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An ever-increasing number of businesses are making efforts to become more sustainable, and a recent Nielsen study shows that it might be paying off in more ways than reduced energy costs and a lessened impact on the environment.

sustainability

According to the report, about 55 percent of global consumers say they would spend a little more on products or services they know come from companies dedicated to social and environmental responsibility. While the numbers tend to be higher in Africa, Asia and Latin America, more North American consumers than not said that sustainability was a key factor in their purchasing decisions. It’s also important to note that these rates increased from 2011 across all regions.

With this and other recent studies showing increased environmental awareness on the part of consumers, it’s no wonder why some of the largest businesses in the world are touting their commitment to sustainability. Sports apparel brand Adidas, for example, was recently named to a list of the Top 10 Most Sustainable Companies in the world. The company engages in efforts to ensure that all of its vendors use responsible practices in their operations through a strict “supplier code of ethics.”

This is great news for environmentally conscious businesses, but it’s also worth noting that consumers appear to also be more tuned in to “greenwashing,” or efforts on the part of corporations to make charitable donations to environmental causes, but not actually implement more sustainable practices themselves. In other words, customers are looking for businesses that walk the walk — and the most diligent are doing the research to find out.

Some of the most eco-friendly organizations in the world are virtual companies, which tend to use minimal energy in their operations and usually do not have the waste of organizations housed in more traditional offices. ProPRcopy is an almost completely virtual business, and although our headquarters are in Wisconsin, we have copywriters and editors located across the United States. Besides occasional, in-person local staff meetings or company get-togethers, our team members don’t have to commute to get to work, eliminating the need to drive thousands of miles each year and reducing the emissions that would otherwise occur.

Considering this recent study by the well-known Nielsen Company, it’s likely that more business owners will take notice and begin to place their sustainability efforts front and center in their marketing efforts. If your company is committed to going green, make sure you tell your customers about it — they will certainly reward you with their purchases.