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When it comes to sustainability, customers are driving change

There are many reasons why businesses are focusing on sustainability more than ever before. One key factor is the increasing demand from customers, who are buying from businesses which share their values and prioritise environmental issues.

Our ‘Insights Behind Sustainable Business Growth’ report identifies one of the key characteristics that defines a sustainable business is a ‘relentless customer focus’. These are organisations who are accelerating their plans to develop products and services that are more sustainable, who proactively lead the environmental debate, and who are building green credentials into their business plans and brand positioning.

Companies taking the lead are not only benefiting from improved brand perception and reputation, but by developing long-term energy strategies and aligning them with their wider business goals, they are more likely to enjoy strong future growth prospects and outperform their competition.

So, how can you embrace a relentless customer focus for your business? 

Future-proof your business with a long-term energy strategy

One of the most important factors for a business is to have a solid plan for how it will consume and acquire energy in the future. With many organisations automating processes and investing in digital transformation, the demand for energy is growing.

By seeing energy as a strategic asset, sustainable businesses are generating their own power, optimising their usage and re-using wasted energy, to make cost savings and open new revenue streams. 

Build an environmental focus into your brand positioning

With consumers looking to make a positive difference to the planet, they are choosing brands with strong environmental credentials. To attract and retain customers, today’s businesses need to articulate their plans to become more sustainable.   

As we mentioned in our last blog, being “socially and environmentally responsible” is now a top three priority for businesses. Investing in energy technology and low carbon energy solutions means customer-centric organisations are enjoying improved reputation and they are now building these environmental credentials into their brand positioning.

Of the most customer-centric businesses we interviewed, 51% said that an organisation’s ability to “lead the debate around environmental issues” was “very influential” in their purchasing decisions. Also, 56% said their ability to offer “green” or “environmentally-friendly” products and services was also “very influential”. .

Choose the right partners

Businesses can demonstrate their sustainable credentials to customers by working with partners who have a similarly positive environmental focus. Our research shows that sustainable businesses are placing increasing focus on working with suppliers who share their ethical values and goals around energy.

Make energy an integral part of an overall business strategy

We also saw that sustainable businesses are developing energy strategies that align with their overall business strategy and feed into their company ethos. The success of these strategies is dependent on buy-in at board level. Our research shows there is typically a gap between the CEO’s expectations and the day-to-day priorities of the energy manager. Sustainable businesses enjoy much boarder alignment on key issues, such as complying with regulation, application of energy technologies and linking energy with wider business objectives.

 

To learn more about the outcomes of our research, download our full report here.