The most obvious financial benefit of reducing your business’s water use is saving money on your utility bills: your water bill, your sewer bill (because most of that water eventually goes down a drain), and your electric or gas bill (because much of that water is heated). But there are other less apparent—yet equally important—ways that saving water can bring financial benefits to your business. Here are five of them.
- Attracting customers who prefer sustainable businesses: A recent study by Nielsen found that consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and are expressing that consciousness through the products they buy and the businesses they patronize. The study found that on average, 81% of consumers felt that “it is extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment.” That figure rises to 85% among millennials. In other words, more than four out of five customers prefer to shop at businesses that are sustainably operated.
- Spreading the word on social media: Do you know what people love more than shopping at sustainable businesses? Social media! Putting those two passions together is a winning combination for your business’s marketing strategy. By demonstrating your dedication to the environment through water conservation, you offer customers the opportunity to spread the word about your shared commitment to the planet. This gives your business wider and more-positive exposure.
- Pleasing the parent company: If you operate a quick-service restaurant or casual-dining franchise or manage a supermarket that’s part of a regional or national chain, then chances are that your parent company has a corporate social responsibility strategy that includes sustainability goals. If your parent is a public company, it’s rated on its environmental, social, and governance standards, which many socially conscious investors use to evaluate a company’s sustainability practices.
- Making employees happier: A survey by Fast Company magazine discovered that a business’s sustainability record has a big impact on its employees’ job satisfaction. More than 70% of respondents said they prefer to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda, with over a third reporting that they’ve given more time and effort to their jobs because of it; 10% even said that they’d take a pay cut to work at a sustainably operated business.
- Increasing the value of your business: Retrofitting your business with both basic and advanced water-saving technologies increases the value of your company. By demonstrating that your operations incorporate the latest advances in water efficiency, you position your business as an environmental leader and make it a more attractive prospect to potential investors.
Of course, water conservation has economic and environmental benefits that reach far beyond your business. But it’s nice to know that taking a few easy steps to reduce your business’s water use can pay off in many different ways.