Across America, saving the planet through more sustainable practices on the part of businesses is an issue for many consumers. Support for environmental issues can influence whether a business wins a new customer or loses a long-standing one. A study conducted by Cone Communications a few years ago found:
- 87% of consumers will have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues.
- 88% will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues.
- 92% will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues.
Consumers also are increasingly looking for eco-friendly products. A study last year by the market research firm Nielson found that consumers spent $128.5 billion on sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). Since 2014, these influential shoppers have grown sustainable product sales by nearly 20 percent with a compound average growth rate (CAGR) four times larger than conventional products.
Show and tell
It’s one thing to tell clients about your commitment to sustainability. Nowadays, you need to show and tell them exactly what you are doing. Here are some ways to do that:
- In your marketing materials and social media campaigns describe what you are doing to lessen your carbon footprint. For example, you may want to talk about how all communication and payments with vendors are electronic to cut down on the use of paper.
- When clients book appointments for the first time, ask them how you can best communicate with them via email, text or phone and explain that you do this to reduce paper consumption and waste.
- In your social media campaigns and through your newsletter, if you have one, point out how you’ve made changes in your spa or massage practice to go green. Explain how you use energy efficient lighting, fixtures and appliances, non-toxic cleaning products and organic unbleached linens and bedding.
- Highlight the products you offer that are organic.
Partner with clients
You’ll also want to get clients involved in your sustainability efforts to further the effort and reinforce your commitment to making a difference for the environment.
- Use colorful signage to get clients involved in your sustainability efforts. Signs in the bathrooms can remind clients to use water sparingly. Colored bins in different rooms help clients appropriately dispose of glass/plastic, paper and trash.
- Encourage clients to opt for electronic receipts for their payments for services and purchases.
- Use recyclable bags for retail product purchases. Or better yet, give clients totes they can use whenever they buy products from you.
- If you are planning to replace any furniture in your establishment, such as reception area chairs, ask clients if they know of any non-profit organizations or schools that might be interested in getting them. This eliminates more unwanted items from ending up in crowded landfills.
- Use social media campaigns to conduct surveys and polls about sustainability. Report on the results.
- Share tips for good sustainability practices at home and in the workplace.
Talking the talk when it comes to the environment is not enough. As a business owner or manager, you need to walk the walk to set an example and to effect positive change.