Millennials are about to receive the largest transfer of wealth in history. Contrary to popular belief, millennials are actually more responsible spenders than the generation before. What separates millennials from the generation beforehand is their understanding of current social issues, as well as their actions towards them.
According to a 2015 Nielsen report, 73% of surveyed millennials would choose to pay more for a product, if produced from a sustainable brand. Soon to become the largest generation by population in 2019, it’s no longer sustainable to ignore millennial’s demands for sustainability.
What many people fail to realize about the market is that the millennials will soon have all power in regard to corporate responsibility. No amount of corrupt policy can save the rainforest, only the people who choose to purchase from brands who seek to reforest it.
Yet, this quest toward sustainability does not need to be met by corporations with a knife to their throat. In fact, it’s actually beneficial to promote sustainability at your organization. As I explain further, by the end, you’ll realize that environmental sustainability policies actually lead to a more sustainable business model.
Larger Bottom Lines
Consumers demand environmentally sustainable products from environmentally responsible brands. You may be thinking that relying on products produced on a smaller scale would cost more and end up losing you money, right? Actually, when we talk about sustainability we have to address waste.
Consider one of my favorite brewing companies New Belgium, proprietor of the infamous Fat Tire beer. With 480 employees and $180 million in annual revenues, New Belgium is able to reuse 75% of its energy production through composting, recycling, and tracking programs. In fact, all employees are given an EV for work purposes and encouraged to bike to work. This reduces millions of dollars in energy waste each year, while also separating its brand from the competitors in an overly saturated craft brew industry.
Greater Consumer Engagement
By separating your brand from the competition, you are also open to offering customers unique value specific to your brand. In fact, Walmart is using its quest to be a sustainability leader to separate its brand from the competition.
Overcoming its poor history of low worker’s wages, Walmart is nowadays being re-associated with its low prices model, as well as its environmentally conscious initiatives. This has opened up sponsorship and advertising opportunities with their partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation and other green organizations. This has given them a clear advantage over Amazon when vying for millennials.
Greater Employee Engagement
Looking for a way to retain high-level talent and reduce employee turnover? Well, it’s important to note that a majority of millennials want to choose a career path that they believe is changing the world in some way.
Corporate sustainability initiatives are the perfect way to get employees more engaged at your company and improve morale.
Consider this anecdote. On the inverse, it’s cities like Seattle and Boston, whose sustainability initiatives actually attract green companies due to the available labor options. For smaller metros like Boulder and Colorado Springs real estate, these policies have had a similar effect of growing business development and increasing the standard of living for residents across their respected cities.
Finally, technology is generally forcing companies and consumers to become more eco-conscious, by becoming more efficient and sustainable. By staying ahead of the curve on new technological developments and implementing a green policy in place, a large corporation could save millions of dollars in the long run on energy and equipment costs. This is not to mention all of the other branding and marketing benefits we just outlined.
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