“Going green” is more than a trend, it has become a mentality, a lifestyle and, according to Forrester Research, a savvy business practice that positively influences sales and brand reputation. The company recently found that more than 50 percent of adults in the United States who go online practice green purchasing habits. These consumers are interested in buying “green” products or purchasing from brands that employ sustainable initiatives.
To meet this growing consumer demand for companies to operate with an eye toward preserving the environment, more retailers are focusing on sustainable operations.
Turning buildings and stores into green spaces, for example, can give retailers a competitive edge. Through building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) spaces, retailers communicate sustainability in their corporate missions. In fact, LEED currently has more than 44,000 certified projects in North America; Verizon Wireless has more than 100 LEED-certified retail stores nationwide. The company also recently earned two Heavy Medal awards from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for two store locations in Arizona. These stores optimize water and energy use, enhance indoor environmental quality and reduce waste.
Sustainable practices can take other forms, too. Consumers looking for a deal or a sale in today’s e-commerce environment no longer have to clip paper coupons. Many retailers have developed store-specific mobile apps for digital coupons and to notify customers of upcoming or current sales. Additionally, retailers like Home Depot with its Home Depot Pro App allow customers to check store inventory before making a trip, which can save on gas and related car emissions.
Retailers who understand the benefits of operating sustainably can offer unique services to customers while increasing their bottom line, making it a win-win for all.