Sustainability Research Report (Part 1 of 3)
Sustainability Research Report (Part I of 3)
With everyone from the local grocery store to the big-box chain store claiming to be “green,” it’s becoming more difficult to decipher what’s real and what’s hype. As the business of adopting greener practices becomes increasingly more important, it’s necessary to be educated on the meaning of environmental responsibility and prepared for what’s to come.
As part of its “commitment to listening,” SCA Tissue North America (whosehygiene solutions include Tork® napkins, hand towels, bath and facial tissue, soap, wipers and dispensers) conducted an online survey of a random sampling of 1,071 men and women who own or manage a business or make purchasing decisions for restaurants, hospitals, schools or industrial facilities. The resulting report, Healthy People, Healthy Planet, is intended to provide insight into the business-decision maker, including what motivates a business to act environmentally responsible, where the future of green business is headed and simple steps you can take to help your business become a greener business.
Following is part one of three articles detailing the findings of this report and resulting recommendations.
WHY BUSINESSES BUY GREEN
Tork asked business decision-makers their reasons for purchasing green products, and the financial impact of those purchases. Of those that buy green products:
• 88 percent purchase green products because they care about the environment
• 83 percent always or sometimes think of the environment before making purchases
• 82 percent say there has been an increase or no change to their bottom line as a result of purchasing green products
• 18 percent say making eco-friendly business decisions has increased revenue
Just as quality and customer service have been long-standing core values for business leaders, environmental responsibility has become a priority as the cost of gasoline continues to rise and natural resources diminish. With the benefits of green more noticeable than ever, businesses are making environmentally responsible purchasing decisions to ensure the current generation and generations in years to come are able to live healthy lives on a healthy planet.
Contrary to the negative stereotype that businesses are motivated only by the bottom line, most business decision-makers purchase green products because they care about the environment, and nearly all at least consider the environment before making those purchases. A workplace that is concerned with the health of its employee community and the health of the planet provides a meaningful purpose for employees, stakeholders and influencers. An environmentally conscious business creates job satisfaction, boosts morale and increases company loyalty.
Business decision-markers are also realizing it pays to be green, and they have the ability to minimize costs through environmentally conscious operations. An environmentally responsible company will use fewer resources to complete the same amount of work, lessening costs and increasing profit.
To gain a competitive advantage, improve efficiency and provide a cleaner and healthier work environment, companies need to move quickly to adopt sustainability practices and goals. Tork suggests decision-makers implement the following initiatives to help their business become a greener one:
• Conduct a waste audit and implement a waste management program
• Set specific energy/water reduction goals
• Install a high-quality ventilation system
• Develop a procurement program that reduces packaging
• Create a wellness program for employees