ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP IN BUSINESS HERE TO STAY
Environmental stewardship has become a significant consideration for Tri-Cities businesses of all sizes according to the recently released Collective Perspective Report whose local data was collected through a partnership between the BC and Tri-Cities Chambers of Commerce. 66% of local respondents say they are pursuing opportunities to reduce emissions at their businesses.
Major shifts in public and consumer opinion in recent years have certainly encouraged businesses to become greener. A Research Co. survey from September 2019 revealed that 64% of BC consumers have researched a company’s environmental practices before buying a product, with younger generations leading this trend.(1) 33% of Canadians in a Retail Council/PWC survey also said they would pay a premium for products that are sustainably or ethically produced.(2) In the contemporary business atmosphere environmental improvements attract attention, opportunity, and customers. Sustainability is moving from the niche to the fundamental, and has become an important part of brand growth for many companies.
The environment was also a major issue during the federal election. An October 9th, 2019 Ipsos federal election poll found that the most important issue in determining voter intention in BC was climate change. 38% of BC respondents named it as their top issue, beating out other big focuses like affordability and cost of living, healthcare, and the economy.(3) An August 2019, national survey by Angus Reid found the same results(4), and a July 2019 Abacus Data survey put Climate Change in the top 3 most important issues for voters.(5)
Businesses are supportive of government incentives to reduce emissions. The Collective Perspective Report showed that around 7 in 10 local businesses are in favour of incentives to use e-vehicles, constructing more e-vehicle charging infrastructure, incentives to switch to cleaner forms of energy, and subsidies for energy systems retrofits.
Just about half of all local respondents said their business had made some progress in reducing emissions. A further 1 in 5 said they had made significant progress in that regard.
Other Key Insights:
- Labour availability a growing problem in the Tri-Cities
- Cost of doing business top concern locally
- Tri-Cities Businesses cautious about trade with China
To access the full report, click here.
(1) Mario Canseco. “More Than Half of British Columbians Have Boycotted a Company.” Research Co. URL: https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Tables_ConsumersBC_11Sep2019.pdf. Accessed January 21st, 2020.
(2) PWC. “2019 Canadian Consumer Insights Survey.” URL: https://www.retailcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/pwc-canada-2019-canadian-consumer-insights-p567530.pdf. Accessed January 21st, 2020.
(3) Bricker, Darrell. “Four Weeks In, Climate Change is Fastest-Moving (29%, +4), but Health Care (35%) Still Top Issue to Make a Difference at the Ballot Box.” Ipsos. URL: https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/news-polls/Four-Weeks-In-Climate-Change-Fastest-Moving-Health-Care-Still-Top-Issue. Accessed January 21st, 2020.
(4) Angus Reid Institute. “Balancing act: Majorities say both climate action, oil & gas growth should be top priorities for next government.” URL: http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019.09.04_Climate_Resources.pdf. Accessed January 21st, 2020.
(5) Anderson, Bruce & David Colleto. “Election 2019 is a battle to define the agenda.” Abacus Data. URL: https://abacusdata.ca/election-2019-is-a-battle-to-define-the-agenda/. Accessed January 21st, 2020.
(1) Asia Pacific Foundation. “National Opinion Poll 2018: Canadian Views on Asia.” Pg. 27. URL: https://www.asiapacific.ca/sites/default/files/filefield/nop2018_0.pdf
(2) Evans, Paul and Xiaojun Li. University of British Columbia. “Canadian Public Attitudes on China and Canada-China Relations.” Pg. 17. URL: http://iar2015.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2017/04/Full-Report-17oct.pdf