Sustainable Business Practices in the Time of Eco-Conscious Consumers

Written by Romana Qureshi on Saturday, 18 November 2023. Posted in Feature Article

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash  

In a world increasingly concerned about the environment, businesses find themselves at the crossroads of profit and the planet. The rise of eco-conscious consumers prompts businesses to adopt sustainable practices that benefit the environment and cater to a growing demand of customers who prioritize the planet. With these changes, it is crucial to consider what this means for industries across the globe. Sustainability has proven to be an issue that is here to stay, and businesses must recognize that change is necessary for their long-term success and the well-being of the planet.

Consumers have become aware of the impact of their purchases due to the growing urgency of climate change. This has led people to seek out products that align with their eco-friendly values. This trend was heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, as people had time to research the brands they support. Now, many buyers prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing over recognized brand names. According to the 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey by PwC, “35% of respondents said they chose sustainable products to help protect the environment, 37% said they looked for products with environmentally friendly packaging, and 41% said they avoided the use of plastic when they could.” Clearly, consumers are environmentally mindful, but how have businesses adapted to meet these evolving demands?

In response to this changing tide, businesses are embracing sustainability. From utilizing eco-friendly materials to reducing their carbon footprints, many companies have dedicated themselves to improving their environmental impacts. Notably, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America invested $1 trillion to $2.5 trillion in clean technologies and sustainable development (Harvard Business Review). This financial commitment signifies the growing acceptance of sustainability as a moral cause worth supporting and an investment in the future. Companies that have failed to begin this transition are lagging behind and will see their businesses suffer in the future as consumers opt to support environmentally conscious brands. This pivotal shift across industries will influence business success in the long run, and companies that adopt changes now will be at the forefront of this new market.

Despite the support for sustainability by consumers and businesses alike, there are hurdles to incorporating these changes. Initiating new practices, sourcing sustainable materials, and paying ethical wages result in higher company costs. Driven by profit, many businesses resist adopting new initiatives to maintain low expenses. Governments have tried to assist green efforts, such as creating carbon credits, but wealthy companies with money can buy more credits and continue their high carbon emissions. Furthermore, the supply chain must be disrupted and restructured to meet new requirements, a challenging endeavor to take on while keeping businesses running smoothly. To navigate these difficulties, businesses, consumers, and policymakers must unite to work toward a greener future.

While the road to sustainability contains obstacles, it is an essential journey that businesses must undertake for their success and the sake of the planet. Consumer preferences and the state of the environment necessitate a commitment to change, and businesses that commit to this will reap long-term success in an evolving marketplace.

Carbon credits cap the amount of carbon an individual company can emit. This limits and discourages greenhouse gas emissions, but many companies sell and trade their extra credits to others that want to avoid reducing their emissions.

About the Author

Romana Qureshi

Romana Qureshi

Romana is a Business Features Staff Writer at GFB.

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