With climate change getting harder to ignore many businesses are taking action, and while most find that reducing their carbon output is an excellent way to reduce their operating costs through improving efficiency, there’s another and often greater benefit to be gained by using carbon certification as a marketing tool.
However, simply putting a logo on your promotional material and hanging a certificate up in reception is not going to achieve much more than make you feel good. To get the real benefits from certification, you need to think about what it actually means and what it says about you and the way you run your business.
- You recognise that the day will come when the market will assess businesses by their carbon footprint; therefore you are likely to carry that visionary thinking into the other areas of your business.
- When legislation comes in to force businesses to account for their carbon, you will already have everything set up and it will have no impact on your business. As a result you will continue to be a stable and secure business and your customers; employees and suppliers won’t find themselves in the lurch because your business is in trouble.
Responsibility and integrity
- You are cleaning up your carbon “mess” which demonstrates that you’re a good corporate citizen and take your responsibilities to the environment and the world around you seriously.
- You have chosen to account for your carbon output even though you don’t have. This shows that going the extra mile is part of how you do business.
- By managing and reducing your carbon output you have reduced energy consumption and waste production which shows your business operates efficiently and cleanly.
- Carbon accounting gives you another KPI which strengthens your management systems and improves your ability to plan effectively.
- Accounting for carbon means you know the true cost of running your business which increases your financially stability.
So how does this benefit your stakeholders?
Increasing numbers of consumers are demanding carbon certification and your customers will reward you for that alone, but your carbon certification tells them that your price is fair, your product is well designed, your business is resilient and you will go the extra mile for them. When prospective customers look at your business they can see that you’re a well managed and financially stable business that is here for the long haul and can be counted on to supply their needs well into the future. Your business is well run and efficient which means less hassles and dramas for them, and having you in their supply chain means they don’t have to account for your carbon footprint.
Your current employees already know that you operate with integrity, but when a prospective employee sees your certification they will get the message that you go beyond your minimum obligations and can give them a stable work environment. They will also be proud to work for a company that’s doing its bit to make the world a better place and takes responsibility for its actions.
Voluntary carbon certification marks you as a leader and being a supplier links with them with you and your vision. Your suppliers know that your business is well run, efficient and has a competitive edge that will only become stronger as demand for independent carbon certification grows which means you are a damn good customer and worth keeping.
Your physical community:
Your community knows you are playing fair by taking responsibility for your role in climate change, even though you don’t have to. That means if you need to do something that might impact on them; they will be less likely to make things hard for you.
The business community:
Other businesses, including your competitors, recognise you as a responsible and ethical member of the business community and accord you with the respect that warrants. Any criticism is likely to reflect badly on the criticiser, whereas having a positive association is good for their reputation and image.
Becoming carbon neutral is probably just about the best and most cost effective strategy to build your brand into something pretty damn special. Contact me and I’ll work with you to get your business certified and help you tell your story so you get the benefits you deserve.
- Supply Chain Carbon Management Enters the Mainstream
- The Business Case for Carbon Accounting and Verification
- On Climate Change, Obama Should Steal a Page from Walmart (washingtonmonthly.com)
- What Is Carbon Offsetting And How Does It Work? (essentialtravel.co.uk)
- Stonyfield Farm Tracks Its Carbon Footprint (triplepundit.com)
- Ford looks to reduce carbon footprint in supply chain (reviews.cnet.com)
- Why go Green? (intechnology.co.uk)