A key factor for any business in assessing its operations is how they are perceived by consumers, and the question of embracing sustainability is no exception. After all, becoming a greener, more sustainable company does take a concerted effort. So is it worth it for a company's relationship with existing consumers, as well as the opportunity to gain new ones? The answer in a number of surveys and studies is increasingly: Yes. A 2020 Deloitte survey found 43% of consumers made a conscious lifestyle change to choose brands with environmentally sustainable values and practices. by shows that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in consumers’ purchasing decisions, especially as consumers see themselves, along with for profit companies, as the primary catalysts for change. In the Global Sustainability Study 2021 - a major study of more than 10,000 people across 17 countries - that percentage doubled to 85% who'd shifted their purchasing behavior in the past five years. Also in that study, more than a third of respondents said they'd be willing to pay a premium to support sustainable companies. In fact, in our freight and logistics zone, another study showed over half of 500 customers surveyed would pay at least 10% more for eco-friendly shipping and packaging.
What does sustainability mean for consumers?
Consumers look for a number of signs of a company that means business about sustainability, including:
Green or sustainable certifications
Use of green shipping methods
Use of renewable materials in production, packaging, etc.
Reducing unnecessary resource consumption
Breaking down the list further, environmental initiatives could be company sponsored clean-ups, recycling events, bike to work days, etc. Certifications show that a company is meeting a specified set of green criteria, like the EPA's SmartWay certification in freight and logistics. The certification criteria may encompass elements of the last few bullets, and it underscores another key to make the investment in sustainability worth it for a business: showing your work. How is that typically done? Via sustainable marketing, as in marketing a company's environmental bona fides. This not only helps the reputation of the business, but may also lead to competitors adopting similar sustainable practices either because they think it's a good idea or to avoid falling behind.
If you're ready to take the next step, at InTek Freight & Logistics, we can help. Just tell us what you need and we'll discuss how our expertise can help with the unique shipping challenges your business faces. Rather do a bit more research first? View our Freight Guides for comprehensive articles and eBooks on all things freight and logistics.