Wells Fargo/Gallup Survey:
Many Business Owners May Not Have Enough Green to Go Green
By Wells Fargo,
Although the majority of business owners say they are doing at least “everything that can be justified by cost” to help the environment, many say the economy has made them change their plans to “go green.” According to the most recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, surveyed January 22 – February 2, one-third of small business owners said the country’s economic situation has affected their plans to become more environmentally friendly. Seventeen percent said their companies are doing “very little or nothing at all” to help the environment.
A major factor may be the belief that customers are not willing to pay more for goods and services described as environmentally friendly, mentioned by nearly 70 percent of respondents (an increase of 37 percent from April 2007).
However, the recent survey did reveal that many business owners are actively involved in some “green” activities. Over the past 12 months, almost 90 percent of business owners surveyed participated in recycling, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) switched to more environmentally friendly products such as cleaning products, energy-saving light bulbs or recycled goods. Thirty-two percent said that over the past 12 months they used some type of alternative transportation such as walking, biking or public transportation, rather than a car, to save energy.
“‘Going green’ has been good for the environment, and even better for our bottom line,” said Marion Hook, owner of the Adobe Rose Inn, a bed and breakfast in Tucson, Arizona. “We know that the money we’ll save long-term by making even small changes, such as using cisterns, florescent light bulbs and solar tubes, will far outweigh the short-term costs. We also find that our guests appreciate our efforts, and happy guests lead to repeat customers. ‘Going green’ is a part of a long-term strategy, and it will help keep our business financially sound, now and in the future.”
“At Wells Fargo we recognize the importance of integrating environmental responsibility into business practices and procedures,” said Marc Bernstein, head of Wells Fargo’s Business Direct lending and Small Business Segment. “We know that the contributions of small business owners are a vital part of the overall success of the economy, and in much the same way, we know their contributions can make a real difference in the state of the environment.”
About the Small Business Index
For the last 23 quarters, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners on current and future perceptions of their business financial situation. The Index consists of two dimensions: 1) Owners’ ratings of the current situation of their businesses and, 2) Owners’ ratings of how they expect their businesses to perform over the next 12 months. Results are based on telephone interviews with 604 small business owners nationwide conducted January 22 – February 2, 2009. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.
For more than 70 years, Gallup has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people’s attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup’s current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world’s largest corporations and institutions.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 11,000 stores, over 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.
Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act data (2007) and the #1 SBA 7a national bank lender in total dollar volume (2008). Wells Fargo has loaned more than $38 billion to women, African American, Latino and Asian business owners since 1995. For more information, speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.
Note: Survey results available upon request.