by Caryn Smith © 2007
Truthfully, the environmentally conscious movement has been building since the 1960s. Not so many years ago, to mention the term "eco-friendly" would conjure images about vegetarian hippies who ate only organic food (that they usually grew themselves) and actively campaigned to reduce ozone emissions. They used to be laughed at for wearing lapel pins and buttons that preached, "Save the Whales!" Now we’re all listening – and acting – to stop and even reverse some of the damage that’s been done. We’ve come a long way.
Here’s another truth that may surprise you. According to the inaugural BBMG Consumer Conscious Report, 87% of American consumers state they are more likely to buy from companies that commit to environmentally friendly practices. So, as the saying goes, if you’ve got it: flaunt it!
They Won’t Know, Unless You Tell Them
From recycled printer paper to hybrid cars, the trend in buying today is holistic. Conservation is no longer just a buzzword: It’s a way of life. And companies are latching on to these practices because they’ve discovered that green is good for business and it’s also a huge money saver. But, if you don’t tell your customers about your eco-friendly practices, how can they recognize you as a company to be proud of?
Include mentions of your green policies:
In Press Releases – Announcements about the ways in which your organization is helping to save our environment and the results of those efforts are always welcome news.
On Lapel Pins – Create lapel pins to hand out in-store at point-of-purchase displays, at tradeshows or other events. Most environmentalists love to share their passion with others. Lapel pins give them a way to express themselves and to promote your business as a champion of the environment.
In Website Copy – Add a blurb of copy (or an entire page!) that states your earth-friendly policies and practices.
Promote on Packaging – Fifty-seven percent of Americans said they sought out products and packaging made from recycled materials. Because being green can heavily influence a buyer’s decision, include promotional images or copy on product packaging.
Not an eco-friendly company yet? You might want to consider it. Wal-Mart’s efforts to slim down packaging on a single private-labeled product resulted in a savings of almost $2.5 million in one year. It also saved 3,800 trees and 1,000 barrels of oil according to a BusinessWeek article. Other major corporations have experienced similar savings for their efforts.
On a small scale, lapel pin companies are now using lead-free paint, offices are using wasted printer paper to make notepads and restaurants are wrapping to-go orders in paper-based boxes and bags instead of Styrofoam or plastic. Everyone can get in on the act.
Don’t discount earth-friendly practices as yet another fad. This "whim" has been building for almost 50 years. Add to that the fact that being green equals making more green, and you’ll find this is actually the new landscape of business.