After almost 20 years in this business, we hear a lot of common excuses from companies about why they can’t incorporate sustainability into their business model. One of the most common reasons is “It’s too expensive”. While it is true that not everyone can afford to hire a consulting team, we’ve found that most of the companies we work with save money when they take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. We know you can afford to do better.
It Can Actually Lower Costs
One of our favorite examples comes from our work in supply chain analysis. After a thorough analysis, our team determined that the company used two different cardboard weights for shipping identical products. A small change made all shipping boxes a uniform weight and saved the company millions of dollars while also reducing its overall environmental impact. Although this change does not make the company green (to suggest so would be called greenwashing), it reduces their environmental footprint, which for a globally distributed company amounts to a huge impact reduction.
Not Doing It Can Cost More
In other scenarios, companies often cannot afford to not make changes. As consumers become more concerned with environmental impacts, they place more pressure on companies and governments to do better. A lack of sustainable practices can lead to consumer boycotts, petitions, and demands to introduce legislature. When companies fail to adapt, they have to play catch up, which is often costly as well as a competitive disadvantage. What begins as lost sales may spiral into greater costs.
What To Do?
Begin by asking, what can you do better? Can you improve your supply chain? Can you ensure your labor is ethical? Can you give back to your community? It’s a better place to start than brushing it off as too expensive.