Customers demand sustainability in 2020

We talk to Green Business HQ director Carolyn Cox about the consumer demand for sustainable business practices and find out about Green Business HQ’s programmes for businesses wanting to do more.

The sustainability of a business can positively impact revenue, expenditure, and operations. A recent Colmar Brunton report revealed that 70% of New Zealanders look for claims or labels that the purchasing choices they make are environmentally and animal friendly. Studies also show that morale is 55% higher among employees of companies with sustainability programmes than without.

Talking to Carolyn Cox, director of Green Business HQ, she says that sustainability is an essential part of a business’s social licence. If customers can’t find your sustainability credentials across your entire supply chain online, you risk these customers assuming you have none. These customers will purchase elsewhere. 

One aspect of sustainability for product-based businesses that is vital to consider is plastic packaging. The Colmar Brunton report found that 69% of New Zealanders are concerned about the build-up of plastic. 

Unfortunately, the report also indicates that 83% of New Zealanders think that businesses aren’t doing enough to reduce their environmental impact.

Businesses like Ruby, Father Rabbit, Nature Baby and Auckland Rugby are leading by example, having participated in the STARS Sustainable Business Programme, run by Green Business HQ. Another programme is also on offer, the STARS Better Business Challenge. Sponsors for these programmes include Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board, Albert-Eden Local Board, Waitemata Local Board, Auckland Tourism, Trade, Events & Economic Development.

The Stars Better Business Challenge’s aim is to guide participating businesses to reduce their energy output, waste production, and improve their overall impact on the environment. It’s web-based, and focuses on low to no-cost business improvements, making it suitable for participating in during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

“Business has a crucial role to play in addressing the many issues affecting our environment. As climate change, plastic pollution, species extinction, and other environmental issues intensify, now is the time for business leaders to step up and do more to take care of our planet,” says Carolyn Cox.

There is also pragmatism behind the challenge; to help businesses to see the monetary benefits of sustainability, and developing strategic relationships with suppliers. 

You can find more about the Stars Better Business Challenge here

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