Invest in Your Business Environment
Consider investing in your business environment this Earth Day, because your bottom line depends on it.
“Consumers are adopting a more sustainable lifestyle; 43% of consumers are actively choosing brands due to their environmental value.”Deloitte
Invest in a Healthy Environment
The theme for Earth Day 2022 is to “Invest in our planet.” Businesses invest in all kinds of things to get ahead. A car to make more deliveries. A new machine to make products faster. Or a new software tool to serve customers quicker. But when was the last time you heard anyone in the business world say, “invest in trees and plants?”
“A green future is a prosperous future.” earthday.org
Nature as an Asset
Things in nature, like trees, make a stronger environment to do business in. Trees prevent flooding, clean the air, and beautify your business environment. Paragon Sales Solutions suggests that nature can help your creativity and improve your business sales. This is when nature becomes an asset. Getting ahead now posits your business for future growth. Imagine if your business grew organically, with very little to no input from you at all, just like a natural forest? Wouldn’t that be great?
“Trees are financial assets.” ArborPro
Business’s Impact on the Environment
“British Columbia floods cost $450 million in December of 2021.” Insurance Bureau of Canada
Today we understand our impact on the environment better than ever. We know fossil fuel and food methane emissions increase the temperature of the air and the ocean, causing poor business environments. We know those same emissions contribute to more severe storms, which damage the business environment and limit our ability to move products.
“In 2018, 89% of global CO2 emissions came from fossil fuels and industry.” clientearth.org
Carbon emissions that cause severe storms cost society money, but it also costs your business money. And I’m not talking about carbon tax. Carbon tax will come and go as governments change. The emissions remain with or without it in place. It costs money to clean up pollution. If you can make money without creating pollution, you’ve bootstrapped and increased your profits by reducing your costs.
“Carbon might be your company’s biggest financial liability.” Harvard Business Review
Consumer Demand for Eco Products & Services
Let’s move on to business’ relationship with nature. Many environmentalists are quick to blame business for its impact, but the truth is we all contribute to the problem. Consumer demand drives business.
“Unilever estimates that almost 70% of its greenhouse gas footprint depends on which products customers choose.” Harvard Business Review
If there was no demand for forestry products, logging would cease. Why invest in all that equipment and labour if the product won’t sell? This is how consumer demand drives business. Many businesses do things the way they do to meet consumer demands: cheaper products, more luxurious things, and faster services.
Changing Consumer Demand
But consumer demand is changing, and there’s money to be made in pursuit of a better environment. The Harvard Business Review says that, “consumers–particularly Millennials–increasingly say they want brands that embrace purpose and sustainability.” There is a whole market of consumers who are willing to pay more money for services and products that have less impact. I’ll speak personally here. A couple years ago I endeavoured to eliminate plastic from my life. The biggest changes came in my grocery shopping. Products that don’t come in plastic cost more, a lot more. I grumble, but I never think twice, and I’m pretty frugal.
Your Business Environment
Some businesses rely on natural resources to make the products they sell. But what will you sell when we run out? That’s why sustainability is more than just a marketing campaign.
Service companies need a healthy environment to do business in. Nobody is going to shop at your store if the building your business is located in is on fire or under water. That’s why protecting your business environment is important to your bottom line.
Nature vs. Business
If your business is online retail, you need to move products to make money. You can’t do that without a truck, which means emissions. And even if you go electric, guess what, the plant your power comes from produces emissions. This is an example of a business that needs to damage the environment to make money. For businesses like this, the only option is to offset the damage, which is an expense.
For most businesses, the environmental movement is a threat. I’m not disputing that. But consider a greater threat; that is, an environment so poor that business simply can’t be done anymore. How can we change the way we do business so we aren’t in competition with nature?
Make Money Helping Nature
The Miyawaki Forest Business
Did you know that the business of planting trees is one of the most profitable and scalable on the planet? Subhendu Sharma, an eco-entrepreneur and former Toyota employee, has taken the Toyota Production System (TPS) and turned it into a forest-building, money-making machine. He replaces cars with trees, and produces them using an assembly-line system. He makes it scalable to any size of land so that it’s available to any type of customer (corporate or individual) around the world, a truly global business model. Watch the video below to learn more.
The Business of Plant-Based Medicine
Did you know that agricultural waste can be used to make medicine? In a time where consumer demand for green products is on the rise, could a business offering natural medicines that work better than big pharma be a good business investment? Rising entrepreneur Akeem Gardiner, LLB of Canurta thinks so.
Canurta makes novel therapeutics from rare molecules, called cannflavins, from agricultural waste. This is a 100% natural, 100% renewable, 100% sustainable product solving a problem faced across North America as most farmers used to burn their waste. Burning waste produces emissions, while Canurta takes that waste and instead makes it into a useful, profitable product.
The company has already raised over $1 million in funds and is developing a rich intellectual property portfolio. They are excited about the social impact this venture will make, not only on people and animals, but the planet as well. Canurta invests in Earth Day and projects profits for future days.
The Business of Gardening
Gardening products have a year-over-year online retail growth rate of 60%. The industry, like the plants and flowers it sells, is growing fast.
Sean James, a landscape designer and acclaimed environmentalist says, “My big takeaway from the last couple of years is that ‘eco’ is no longer a grassroots thing. We, literally, couldn’t be busier. Folks from all income levels want a landscape that is beautiful but also does good for the planet. Doing the right thing need never be a sacrifice of beauty. It needn’t be more work. Simply design with good guidelines and it will be lovely and flowing with wildlife, food and even capable of absorbing most of the rain that falls on a property.” Sean invests in Earth Day and is seeing the financial returns in his business every day.
Canada’s Climate Action Incentive
“Carbon tax will save you money.” The Hill
We have good news and bad news about Canada’s Climate Action Incentive. The bad news is you won’t see it as a refundable tax credit on your T1 anymore. The good news is you’ll start to see the money in July of 2022 as a quarterly benefit instead of a tax credit.
The Climate Action Incentive is a benefit you get to offset your extra costs from the carbon tax. Carbon tax is a tax levied on pollution in Canada. The idea is that pollution costs money while reducing pollution saves money. Carbon tax is designed to put the cost on those that pollute, and then gives the money back to Canadians. When businesses reduce their pollution, they pay less carbon tax. It incentivizes reducing pollution with cost savings, and that’s why it works.
Invest in the Earth
A healthy environment is necessary for business. Eliminating pollution saves your business money. Forms of waste can even be bootstrapped into a revenue stream. But most importantly, nature is a valuable asset.