Green Premium No Obstacle for Small Businesses, Survey Finds
Businesspeople say its worth going the extra mile to show their customers that they care about the environment, and many business owners recognize that adopting environmentally sustainable practices also results in economic sustainability over the long term as well.
“Environmental actions I take today with my business will help ensure that our company can continue to grow and thrive in the future,” said Harlan Lee, president and CEO of Virginia-based Harlan Lee & Associates, a consulting company that specializes in socially conscious, green conferencing techniques. “Combining business practices with a responsibility for the environment is the right thing to do. If every small business owner could share best practices and take simple steps to incorporate environmental activities, together, we could make a very large impact on the success of our businesses, our customers, and ultimately our environment.”
Despite the large number of small business owners who said they’re willing to pay more for environmentally friendly goods and services, almost half are concerned that their customers may not be willing to cover the added costs. Only 43 percent of the survey respondents said they believed their customers would be willing to pay more for green goods and services, while 49 percent did not think their customers would be willing to pay more.
In terms of specific environmental proposals, 78 percent of small business owners said they favored spending government money to develop alternate sources of fuel for automobiles, and also overwhelmingly approved of spending more government money on developing solar and wind power and setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry.
“Forty-seven percent of small business owners surveyed said they are already taking steps to show customers they are environmentally-friendly,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo’s small business segment. “It’s encouraging to see this vital segment of the economy weave the environment into their everyday business practices.”
The survey results come from the quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which since 2003 has surveyed small business owners on their perceptions of current conditions and future expectations relating to financial situation, revenues, cash flow, capital spending, number of jobs and credit availability. About 600 small business owners nationwide were surveyed between April 10 and April 17 of this year.