Most executives treat the need to become sustainable as a corporate social responsibility, divorced from business objectives.
-Harvard Business Review
Sustainability is very important and some businesses consider green, not a choice, but a responsibility. However, many companies have to weigh the choice of social responsibility to environmental responsibility due to economic pressures in the first world. Currently many companies are operating on small profit margins and when it comes to giving back, companies want to give to their employees. Unfortunately, they do not see an immediate financial return on their investment for the green initiative and they feel that people will not pay more for eco friendly products. This causes them to choose to place their investment in the company employees but, while that is an admirable approach, the green initiative needs to be pushed more readily.
Where Does The Responsibility Lie?
There has been an ongoing discussion about the responsibilities in the corporate world to our environment. Who is responsible? Are the businesses? Is it our government? Should it be a social responsibility, everyone’s responsibility? The answer is yes. But the degree of managing this is still in heated debate. Many people feel that companies should be regulated and forced to give back and protect our environment. Companies oppose this and do not want to be forced to spend more of their hard earned dollars by following sustainability and reducing the profit margins even more.
The Green Initiative Gives Back
Currently the effort to give back to our green earth is being attempted, but the effort needs to increase substantially. We all work with the earth and use her resources. Yes, there should be regulations for companies and their waste and what products they can use. However, sustainability is a choice and should not be forced onto the corporate world. Having said that, many companies do receive benefits from being an eco friendly company. While it is true many people look for the cheapest item, not everyone has that same opinion. There is a massive green following that will pay more for better, more environmentally friendly products and services.
Companies that make an effort to become sustainable have a unique niche, what they say to their customers and the public is that they care about our world and what happens to it no matter the cost. That will gain respect and a following for those eco-friendly companies that they would never have had before. It makes them more noticeable in the media and to anyone that cares what product they put on their face and whether or not it will damage the earth when thrown out. So overall the return on your investment will be seen, it just might not be immediate. So begin a recycling program at work, try using less energy and make sure the products you use are eco friendly and you will be well on your way to becoming a sustainable company.