With the questions about the future of our planet’s ecosystem and climate, many companies are considering going green. Packaging, as the most notable source of terrestrial and oceanic pollution, is a great place to start. Changing this aspect of an organization immediately associates the company with fighting the climate change issue. This title faceted to the banner of the connotation displayed overhead of a company’s name can have a tremendous effect on that same company. The people that will hold a magnifying glass to a company’s reputation can be gathered into two major groups; the employee and the customer.

The first person a business will interact with is the employee. Employees will function much better when they know their employer’s moral compass points due north. Claiming and fulfilling the title of a green company contributes to the employee’s satisfaction with who they work for. Adopting the green packaging and any other green feature into, not only their products but also into the philosophy driving the business can magnify this effect showing the employees they do care about this issue that impacts the employees personally. The shared values between the business leaders and the employees create a feeling of content with working in the organization. With this content, employees are bound to be more productive and will desire to stay working where they are: decreasing turnover.

The next person a business will interact with is its customers. A proudly displayed banner that shows this green packaging will soon be a very important aspect to a company as generations age. With the younger generations approaching the point where they will be the largest portion of the population with significant spending power, their concerns for the future of the planet will be a major part of their financial decisions. Companies without green features will be left in the dust by those that do. Neilson conducted a survey on 30,000 consumers and found 66% were willing to pay more for a product if it was environmentally conscious. 77% of Millenials would do the same in that situation. This points towards a future in which all ad rem businesses adopt some form of eco-friendly features and one of the most obvious ways from a customer’s standpoint and a simple way for a business is the packaging. It is the first thing the customer sees and is the first impression. As the first impression, the eco-friendly packaging will proudly show the company’s commitment to preserving the planet and will become a part of its notoriety.

Disregarding the fiscal opportunity seen with going green in the packaging of a product, the moral responsibility of protecting the planet from the devastation of human pollution on both the environment and on future generations can be a reason to resolve the packaging issue on its own. The safety of the environment that is derived from the consciousness of such preserves, not just the environment itself, but humankind as well. What would future generations be able to do when the last untainted breath is drawn simply because we couldn’t be bothered to reuse materials? What oxygen are they supposed to breathe without plants to bring it about? Which extinction is the one where we draw the line on our own selfishness? The moral ramifications surrounding going green far surpass the profit that can be drawn from it. So yes, there are some financially sound reasons to convert packaging to eco-friendly ones, but the real reason to change it is for the salvation of our future and the wet rock we live on.

Essay by: Aaron McIntosh
Arizona State University

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