Climate change is not all doom and gloom. It offers unique economic opportunities for businesses to develop new products and services and exploit & affects their green actions and policies to attract and retain top talent.
The coincides with a world that has woken up and it’s demanding that business changes its ways.
The stakes are even higher now that companies have to take measures to recover from the consequences of the pandemic. It is tempting for executives to focus on restoring immediate operational and financial strength, but they must not lose sight of the fact that their enterprises stand to earn trillions of dollars if they make use of low-carbon opportunities. COVID-19 has not changed that fact.
Green operations are leaner generating profits
Research by Oliver Wyman, a leading international management consulting firm, has shown that European and American corporations are saving vast sums in operational costs by investing in greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The research shows that investments in renewables and energy efficiency could earn European companies $45 billion over the lifetime of the investments. In the United States, the same is happening.
Corporations that run green operations can leverage the current prevalence of green lending and sustainability-linked lending and reduce their capital costs. Banks are now offering affordable financing for initiatives that reduce carbon emission or use renewable energy sources.
Leverage remote working
The pandemic has caused people to change their behaviour – hundreds of thousands of employees have started working online and no longer commute to work. This change in behaviour means a smaller carbon footprint for businesses. Businesses can move to smaller premises and save on electricity bills to keep computers running and office buildings illuminated.
Leverage changes in attitudes
Attitudes about climate change are changing on a big scale and it is influencing the demands of consumers. People across the world recognize climate change is as big a problem as COVID-19 and they want businesses to address these two factors in their planning for the future.
Smart companies can leverage these changes in attitudes by demonstrating their sustainability practices and commitment to the environment. Research by New York University’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business has found that sustainable brands have increased their share of the U.S. market during the pandemic, demonstrating this trend.
The research found that from 2013 to 2018 50% of consumer packaged goods growth came from products that were marketed as sustainable.
These changing attitudes also apply to employees. Green corporations are highly rated by incumbent employees as well as top talent looking for new opportunities.
New products and services
The demand for low carbon businesses is creating a golden opportunity for businesses to come up with innovative products and services. The demand for sustainable products and service is worth trillions of dollars across all business categories, from transport, and manufacture to food production and cosmetics.
For instance, the production and sales of plant-based foods, which leaves a lower carbon footprint than animal-based foods, has really taken off. Research shows that the sales of plant-based foods products have grown 29% in the past two years and is now worth $5 billion.
COVID-19 has not diminished these opportunities, nor has it erased the necessity for sustainable business practices to mitigate climate change. While many companies will be focused on strategies to recover after the pandemic, it’s crucial that they don’t lose sight of the golden opportunities that low carbon practices offer. There is no turning around from a commitment to sustainability, it can only pay off for businesses in the long run.