Why Are Companies Going Green?

Posted By: Karan Shah|Dated: May 7, 2013

Companies are increasingly realizing the importance of going green. The 2011 Carbon Disclosure Project report, prepared for 551 signatory institutional investors representing $71 trillion of assets, shows that the majority of US companies are taking climate change action, despite an absence of mandatory rule. In addition to a desire to be more socially responsible, companies now understand how being seen as green benefits their business.

Go Green

  • A study ”The Value of Green: The Effect of Environmental Rankings on Market Cap”  by N Blumenshine of Middlebury College concluded that “companies with high environmental rankings have higher market cap values than comparable companies with lower rankings”.
  • Findings in Australia by Nielsen, the market research firm, found that 68%  of consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies who support worthy causes concerned with the environment
  • According to an Ipsos Mori survey, 80% of respondents across 15 developed nations would prefer working for a company that “has a good reputation for environmental responsibility” – the figure was 81% in the U.S.
  • A poll on green employment by MonsterTRAK.com, a job website, found that 92% would be more inclined to work for a company that is environmentally friendly.
  • Cassandra Walsh, an HR coordinator at an IT company, and Adam Sulkowski, an assistant professor, analyzed 113 companies from the S&P 250 and concluded that ”Employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they work for a company that’s perceived to be environmentally friendly”.  A firm’s financial performance had no correlation with employee happiness levels, the researchers found.
  • HSBC, which employs more than 300,000 staff worldwide, has been running a “climate champion” program since 2007. When HSBC staff were asked how they felt about working at the bank, Mr Thomas says the highest scoring item was the company’s sustainability work. (Financial Times, March 21, 2011)
  • Gallup’s surveys suggest Indians are more worried about their environment than are people in rich countries (The Economist, Dec 17-30, 2011)

Reducing carbon emissions and shifting to cleaner technology are long-term and costly solutions. A simple, easy and effective way for a company to go green is to plant trees. Trees provide flowers, fruit, fodder and fuel to communities and living creatures, improve water catchment areas, offer shade to nomads and their livestock, prevent soil erosion and give shelter to birds and animals and benefit posterity while decarbonising the world.

Grow-Trees.com gives companies an easy way to go green by allowing them to plant trees with just a few clicks at Rs. 50 per tree. Each tree planted can be gifted out to a recipient through a tree-dedication certificate. Companies are planting trees to celebrate employee birthdays and anniversaries, to honour new and loyal customers, to honour speakers, to recognize dealers and distributors, for new Facebook fans, as part of CSR or to offset emissions.

Grow Trees

Grow-Trees has planted over 406,000 trees on public and community lands across India. Over 130 companies such as Thomas Cook, SBI Life Insurance, Panasonic, DHL, Nokia, Franklin Templeton, Kotak Credit Cards and Mahindra Reva have planted trees through Grow-Trees.  Allowing companies to satisfy a private purpose while doing social good by planting trees is a novel way to increase the green cover of the world.


About the Author:

Karan ShahKaran Shah is the co-founder and managing director of grow-trees.com, a social initiative that allows individuals and companies to plant trees to celebrate birthdays, festivals, anniversaries or special occasions.

Karan graduated from Haverford College, USA in 2009 with a BA in Economics. In college, he had co-founded an advertising business that won that won several business plan competitions. He is a keen cricket and squash player and is passionate about Indian politics.

The views expressed above are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of the views of the Mahindra Group.

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