Australian businesses need to be environmental leaders -- and consumers are willing to spend

Source: Getty.

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A new study released by HP and Planet Ark has revealed that consumers are willing to spend more money if a brand is environmentally sustainable.

According to the study, over 90% of Australians are concerned about the environment and sustainability.

Australians are beach-loving people, around 85% of our population live along the coastline. We’re spoiled by beautiful stretches of sandy beaches, stunning harbours and winding rivers. Yet drifting off our coastline, there is a beast consisting of over eight million tonnes of plastic waste that has ended up in our ocean affecting our marine life.

Source: Getty.

When it comes to sustainability, Australian consumers are pointing the finger firmly at brands. Nearly 80% hold companies responsible for environmental impact. This shifting trend from personal responsibility to corporate responsibility lies alongside the rise of brands becoming more personable.

At a recent conference, Jeff Bezos shared that his “secret sauce” is an obsession with his customers.

“(T)he No. 1 thing that has made us successful by far is obsessive compulsive focus on the customer as opposed to obsession over the competitor,” Bezos said.

And consumers are clearly crying out for businesses to be more environmentally friendly, so what can businesses do?

Being a more environmentally sustainable business

Businesses have a unique opportunity to tap into an issue that concerns all Australians. There are a number of ways to do this, but these are our top picks that will have the most impact.

1. Recycle printer cartridges

Printer cartridges need a special recycling process and can’t just been thrown in the recycling bin in your office.

HP launched their recycling program in 1987 and it was a founding member of Cartridges 4 Planet Ark.

So far, HP has recycled over 10 million cartridges in Australia alone. Now, over 80% of HP Ink Cartridges are manufactured using closed-loop recycled plastic. HP has used 170 tonnes of likely ocean-bound plastic to make Original HP Ink Cartridges.

2. Speak with your suppliers

Delivery packaging, like cling film, bubble wrap and Styrofoam are one of the most used plastic product and they often get disposed of after a single use.

You can eliminate the need for plastic in the first place by speaking with your suppliers or choosing more waste-conscious suppliers to work with.

Consider negotiating with suppliers to reduce packaging at delivery and form an agreement that will reduce waste across a number of companies, not just your own.

3. Recycle all your tech products

Across your business there are computer parts that age, old mobile phones, cords and cables and all manner of e-waste that is no longer needed. Rather than just throwing these in the usual trash, there are special e-waste initiatives that you can use to make sure you’re doing the right thing.

Australian consumers have made it clear that they won’t tolerate companies that aren’t environmentally friendly. Companies need to start listening, obsessively.

READ NEXT: The ocean’s deadliest predator: Why we need to stop plastic pollution

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