As to what is coming for all businesses, the US Congress is moving closer to making corporate ESG disclosure mandatory. They are targeting public companies…..but the legislation includes supply chains. So, any private company looking to be a vendor to a public company is going to be impacted. Further, once the legislation is in place, governments will move faster than public companies and will require their vendors to be able to show they are certified sustainable/carbon neutral/ESG. Net, for SMEs, the only question is when they become certified sustainable (inclusive of having a carbon neural and ESG program). Like everything in life, there will be proactive and reactive responses. For proactive organizations, this will be an opportunity to get ahead of the forced requirements and promote compliance, creating competitive differentiation. For reactive, it will viewed as a negative and will be done when forced.
The point of this is the benefits of being proactive and how your organization can help organizations use sustainability to differentiate and grow faster.
The Akerman law firm (one of America’s biggest) is gathering its top clients in Denver in August and has asked me to give a keynote speech on what we do and why it is important. They want me to follow the points in this published article. The talk I will give you on Monday will be the same talk I am giving in August and will follow this article. Please read this article and consider the points made in the article for your clients that a) care about the environment, b) want to differentiate from their peers, or c) are starting to consider sustainability. If you believe the points made in the article, then every SME would benefit from becoming certified sustainable – costs will go down; personnel will become happier, healthier and more productive; the company will be doing what consumers want which will positively impact brand image, differentiation and sales;…..while doing the right thing for the environment, the community and future generations.
As you may know, over 90% of all large (over $1B in run rate) companies have sustainability programs. Case in point, 56% of the world’s 79,000 largest businesses and buildings use our standard. We are recognized as the premier program for corporate environmental sustainability / carbon neutrality / ESG.
Why do they do it? Per Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, with +$8T under his control, certified sustainable companies make more money.
However…..+95% of all companies in the world, employing +67% of the world’s workforce, are SMEs (under $1B). Net, to make an impact on climate change, carbon footprint, environmental sustainability, the UN SDGs, ESG, we need SME participation.
But SMEs have different needs than big companies.
That’s why we built a SME program that is designed and priced for small to mid-sized businesses that care about the environment and also want to differentiate from their competitors and be a viewed as a market leader.
As to organizations that bring their clients and friends to us…..this national appraisal company, this consulting company, this PR company, this media company, this energy services company, and this spend reduction company, are just a few of the organizations that are promoting our services to their clients and friends.
Why are these organizations supporting us?
– The #1 thing all companies struggle with is differentiation – getting your prospect to buy from you versus the other guy
– SMEs struggle even more, because they are more sales-centric and do not have the $$$s to create brand image
– But the Internet has created a platform for consumers to check a SME out before it can make a sales pitch
– The #1 thing consumers look for is if a company is certified sustainable; and decisions are being made on this
– 7 out of 10 consumers (B2B and B2C) will move their business if they find a comparable certified sustainable company option
– This is +$2 trillion in low hanging fruit for companies that want to take market share and grow
– This is why certified sustainable companies are growing 7x-20x faster than their non-certified competitive peers
So, an SME can do the right thing for the environment and future generations….and make more money by doing it!
Our program is unique in the world. We….
– combine the world’s top sustainability certification (the ISO 14001- we are bigger than all the others added up and multiplied by 5)
– with SME design and pricing (we are roughly 10% of the cost of traditional programs)
– then we add revenue-side promotion to help the client use the certification to differentiate and grow (see example below)
– and we have a ‘people piece’ that helps the clients employees become happier, healthier and more productive
– finally, we help the client become carbon neutral and develop an ESG program.
We recently signed this new client in Pretoria, South Africa. They are a cleaning contractor and want to do the right thing for the environment, differentiate from the other cleaning contractors (having a positive impact on sales), and be a leader to their community.
Here is a financial advisor that shows our certification on its landing page to show its clients and prospects that it is part of the solution, not the problem. Like our other clients, besides doing the right thing for the environment and getting ahead of government mandates, they are enjoying the benefits of standing out from their competitors.
As another example, Haymarket Media, Inc, part of Haymarket Media Group, which is internationally-recognized for its environmental commitment, has decided to pursue the Edenark Group ISO 14001 sustainability certification program for its NYC offices – link. They did a global due diligence and reported that we are best of class.
Safran Oil also did a global review and arrived at the same conclusion.
This client called and told us they are pleased with the market response they are getting from promoting their pursuit of the certification. In other words, they are getting positive results from the promotion of pursuing the certification.
Why did the above companies sign up?
– To do the right thing for the environment (we should be able to stop here…..)
– To enjoy lower costs and less energy, water, waste usage
– To show compliance to large clients and prospects that wish to purchase from certified sustainable / ESG companies (this is big)
– To be part of the solution, not part of the problem
– To be part of a fraternity of +300,000 global organizations that adhere to the same standards that govern the UN SDGs
– To be a voice and leader for others to follow
– To differentiate from competition – sustainability certification is the #1 thing consumers are looking for from vendors
– To grow faster – certified sustainable companies are growing 7x-20x faster than their non-certified peers
– To have happier, healthier, more productive employees
– To become carbon neutral via a globally-recognized program
– To develop an ESG plan on the same foundation as the UN
If a company cares about the environment, making money, or both, it should consider this program.