Why going green can be beneficial in a recession

December 6, 2022

It's rather counterintuitive to implement new policies during an economic downturn. After all, that usually costs a pretty penny, and most organizations don't have the cash to spare during a recession. However, some programs have an invaluable return on investment, which is crucial during economically difficult periods.

"Going green" has notable advantages, especially during a recession. What are they, and how can you make the most of them to future-proof your business?

Going green and consumer behavior

Shoppers are becoming more environmentally conscious and they're using their wallets to support businesses with similar values. How is this relevant to a recession? When budgets are stretched thin, people are forced to make tough purchasing decisions. Many forego luxuries, and others still have to choose between necessities.

It's during times like these that brand loyalty can make or break organizations. Businesses need to inspire trust and commitment to ensure their customers keep buying from them even through financially challenging periods. One such way of doing this is by adopting environmentally friendly and sustainable business practices.

Sustainability in the logistics industry

By its nature, logistics is a sector that's historically been tough on the environment since the Industrial Revolution. Owing to the fact that most transportation vehicles rely on some sort of fossil fuel or non-renewable energy source (most notably petroleum and natural gas), manufacturing and distribution companies tend to leave an enormous carbon footprint.

As the effects of climate change continue to worsen, lobby groups, governments, business leaders and consumers alike are pushing for actors all along the supply chain to take on methods that have a less severe impact on the environment.

How to make your business greener

The means of becoming more environmentally friendly are numerous and varied. Here are some options to consider:

Switch to recycled or recyclable packaging

If your business uses containers for goods, research sustainable materials to use in lieu of plastic and plastic derivatives. As DHL describes, possible alternatives largely include recycled products originally sourced from wood, such as paper and cardboard. You can also make an effort to reduce the amount of packaging, including styrofoam separators and bubble wrap.

Implement digital solutions

Most businesses have made the transition from pen and paper to computer software for operations like accounting and inventory management. However, as Bringg explains, some outliers still rely on a literal paper trail which can have considerable negative effects on the environment. Make the move to digital software wherever possible.

Optimize delivery

There are several ways you can make your delivery methods as productive as possible to reduce your carbon footprint. Firstly, use data-driven automated systems to plan the most fuel-efficient delivery routes. Secondly, distribute goods in bulk so you can distribute more products in fewer trips. Lastly, give the customer drop-off options such as "leave with a neighbor" which can reduce the number of failed deliveries (and, therefore, carbon emissions).

Regardless of which route you choose to take, going green will improve your bottom line — a non-negotiable during a recession.