How Can We Make European Businesses Greener?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report released earlier this year gave humanity its starkest warning yet about the direction we find ourselves on. The environment is changing, and we are already starting to see the disastrous effects of that change.

As Glasgow readies itself for the launch of COP26 at the end of October, the world’s focus will be on political leaders and how aggressive their plans and agreements will be to cut carbon emissions and reset our relationship with nature.

And whilst around 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988 have been produced by just 100 companies according to the Carbon Majors Report, individuals and smaller businesses alike are seemingly more prepared to make bigger changes to help in the global effort to cut emissions and reduce our impact.

But it’s not all to do with being ethical businesses.

Consumers expect organisations to do their bit.
Deloitte’s 2021 Sustainability & Consumer Behaviour report highlights just how willing consumers are becoming to make changes to their own buying patterns in a bid to be more sustainable. Forty-five percent have bought more locally produced goods, and almost four in 10 say they’ve reduced air travel and reduced the number of new products they buy.

The kicker for some businesses though will be the following three stats:

34 percent have chosen brands that have environmentally sustainable practices/values

30 percent have chosen brands that have ethical practices/values

28 percent have stopped purchasing certain brands or products altogether due to sustainability-related concerns

And you will have seen over the last two years an accelerating trend for businesses to start advertising their green credentials to align with consumer demands. Brewdog is planting forests when you buy their beer. Coffee brands have done away with plastic straws with Starbucks also developing an eco-friendly cup. National Rail changed the colour of its classic logo to highlight how rail travel is a greener mode of transport. There are even marketing agencies dedicated to ‘green marketing’!

But is all this enough?

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