Why is it important to be more environmentally conscious?
The importance of environmentally conscious business becomes increasingly important as the effects of global warming worsen and as the general public become more concentrated on green efforts. These ideologies have had a huge impact on consumer choices and the moral standards they hold companies against.
Two examples of leading brands responding to consumer demands for more environmentally conscious products include Prada and Waitrose. These have been extremely successful in improving popularity and meeting standards placed upon businesses to act mindfully in the current climate crisis.
Not making environmentally conscious decisions can also have catastrophic consequences for many businesses. The locations in which cheap manufacturing is extremely common, such as China and India, are already facing the consequences of pollution.
For instance, New Deli, India declared a public health crisis just two days ago due to the alarming level of pollution in the air. This is 20 times higher than the level that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers ‘safe’. If businesses fail to become more environmentally conscious, they may witness the downfall of their company due to workers becoming too ill for work and a severe decline in popularity.
Albeit worrying, there are a number of ways businesses can act more environmentally conscious. Such behaviours will reduce personal contributions to the environmental crisis and prove to consumers that your brand is responding to public opinions.
Proving to your customers that you are trying to reduce carbon emissions in any stage of the process is possibly one of the most powerful moves you could make when attempting to be more environmentally conscious. This is true for both production and fulfilment processes.
Reducing carbon emissions is a very important feature in this ever-growing pool of consumers as it is considered to be the fault of burning fossil fuels that contributes to global warming and thus, climate change.
To reduce carbon emissions in the short-term you can act in a similar way as USPS in California.USPS introduced electrical vehicles used within their delivery and fulfilment processes. This would immediately reduce the carbon emissions caused by your company and highlight environmental efforts to consumers.
Long Term changes
Conversely, you could attempt to reduce factory emissions in a number of ways.
Suggestions include: setting and meeting targets to reduce carbon emissions, becoming carbon-neutral or make a switch to use renewable energies. A great place to start could be switching your energy provider to companies like Bulb or Octopus, who provide renewable energies.
These changes may take a longer time. However, the benefits on the environment, in preparing your company for future demand and in consolidating consumer loyalty, will make the changes worth it.
Start a tree-planting initiative
Closely related to reducing carbon emissions is tree planting initiatives. This could be an effective way to engage your customers with your brand and increase customer loyalty. Planting trees is also a great initiative to gain publicity when your company meets certain milestones.
To give you a rough idea of how popular tree planting initiatives are: one recent movement among YouTube influencers, with the aim of planting 20,000,000 trees using drones, gained 8.3 million views in just 3 weeks.
Your business could commit to similar initiatives. For instance: if you sell X number of products you may promise to plant X number of trees or pay X amount of money to a charity that plants trees. This would gain a lot of media coverage in promoting your business’s environmental efforts.
Not only does planting trees reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air that we breath, but in the long term it will replenish the natural habitats for wildlife suffering the destruction of their homes. Most recently, koalas have faced the harrowing effects of bush fires in Australia. Therefore, tree planting is an extremely positive message to be giving your environmentally conscious customers.
Donate to environmentally-conscious charities
Another way in which you can be more environmentally conscious as a business is to make donations to environmentally conscious charities.
Great examples include charities that work to: clean the oceans, plant trees, help endangered animals, reduce plastic waste, invest in renewable energies or educate people about the threats of climate change.
Use sustainable materials
A sustainable materials are essentially those which can be used time and time again without compromising its future existence or having any damaging effects on the environment.
For instance, natural woods are particularly positive materials if they are not treated with any chemicals. This is because this will mean it can be composted after use with zero negative impact on the environment.
The sustainable material people often think of is bamboo. Bamboo is sustainable because it grows back quickly and has a short life span meaning that its growth and harvest does little harm to the environment.
Conversely, exploiting some tree types can have devastating effects on the environment and contribute to deforestation because they may take so long to grow back.
It’s not news that the world’s forests produce the very oxygen we breath and after the social despair over the amazon fires in 2019, sustainable wood could be an incredibly important material to incorporate in your production.
Many manufacturers also think of cotton when sustainable materials are discussed. This is because organic cotton is a completely natural, compostable fibre and it does not use harsh chemicals for fertilisation. This has positive impacts on the environment because the chemicals do not leak into the nearby rivers and soil etc. Therefore, organic cotton would be an extremely good option for sustainable and environmentally conscious fashion products.
However, cotton farming can also be extremely detrimental to the environment if it is not done properly. Cotton must be completely organic to preserve its positive usefulness. You can find more information about cotton here.
Other examples of sustainable materials include cork and reclaimed wood and metal.
Make team bonding excercises more positive for the environment
A great way to get your company more environmentally conscious is to replace team bonding or company events with more environmentally positive activities. For instance, instead of individuals driving to a location far away, you could get a company coach or take the train.
Activities such as making eco bricks, planting trees or doing a hike could also get a team more in touch with nature and have positive effects on the environment. The public are likely to applaud such efforts compared to more materialistic events.
Boycotting palm oil or committing to sustainable palm oil
Palm oil is an extremely controversial topic because it not only contributes to the deforestation of rainforests, but it also destroys the habitats of many endangered species.
The most high-profile animal losing its home to palm oil farming is the orangutan. These animals are often shot by the farmers tearing down trees to make more space for plantations. If the animal isn’t killed, it may continue to live a life either blind or injured. These circumstances make it vulnerable, unable to forage food or defend itself. Other at-risk animals include rhinos, tigers and elephants.
You could choose to boycott palm oil. However, this substance is in almost every type of product meaning this is extremely hard. An alternative is to use companies with ethical and sustainable farming methods.
Soy oil is also an extremely controversial ingredient.
By using sustainable components, you are proving that your company values the importance of the rainforests and does not contribute to unsustainable methods of farming.
How China 2 West can help you become more environmentally conscious
We hope that C2W’s 14 years of experience puts your mind at ease when considering whether we are able to meet a client’s environmentally conscious demands.
Get in touch with our team to discuss your individual demands.
Please note that the information provided in this blog is sourced and written with the aim to inform and inspire. C2W does not take responsibility as to its accuracy, completeness or correctness.