Even 15 years ago, it would have been unusual for a company to have a statement about their carbon footprint on their website, or even a statement about sustainability. The brands that did were forward-thinking and often considered slightly quirky.
Now, with the effects of climate change looming in our everyday lives, many consumers are starting to be curious around the sustainable practices of the businesses that they love. It’s no longer enough to ban single-use plastic bags. Instead, schemes like carbon offsetting are becoming more common.
Carbon offsetting is the idea that companies and individuals can pay to reduce their carbon footprint through carbon capture or carbon reduction. Carbon capture, as the name suggests, covers schemes that capture and store carbon, most commonly planting trees,do this naturally. Carbon reduction is where a company pays to help research into alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar.
But why do companies pay to do this when they’re not required to by the government? We take a look at three reasons why it’s a good idea.
As previously mentioned, consumers will vote with their wallets when it comes to sustainability. Ethical consumers want to see real change, with 84% of customers stating they would or might stop buying from a company if they thought they were acting unsustainably.
Whilst trying to outsmart your competition ideally wouldn’t be the primary reason for going green, it’s vital for companies that want to remain a first choice for consumers. It can be good PR, and especially if a company is trying to position itself as a caring brand, strong eco-credentials are vital.
Ideally, the biggest reason that companies should consider carbon offsetting is because they care about the environment and want to take responsibility for the carbon they’re producing. We now know more than ever about the effects of fossil fuels on the environment, so there’s no longer any reason for a company to remain in the dark when it comes to climate change.
The rise of online shopping is also making an impact. Most medium to large companies offer a home delivery service, and this means that the number of vans and trucks on the road are increasing. With this comes a rise in carbon emissions, which is a big problem unless a company chooses to use electric vehicles. Transport accounts for the largest proportion of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, so every company that is adding an online shopping option should take this into account.
Employee hiring and retainment
As well as being conscious consumers, increasingly people want to make sure that they’re working for a company that lines up with their own values. This is especially true for millennials, with research showing that 40% of this age group have chosen a company over a competitor offer because of their sustainability credentials. The same research showed that millennials would take a pay cut to work for a company that is environmentally responsible.
With this age group and Gen Z holding the newest talent, it’s clear that it’s crucial for companies to consider offsetting and their overall policies if they want to keep the best team.
Writer bio – Elizabeth Long
I graduated with a degree in English Language, and then travelled to different countries in order to expand my views, and experience different cultures. I now write meaningful posts, designed to give readers helpful take-home points that they can act on in their own lives.