It’s no secret that sustainable business practices have become a major deciding factor in consumer spending behaviors. Sustainability in retail has experienced a surge in interest over the last few years, with 85% of consumers changing their purchasing choices in favor of environmentally friendly businesses.
While this was an inevitable shift in buyer behavior, the post-COVID world of commerce has quickened this global perception of business sustainability. Modern consumers accept the individual responsibility of environmentally conscious practices, and they expect the same from the companies they choose to do business with.
But was the global pandemic the only cause of this large-scale shift in retail and sustainability practices? What other changes in the world are many businesses failing to see?
Here are some further insights into the rise of sustainability in retail and what your company can do to stay relevant in this eco-conscious business landscape.
Prioritizing Sustainability in Retail
Although brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t hurting as much as many predicted, online commerce is very much the future. Convenience is still a huge deciding factor in buyer habits, but there’s no denying the eco-friendly conscience that global consumers have developed.
The pandemic brought the planet’s worries to everyone’s front door. When some of the world’s largest companies and their consumers were experiencing shortages of canned goods and toilet paper, many people rediscovered local and eco-friendly businesses and dedicated themselves to doing their part for the planet.
In a study from September 2021, consumers shed some light on their new perceptions of retail and sustainability in a post-COVID world.
• 52% admitted to being much more eco-friendly than they had been six months ago.
• 51% now consider the production, origin, and transparency of a product before making a purchase.
It’s interesting to note that a business and its eco-practices are no longer considered mutually exclusive. Therefore, the importance of sustainability in business now reaches far beyond lip service. Instead, it creates a vital business practice that not only helps the planet but also puts your brand at the forefront of a new world of consumers.
The Bridge Between Business Sustainability and Success
While there’s no longer a distinction between sustainability in retail and business practices, there’s a gap between the consumer and the seller that needs to be bridged. To benefit both customers and businesses, here are some important tips for aspiring environmentally friendly companies to take note of.
Embrace Zero Waste
Eco-friendly businesses have dedicated themselves to maintaining zero waste over the next few years. Not only is this fast becoming the rule in business instead of the exception, but there are even companies that now train their employees in environmentally aware practices to keep this zero waste goal on target.
Here are several businesses that lead by example to reduce waste. Even small-scale changes can make all the difference over the course of a year.
Go Paperless and Reduce Print Waste
The majority of businesses now have an IT infrastructure that’s more than capable of supporting a fully digital and paperless business. The importance of sustainability in business goes beyond helping the planet and impressing socially aware customers. In fact, embracing paperless business practices provides many benefits:
• Reduced printing costs
• Better security and less chance of confidential documents being lost
• Ease of access and mobility with important documents
• Greater productivity through time-saving methods
• Data retention through backups and saved files
When you also consider that US offices use over 12 trillion sheets of paper per year, this minor change to your practices will be a huge asset to the sustainability of your business.
Work from Home
The coronavirus presented businesses with a global problem to overcome while keeping their day-to-day practices running smoothly. While we all became accustomed to working from home, the world’s carbon footprint dropped dramatically. In a post-COVID world, it won’t be uncommon for businesses to embrace hybrid working, which also leads to a reduction in office supply use and, therefore, significantly less waste.
The Future of Sustainability in Retail
Eco-friendly businesses are connecting environmentally conscious practices with innovations and efficiency. This combination of eco-aware practice and practicality creates a rock-solid future of trust and progress for the planet and your customers alike.
How TransPerfect Can Help
Want to find sustainability in retail that’s environmentally friendly and beneficial to your customers? Does your content need to be fully digitized, localized, optimized, or fully translated? TransPerfect can help you master your language services to make your communications reach and grab the attention of a global audience.
Our efficient global network of over 10,000 native-speaking linguists can assist your brand in 170+ languages. Please contact us today if you’d like to discuss how TransPerfect can help support your sustainability efforts and global marketing plans.