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How can a company reap the maximum benefits of being sustainable?

Answer

For a company to reap the maximum benefits from a sustainable business program, getting the word out about the steps its taking to become sustainable and the benefits that will come from those steps is crucial. While companies become sustainable for a lot of reasons, often the main reason is that it resonates with current and potential customers. Make sure those who do business with your company, as well as those who work for it, understand the value of practicing sustainability.

One of the significant benefits of becoming a sustainable business may well be found in increased employee productivity and engagement. Working to become sustainable often means revamping or discarding unproductive ways of doing things. Employees may see streamlined processes and are often able to achieve increased levels of productivity. Sustainable businesses also often tend to be focused on employee enrichment and engagement. Some businesses that practice sustainability will encourage employees to volunteer on company time or provide educational opportunities. Often, employees will benefit from working for a company that cares about the same causes or shares the same goals. Sustainability also helps the business itself.

Leaving aside cost savings, becoming sustainable has a host of benefits for businesses that follow such practices. One is the positive publicity that is often generated by sustainable methods. From environmental benefits to community outreach to employee enrichment programs, being a sustainable business can create a lot of material for marketing and image building activities. Becoming sustainable also plays well with customers. Many people like to do business with companies that have shown they're good stewards of the environment and good employers who value those who work for them. The Natural Marketing Institute surveyed 53,000 U.S. consumers and discovered that 58% of them consider a company's impact on the environment when deciding where to do business. This same group is also more likely to purchase from companies that practice sustainability.

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