Entrepreneurs looking to cater to customers who reward companies with their business due to their green initiatives should look to place a higher focus on corporate sustainability efforts. Firms are beginning to engage corporate sustainability within their process even more in recent years because business startup costs are high and company owners need to find a new way to earn back that money.
The recent 2012 Greening of Corporate America study conducted by Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction found the percentage of firms that are largely involved in sustainability has risen from 18 percent in 2006 to 42 percent in the latest survey. Seeing as how green initiatives are gaining traction, entrepreneurs can look to add these efforts to their enterprises.
“Since 2006 we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how corporate sustainability is transforming business,” said Ari Kobb, director of sustainability & green building solutions at Siemens Building Technologies division. “In only six years, it has grown from being a fledgling concept to becoming a standard element of corporate strategy. Companies are no longer incorporating sustainability simply out of obligation.”
Sustainability efforts changing roles within organizations
When focusing on sustainability within an organization, there are many changes that business owners have to make. Entrepreneurs need to realize that using green practices don’t start and end with recycling paper and using more digital technology to reduce the use of paper. Business owners are now creating a role of chief sustainability officer, while also assigning members of their staff to draw up sustainability budgets where they can track the money they have set aside for green practices.
“It is exciting to see that corporate America’s investments in sustainability continue to grow and that it is becoming more integrated within their business practices,” said Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights & Alliances at McGraw-Hill Construction.
Corporate sustainability makes Earth a safer place
Being green also helps businesses contribute to an improved environment. The study found saving energy and procuring funds are also some of the reasons companies are using corporate sustainability efforts.
“It is also important to note that corporate leaders are increasingly expecting significant social and health benefits from sustainability that move beyond operating cost savings,” said Bernstein.