The planet is our most precious resource; protecting it is our prime responsibility.
The growing concerns about carbon emission and climatic change have resulted in several national, global, and local initiatives that companies introduce to protect the planet and promote a sustainable future.
Small business firms can create a massive impact on the environment. As owners, it is up to you to determine if the effect is negative or positive. Hence, business sustainability is a growing practice in the minds of environmentally conscious brands.
Nowadays, consumers are willing to invest more in non-toxic and eco-friendly products to protect their families and the planet’s future.
In this article, you will come across some of the integral sustainable business practices that companies are adopting and are bringing forth a better future for the upcoming generations.
What Is A Sustainable Business?
A sustainable business is an operation that organizes concerns for the environment, goodwill for the common good, and profitability.
It is important to ask, “How can you see a business implement sustainable business practices?”
The business sustainability strategy aims to reduce the negative environmental impact, thereby creating a positive impact from their actions in particular market segments. Thus, an organization’s sustainability practices are typically analyzed against the ESG or environmental, social, and governance metrics.
For instance, Tesla is known to be the leading company in terms of maintaining sustainable business practices. The company aims to manufacture electric cars that are powered by renewable energy sources, thereby reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
7 Ways To Incorporate Sustainability In Business
Recently, customers have preferred sustainable products and are more environmentally conscious. Hence, sustainable business practices are more appealing to customers.
Whether a small firm or a multi-national company, if the company includes sustainable business practices, it will receive special benefits from the local government, gain higher goodwill, and be seen as higher quality. You can also learn more about a sustainable business that offers additional insights on protecting the planet and promoting sustainable business.
Let’s explore seven ways a company can implement sustainable business practices.
1. Conserve Water
Water is one of the most commonly used natural commodities within the business. Starting from cleaning, drinking, and sanitization purposes, it requires the business to use gallons of water on a daily basis.
Thus, the usage of more water can also have cost implications. Thus, multiple companies are reducing the use of water within their premises.
Hence, it is also observed that sanitization also consumes maximum water. Thus, water-saving faucets and rainwater harvesting are some common sustainable practices you can incorporate within your business.
2. Use Biodegradable Packaging
The product packaging can become useless trash as soon as the customer extracts its contents. Since plastic waste is not biodegradable, it remains on the earth for several years if it is not recycled.
Thus, you should incorporate sustainable business practices where you can switch to biodegradable materials. When you deem it a biodegradable product, it will naturally decompose with the help of microorganisms as well, and it does not require oxygen.
To incorporate sustainable products within your business, you should include coated recycled boxes, coated unbleached kraft boxes, eco-friendly packages, and chipboard paperboard are all eco-friendly options.
Furthermore, these materials become a part of the environment and cause no negative impact in the long run.
3. Reduce Your Office Energy Footprint
Most of the offices use energy for lighting, cooling, heating, and appliance operation. This has led to the creation of buildings that use net-zero methods.
You can also employ geothermal and solar systems in order to reduce energy usage by 80-90% for over-standard buildings.
Even when renovating your business space, you can use a LEED-certified contractor for LEEd, as it offers a framework for highly efficient, healthy, and cost-saving green buildings.
Do not forget to look for various rebate programs for upgrading insulation, appliances, and solar systems.
4. Reassess The Supply Chain
If your business follows multiple processes to produce and manufacture the product for customers, then you can assess the entire supply chain.
You will also come across several opportunities where you can create a positive impact on the environment. Some aspects that can come into light through assessment are:
- You should source materials that you require and avoid wastage. Similarly, draw strong guardrails to ensure your sourcing does not disrupt the natural resources.
- Secondly, use renewable energy sources and save energy when it is not required.
- You can use shared warehousing spaces to share energy facilities and cooling rather than exclusive.
- Include electrical forms of transportation and let the customers know about the efforts to create a better world.
- Lastly, switch to biodegradable packaging.
5. Develop Recycling Programs
You must create a recycling program for your business. Some of the elements that you can recycle are:
- Recycling water for sewage purposes.
- Switch to recycled paper.
- Printer, mobile phones, and computers.
When you initiate a recycling program and share efforts with society through social media, you inspire more people to do the same, which would boost the brand’s reputation. There are available readymade templates. You can customize them to share your tips and spread the initiative across the world.
6. Include Renewable Energy
You can reduce your company’s carbon footprint by switching to renewable energy. There is a significant effort, expenditure, and resources to convert from legacy systems to those that use renewable energy.
These sources have long-lasting benefits like saving money, reducing the company’s carbon footprint, and assisting the environment.
The renewable source of energy includes wind, geothermal and solar sources. Thus, depending on the region where you operate, you can avail some of the grants from the local governments for using renewable energy sources.
7. Educate The Employees
It is necessary that you educate your workforce about sustainability regulations at the workplace and make them understand sustainability.
To make it an interactive session, you can assign responsibilities and roles to your team members, which makes them feel involved in the organization’s vision.
You can also encourage volunteerism among employees, which is another way to take affirmative action for the good of the environment and society. For instance, you can organize power-off hours, and beach cleanups and offer training programs that outline the power of clean living.
What Is A Good Real Life Example Of A Sustainability Business?
Here are some existing companies that have adopted business sustainable practices within the business.
- Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans, an organization that is dedicated to addressing major threats to the planet’s oceans.
- The Swedish furniture giant IKEA has altered its lighting system to LEDs and announced an investment of $220 million in reforestation, green energy, and forest protection projects.
- Lush Beauty brand follows an ecological approach, with eco-friendly packaging that assists in building a like of naked products.