Looking to expand your reach?

Business in China: Why a Sustainable Business Helps Your Bottom Line

As a business owner, have you played with the idea of expanding your products or services into China? Let’s be honest, at a certain point, what business hasn’t considered this?

I mean:

1.4 billion people.

50% of the urban Chinese population have disposable income according to a 2020 China consumer report.

Not to mention, Chinese consumers made up 31% of the worldwide household spending increase from 2010 to 2017.

But, have you considered the benefits a more sustainable business could have on your bottom line?

Here, we'll discuss why going green is a smart choice for your business and what you can do.

Why is a sustainable business important in the Chinese market?

You may have heard:

At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced China aims to be carbon-neutral by 2060.

Additionally, the country plans to reduce single plastic use by 30% by 2025. That’s in just four short years.

Overall, there’s a focus on green buildings and big cities, like Shanghai have even implemented waste sorting regulations.

You might be thinking, but this is all just political talk.

At this point, you could very well be right because there has been much criticism that China’s 14th Five Year Plan isn’t aggressive enough in terms of combatting climate change.

But what about the general population?

Let’s talk about Chinese consumers

It may not come as a surprise, but according to Forbes, Asian millennials and Generation Z consumers are becoming ever increasingly conscious about what they purchase.

81.8 % of Chinese under the age of 20 are highly concerned with sustainable consumption

said a 2018 China Sustainable Consumption Report by Yili Group.

As it happens, this demographic on mainland China also sees an increase in disposable income.

By 2030, Asia could make up 59% of middle-class consumption worldwide.

Conscious consumerism among Chinese stems from a greater focus on health and safety concerns as well as on transparency about where products are from and how they’re produced.

Furthermore, in a survey by ILTM China and Reuter Intelligence, 71% of Chinese tourists said that a hotel’s environmentally friendly options play a large role in their decision-making process.

This means: not laundering towels and sheets daily, using eco-friendly products, reducing plastic by installing refillable shampoo and soap dispensers, etc.

Quality of life is important.

Due to the pandemic essentially putting cities on pause, people have gotten a glimpse into a life with less pollution and cleaner air.

What does this translate to for your business?

Consumers are demanding less talk and more action from businesses. Authenticity is key.

Take for example Microsoft, Google and Apple – these companies have made a commitment to sustainability that their consumers, in general, believe.

Even companies, such as La Mer and Tencent QQ, cooperate in an oceans cleanup project, while Nike partners with a Chinese company to upcycle used clothing.

In short:

Doing business sustainably is no longer debatable.

…at least not if you want to be competitive in the market.

Sustainable business practices not only strengthen your brand, but it could be the deciding factor for your potential customer.

What can you do?

Make clear to your customers your stance on sustainability. Make sure your message rings true with them by taking into account their cultural background and language.

This means possibly localizing content on your website, social media and newsletter.

Get started going green.

Your customers, the environment and your wallet will thank you.

Do you do business in China? Do you agree that there are benefits to doing sustainable business in Asia?