It’s no secret that businesses need to take a more active role in sustainability and reduce their carbon footprints. Companies are a necessary tool for any societal behavioural change. And while the pursuit of carbon neutrality is a big challenge for everyone committed to making a real difference, the journey also brings many rewards, often overlooked. Here are some reasons why going green can also be good for business.
What was an ideal is becoming an expectation
In the past, green companies were often seen as idealistic and not sustainable by nature, but there is no doubt that this has changed. Going green isn’t an option anymore, it’s a necessity, a basic requirement. It has been for a while but only recently have we felt a true change in society’s behaviour and desire for change. Clients, employees and even investors have developed new standards because a business’s environmental impact is now directly linked to its image, and the image of anyone working for it, buying from it or investing in it.
The new generation of job-seekers is very concerned about the climate crisis. They care deeply about social and environmental issues and want their work to have meaning beyond simply making money. They want to be proud to work in a place that is doing everything it can to minimize its impact on the environment. That’s why businesses that are going carbon-neutral see a positive impact on employee morale and retention rates. In France, 66% of employees believe that implementing environmental actions in the company makes it more attractive, according to a 2019 study by BVA. As such, businesses that are committed to sustainability and carbon neutrality will likely have an easier time attracting top talent.
Similarly, consumers today also want to support environmentally conscious companies, and actively work towards reducing their impact on the environment. This creates a powerful marketing opportunity for green brands, as customers may be willing to pay more for products from these companies or brands. Just be mindful of greenwashing. Many customers may even be encouraged by businesses’ efforts to become more sustainable and advocate on their behalf by sharing information about these projects with others.
Beyond employee and customer preferences, there is also an increasing demand from investors who want to support sustainable businesses. Banks are creating financing offers for companies with a CSR, and there has been a 68% increase in green financing since 2014. One reason is that they know that it’s a sign of a company looking forward and that being environmentally responsible can help mitigate risks like regulatory changes and ensure continued success in the future. But more importantly, and as more and more research is showing, sustainability can have a positive impact on the bottom line and investors are starting to recognize this.
Going green can literally be good for businesses
The first step to becoming carbon neutral is to measure precisely your emissions. This allows you to identify your biggest contributors and cut them down. This is where we see the direct impact of becoming carbon neutral on the businesses’ bottom line.
Optimizing your IT department can have a significant impact on your costs. Buying refurbished equipment, or repairing devices will reduce the server infrastructure and save costs quickly while upgrading to more energy-efficient servers or computers will reduce your company’s carbon footprint and energy bill. You can even go further by implementing green IT solutions like automatic shutdowns for computers that aren’t in use can help save energy, unnecessary emissions and costs.
Finally, green companies can often get additional tax breaks from local or national governments, or from industry-specific agencies that help fund sustainability projects. There are also grants available for research and development that can help companies innovate and improve their processes.
Let’s be ahead of the regulations, for once
If your business isn’t obligated to do a carbon footprint report, it will soon. In 2022, in France, only companies with more than 500 employees have to do one .
In 2024, regulations in Europe should evolve to require all companies with more than 250 employees, including those located outside the territory of the European Union, and whose profits are greater than 150 million euros in Europe, to carry out a balance sheet measuring the impact on the environment and the respect of human rights. Moving towards carbon neutrality today while your business doesn’t have to is a sign of transparency and goodwill, and will definitely give you a head start when the regulations will catch up with the urgency of the situation.
By the way, the planet really, really needs it
As nearly half the Earth’s population is “highly vulnerable” to climate change and its consequences in the very near future, moving towards carbon neutrality is our common duty to this planet. As a business, being at the forefront of this movement emphasizes that you care about preserving our natural resources for years to come.
By going carbon neutral, companies not only stand out from their competitors but also support a sustainable future for our planet. This vision will make happier employees, loyal customers, and growing investments. So if you’re ready to make the switch to carbon neutrality, don’t hesitate – because it’s clear that this is simply good for business.
At Sopht, we created a GreenOps solution that is the perfect way to help the environment, update your digital infrastructure and improve your finances all at once. Because going green isn’t just about being environmentally conscious; it’s about saving money, too. We offer multi-cloud monitoring to rationalize your infrastructure and related costs by measuring and comparing your different Cloud Providers environmental efficiency. Our IT asset management services allow you to consolidate, organize and pilot all data related to your IT inventory (laptops, screens, smartphones, routers…) to better amortize your carbon and financial footprint. This helps us understand how your users are interacting with their devices so that you can better manage your IT assets and plan for decarbonization.
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