In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, every company needs to incorporate green thinking into its business model, and it can be more straight-forward than it seems. Written by Jonny Combe, UK CEO of PayByPhone.
Environmental sustainability is more than simply looking at the impact of a business on the environment; it is just as important for attracting and retaining employees and appealing to its customers. We are entering into an era where environmental consciousness is crucial for financial success. Customers are increasingly more discerning when it comes to vendors and their sustainability.
In a competitive landscape, those who demonstrate green thinking are much more likely to succeed than those who fail to recognise its significance. The future cohort of employees entering the workforce will arrive with climate change at the forefront of their minds. Research by McKinsey suggests that those considered to be Generation Z – those born between 1995 and 2010 – are more ethically aware than any of their predecessors, so businesses need to adjust their approach in order to suit those needs.
For companies that don’t produce goods or services with a natural green angle, and those that don’t want to create a gimmicky PR stunt with a false sense of environmental concern – so-called astroturfing – the thought of going green can be daunting. But this is where carbon footprint assessment can come into play.
Any organisation, regardless of size, can and should take measures to examine its carbon footprint and to implement ways to reduce it. In the UK, the assessment is carried out by various different approved organisations who score against the Quality Assurance Standard (QAS). They help businesses to calculate, to offset and to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. As a not-for-profit organisation, the QAS independently verifies carbon footprint calculations carried out by these approved organisations in order to ensure that the carbon offsetting through the specific programmes are done in an open and timely manner .
Once the calculation is completed, the business will know the size of its carbon footprint and what needs to be done to reduce it. One option is verified tree-planting projects in the UK and global projects that combat deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.
If a business is truly serious about rectifying its carbon footprint, it may opt to aim for Carbon Neutral status. Once this has been achieved, in cooperation with an approved organisation, the company can use its Carbon Neutral status in its marketing efforts, and as a way to pass the environmental benefits on to the customers who pay for its products or services. Suddenly, the benefits of going green reach beyond the business to impact positively not only the environment but also anyone who interacts with the business.