Marketing Eye

Carbon Tax - is it time for small business to take notice?

Having worked in the sustainability sector for the past 10 years, marketing businesses 'green' credentials and promoting a greener way of doing business, running your business and getting consumers to understand that making a small change in what you do can mean a big difference to the environment - it's no surprise that the new carbon tax is something that I am becoming increasingly familiar with.

Whether you're a large corporation or a small one, most of your customers want to know what you are doing. In fact, they are demanding it, because it now means something to their bottom line.

The pressure on small business is enormous. If small businesses don't conform now, they may find themselves at the back of the line when it comes to doing business with their larger counterparts.

The carbon tax is a tax rate set by the Government and impses a cost on 500 companies producing carbon pollution. It is an incentive to reduce carbon pollution. The cost may be passed onto customers. It may also mean that the company being charged a carbon tax is streamling their costs and small businesses that usually work with them, may find that they become redundant in the cost cutting phase. I am in marketing, so I am watching this one very closely. But public-listed companies along with their private company mates, know that they need to show value to shareholders, and if it is costing them money, jobs and contracts will go.

On the other side, small business owners will get a bigger tax break on vehicles and other equipment under a plan designed to smooth over objections to the carbon tax.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and in the next couple of years, see how it effects our bottom line.

In the interim, small businesses can make some little changes to the way they do business. Disposing of eWaste (www.infoactiv.com.au), pushing for alternative fuels to become mainstream (www.arfuels.com.au), supporting Keep Australia Beautiful (www.kab.org.au) by picking up your litter and engaging your staff, clients, suppliers and friends to think more about the environment on a day-to-day basis.

Ask yourself - do you have an environmental policy in place and is it known to your staff, clients, and suppliers. Does your marketing team or marketing consultant know what your 'green policy' is? Are they promoting it on all your marketing material? Is it on your website?

It's the little things that count.

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