In his book, “An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It,” Al Gore makes a strong case for addressing the issue of (human-caused) global warming before it is too late.
It should be noted that there are skeptics out there who say that the science that Gore uses to support his argument is biased.
That said, you need to look at the motives of all of the people involved before making the final decision as to what you believe to be true.
In a blog post, titled “Global warming consensus: Agreement among scientists confirmed, again,” Erik Conway explains that market research has shown that many people think that government should take action on controversial issues similar to this one only after the science is settled. Therefore, it is in the best interest of those entities that are adding to the problem to challenge the science to make it look like there isn’t a consensus about the whether or not human-caused global warming is a reality, in order to prevent action.
There is a lot of evidence out there to support the argument that human-caused global warming is a reality. In addition to Gore’s book, a documentary hosted by Tom Brokaw, titled “Global Warming: What You Need to Know,” and a website that was created by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provide some of this evidence.
What Do Your Customers Believe?
Although I do believe that there is definitely some validity to the argument that human-caused global warming is a reality, what I think is not really the point.
In fact, when you are making business decisions that relate to how your company handles this issue, what you think is also irrelevant.
When looking at human-caused global warming from a business perspective, the people who really matter the most are your customers and potential customers.
As Al Ries and Jack Trout point out in their book, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” what you tell consumers doesn’t really matter. What really matters is what they believe about your product or service and your company or brand. This is what is going to influence whether or not they make a purchase.
If the people who could potentially buy your products and services believe that human-caused global warming is real and your company is heavily contributing to the problem, then there is a good chance that they will eventually take their business elsewhere, if they haven’t already.
Our Children Are the Future
Our children and their children are the ones who are going to be living here on Earth 50 to 100 years from now. Therefore, it is not surprising that whether or not a product or service is eco-friendly has become more important to young consumers.
A study that was mentioned in an Adweek article on October 24, 2012 highlights the fact that, in 2012, a greater percentage of young consumers thought that factors like “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” were important to them when buying products than young consumers did just five years earlier.
Think About the Future Before It’s Too Late
Although it is not always possible, the long-term health of the company should be considered when making decisions in an effort to reach short-term goals.
With that in mind, what happens if the scientists who are predicting that human-caused global warming is a problem are actually correct?
Who are they going to blame?
If your company didn’t do anything to prevent the problem when it had the chance, will consumers be forgiving?
What if these problems happen sooner?
Human-caused global warming is an issue that is often talked about on national news programs. However, the problem hasn’t reached a point where action is being demanded… yet.
That doesn’t mean that your business should ignore the issue.
As John Lindsay once said, “In politics, the perception is the reality.”
In their book, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,” Ries and Trout point out that the same is true in advertising, business, and in life.
Therefore, even if you think that human-caused global warming is absolute nonsense, it still is a good idea to take steps to make your business green.
Making sure that your business has a minimal negative impact on the global and local environment not only helps keep existing customers happy, it can also be used as a selling point when trying to gain new customers.
Furthermore, as many thought leaders have pointed out, making your business green can actually increase the bottom line in other ways (e.g., lowering operating expenses, leading to new products or business partnerships, helping secure government contracts, etc.)
In the end, having a green business is good business and good for business.