Green Business Bureau Blog


How to Weather a Recession? Go Green!


Businesses looking for recession-proof strategies to grow their brands and widen their consumer bases need look no further than going green.

According to a recent spate of market surveys and reports, consumers are increasingly taking environmental ethics into consideration before purchasing a product. Reports from Forrester Research, the Carbon Trust Standard, and IRI find anywhere from 15 to 62 percent of shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. take environmental considerations to heart before purchasing a product or service. Moreover, the Forrester survey, which asked 5400 consumers about their shopping habits, found that 18 and 15 percent of consumers were willing to pay more for socially responsible and environmentally friendly products, respectively. The green movement, once dismissed as a temporary fad, is proving more and more to be an enduring shift in consumer thinking.

And smart businesses will shift their thinking too.  Positioning your product as green and identifying your brand with eco-friendly ethics offers fiscal rewards, not only in the short term but in the long term as well.  Consumers are increasingly responsive to green branding. They want to give their loyalty to green brands whose ethics correspond with their own, and they are increasingly scornful toward companies that demonstrate a lack of concern for sustainability.

And here’s the best news yet for companies still smarting from the consumer crunch: Greening your business can boost your sales revenue, because customers are willing to pay more for green brands. Studies have shown that the market for green products grew by 4.1 percent between 2008 and 2009. Considering that our recent economic history has been dominated by shrinking markets, not expanding ones, that’s a pretty impressive figure – and a harbinger of good things to come for green companies.

In short, it’s hard to ignore the growing body of evidence that going green is more critical than ever as the recession persists and the competition among businesses grows increasingly cutthroat. What’s more, developing your company’s reputation as eco-friendly will do more than just keep you afloat in a sinking economy. At a time when most businesses are preoccupied with how to survive in the short-term, green businesses are setting themselves up to thrive—right now, and in the future ahead.

Go green, show green, and your brand will see more green.  It’s that simple.


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