Eco-friendliness and sustainability weigh so strongly on the minds of consumers today that many will even pay more for environmentally conscious products and services. In response, companies are becoming more mindful of how their operations affect the environment, taking a more active and genuine approach to sustainability to attract Millennials, who crave authenticity.

Millennials are 75 million strong in the United States, and their generation is a highly engaged and vocal customer base. More than any prior generation, sustainability plays a key role in the shopping habits of Millennials, and this consciousness is trickling down to younger generations. A recent Nielsen study found that 72 percent of people presently between the ages of 15 and 20 (Generation Z) said they would pay more for products from such companies in 2015, compared to 55 percent in 2014.

Whether it’s by going paperless, creating low-energy processes, or simply recycling in the office, businesses that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable habits and methods not only attract environmentally conscious consumers, but they also save themselves a lot of money — often around 20 percent on water, 30 percent on energy, and 15 percent on paper. My own company, Pharos Systems International, has seen the benefits of these sustainable habits.

To achieve these cost savings while growing a loyal customer base, business leaders must model green behaviors for employees to gain their commitment and ensure that a mindset of sustainability permeates the entire organization.

Here are four ways you can demonstrate that sustainability is at the heart of your company:

1. Buy only sustainable products. When you purchase sustainable products, you support other eco-friendly businesses and you show your employees and customers an important facet of your commitment. The coffee, paper products, detergents — everything around the office that is purchased regularly — should be purchased mindfully and in lockstep with your sustainability goals. Walk the talk; work with your purchasing staff to create a company policy for the purchasing of sustainable goods.

Purchasing professionals should pay attention to certifications and look for labels like Energy Star, EPEAT, ECOLOGO, and Fair Trade USA, among others, which verify that products meet certain environmental standards.

2. Create a compost drive. Composting can reduce company waste, and attaching metrics to the action makes it more engaging to employees.

Americans waste food at alarming rates — about 40 percent of the food we produce is never eaten. Most of this waste goes to landfills, which adds another layer of waste; it could instead be composted to create nutrient-rich soil.

Support for composting programs varies, depending on location. Identifying resources is an important first step in any composting campaign; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides a directory of what’s available in your area.

3. Market green initiatives internally and externally. To keep employees active and engaged, create both internal and external marketing campaigns to communicate the purpose and goals of your initiatives. To shift the culture from within, draw connections between employee habits and the environmental impact of those habits — both positive and negative — and then show them how they can help reduce waste of all kinds.

A consumer-focused education strategy that shares your sustainability initiatives and goals will help them to take root with customers. By showing how certain behavioral changes at your company benefit people and the planet, you can demonstrate your level of dedication to sustainable practices and attract younger, more eco-minded customers in the process.

For example, as part of its “Care Tag for Our Planet” program, Levi Strauss & Co. labels its apparel with instructions for greener laundering methods and includes notes that encourage consumers to donate and recycle their used clothing. This is a great illustration of how sustainable practices can be integrated into a brand’s messaging.

4. Eliminate personal desktop printers. To reduce waste and save money, replace personal desktop printers with secured multifunction printers. It may seem counterintuitive because personal printers cost less initially, but over time they become significantly more expensive due to the cost of their ink and because they enable expensive “convenience printing.” In addition, desktop printers have shorter life spans, which creates a bigger problem involving electronics recycling.

Business leaders should be first to give up their personal printers to model this sustainable behavior and set the tone for the rest of the company. When employees see that their executive team has eliminated their personal printers as part of the sustainability initiative, they will be more likely to buy into the change.

The key to this change is the deployment of secure pull printing technology. This allows employees to print as they normally do, however, all documents are sent to an encrypted network queue instead of a specific device. To actually print and collect their documents, employees must walk up to a device and use their IDs or access cards to quickly log into the device and release their documents. This workflow helps reduce personal convenience printing and adds an important layer of security and confidentiality to employee printing workflows.

Authenticity Drives Success

Companies today must ensure that their environmental initiatives are genuine. “Greenwashing” with empty clichés and promises will only lead to negative labels. Sustainability makes good business sense. If sustainability is part of your business mission, you have to practice what you preach.

To gain the attention and loyalty of authenticity-driven Millennials, make sure your organization effectively communicates its goals and actions. Inspire employees to carry the torch and represent the environmental consciousness at the heart of your business.

If you’d like to start reducing the waste and costs associated with your organization’s office printing, try my company’s Pharos Beacon free for 60 days.