footprints.
Show your reasoning for doing so, especially as it pertains to helping your community thrive.
An understanding of why your customer would care about eco-consciousness.
It’s not a hippie drum circle thing—it’s about the future.
The fact that you’re looking for an audience with their finger on the pulse of eco-consciousness.
Be open and honest about sourcing, production, manufacturing, and materials.
Highlight your green initiatives in marketing content, but don’t sound self-righteous. Keep the focus on your audience, and how your business model is based on their needs.
Finally, you have to demonstrate that your environmentally friendly operations serve your clients. Whether it’s lower energy costs or protection from toxins, shift the foundations to meet the need.