When Businesses Show Sustainability Commitment, They Inspire Their Customers to Become Green
Companies, especially those tied to the tourism industry, may find that a little investment in sustainability can go a long way, according to a new study by the SFU’s Beedie School of Business. The study notes that hotel guests’ willingness to be sustainable and conserve resources was directly tied to how green they believed their hotel to be. In other words, when a hotel invested in business sustainability in a genuine fashion, the hotel not only saved money and conserved resources, but they also positively affected their guests’ views on sustainability, as well.
The study—titled, “Turning Off the Lights: Consumers’ Environmental Efforts Depend on Visible Efforts of Firms”—examined participants who were staying in two different hotels. One of the hotels was high-end and equally high-priced, while the other was more affordable. In each hotel, one half of the rooms featured notes that asked guests to conserve electricity by keeping the thermostat at a set temperature, while the other half of the rooms didn’t feature any notes at all. Rooms that featured a note were also randomly selected to feature either an environmentally friendly (but costly) sustainable bamboo toothbrush or a cheap, unsustainable plastic toothbrush.
Interestingly, the results highlight the importance of business sustainability. Guests that stayed in the hotel rooms that featured notes and the bamboo toothbrush were open and willing to conserve; however, guests that stayed in rooms that featured a note and the plastic toothbrush were not as willing to conserve. In fact, guests that stayed in the more expensive rooms that also featured the plastic toothbrush used more electricity than on average—even if there was a note present that asked them to conserve.
If a company wants to engage in business sustainability effectively, they have to pursue sustainability in a genuine fashion. In other words, simply asking customers or consumers to conserve resources isn’t enough—companies have to pursue sustainability full-bore, and if they do so properly, their customers will follow suit. Conserving resources is key, especially for companies that are eager to become a part of the circular economy. Looking to learn more about the circular economy and why resource conservation matters? Read this blog post to learn more.