With the end of the year upon us, business leaders across the country are taking time to reflect upon the past 12 months and develop a blueprint for success heading into 2017. Driving this process is the ever-present need to increase profitability, so it is natural to first look at how the organization can simultaneously increase revenues and cut costs. And while it would be easy to suggest you should raise prices or reduce operational expenses, taking such actions can lead to the estrangement of your brand from customers and personnel.
Fortunately, there are viable solutions that business leaders can implement without having to resort to drastic measures like price hikes or layoffs. The driving force behind this fact is that today’s consumers make their spending decisions differently than previous generations.
According to a recent Nielson Group study aimed at understanding consumer attitudes towards businesses and sustainability, 55 percent of consumers are willing to spend more on products and services provided by companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
Millennials, in particular, have demonstrated a commitment to using their wallets to drive social change. Business leaders must take note of this fact, as millennials have surpassed generation X as the largest age demographic in the U.S. labor force today. That means you can plan on seeing more millennials in C-level positions, purchasing departments and other decision-making roles as the demographic matures and moves up the corporate ladder.
By adapting your business strategy to have a greater focus on social issues, your business may have a greater chance to capture the attention of potential customers. But what social issues should your business focus on?
While many social issues can be divisive and result in bad publicity, there is a general consensus about the positive impact of environmental sustainability efforts. By integrating green initiatives into your business strategy, you’ll have a chance to endear a wide swath of potential customers to your brand. What’s more, integrating green initiatives can even help you achieve operational cost savings by minimizing the impact of your company’s energy consumption. In fact, recent reports indicate that the green initiatives of Fortune 500 companies combined to equal over $1 billion in yearly cost savings.
Better yet, scientific advances are making it more cost-effective than ever to invest in green initiatives such as solar, wind and LED lighting systems. And according to the National Observer, the trend should continue for years to come—within the decade we may see the cost of renewable energy fall by nearly 60 percent.
Not only can integrating green initiatives into your business strategy help you achieve operational cost savings, but you’ll also have the opportunity to leverage them to market your organization and increase sales at the same time. Curious about where to begin? Click here to learn more about ConEdison Solutions green initiatives for your business.