Surprisingly a new Deloitte report, finds that fewer than one third of British entrepreneurs are taking steps to go green. I know our readers aren’t among them, but many of the same issues face all entrepreneurs.
The survey of British entrepreneurs finds that less than a third (29%) are currently undertaking any carbon reduction initiatives – despite more than a quarter of those surveyed conceding that addressing environmental challenges now will present new opportunities to exploit new products and services.
Many entrepreneurs see pursuing sustainability programs as cost prohibitive. While recycling and energy efficiency are green initiatives entrepreneurs are willing to take on, the larger environmental initiatives including reducing emissions and conserving water are considered too complex.
The report also mentions that few entrepreneurs impose green requirements on suppliers or seek out eco friendly vendors. This is perhaps understandable if social responsibility and/or eco friendliness is not part of the company’s mission statement.
But, with consumer demand for green products increasing and customers actively seeking out eco friendly companies from which to buy, is this a mistake? I think so.
Not only should entrepreneurs consider the consumer landscape, but growing companies need to consider their future distribution channels. While many small companies start selling online or through independent retailers, the goal is often to place products with the major players. These big retailers and distributors are increasingly placing sustainability standards on their vendors.
More to the point, entrepreneurs have an advantage over large companies. More innovative thinking and nimbleness give start-up companies the advantage.
Missing the opportunity to green a young business could turn out to be a big mistake.
Photo Credit: saidanddone at Flickr Under Creative Commons License