Sustainability in business

Sustainability Is Important for Your Business – Tell This to Your Partners

4 minutes

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September 10th 2019
Sustainability Is Important for Your Business - Tell This to Your Partners 1 Renata Novak is a brand manager, digital marketer and content writer.

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We’re all aware of it—keeping our planet clean is just as much our responsibility as it is our neighbours’. For this reason, a growing number of entrepreneurs is embracing a more sustainable approach to how business is being run in their companies. By coming up with a sustainable business model, firms are making it a goal for themselves to make changes for the better of the environment we live in. The numbers and percentages help them supervise the progress, and decide whether the implemented changes are helping them reach the desired objective.

But how does one get to that point? What are the main areas to tackle in order to achieve a more sustainable business?

 

1. First Steps to Take

Begin making changes within your own company—talk to your employees about a more sustainable workplace. With their initiative, it will be much easier to expand your ideas across the firm, and later completely transform the internal work culture. Once your workers realise they’re working for someone that genuinely cares about the world outside their company’s walls, their work ethic will surely improve, and in return lead to bigger profits. 

 

2. Sustainability Partnerships

Once you begin seeing changes in the workplace, consider forming partnerships with like-minded individuals in similar fields. Benefits of cooperating with other entrepreneurs do not only entail advantages in regards to sustainability, but also offer the possibility of exchanging knowledge, noticing and correcting flaws in each other’s business models, and even open doors to collaborations on future projects. 

 

3. Communication with Your Clients

Lastly, you must also focus on your buyers and their expectations of your company. In a recent study conducted by Ask Your Target Market, they found that more than half of consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally sustainable products and services. As it turns out, maintaining natural resources is not only of major significance to the environment we live in—it is also vital when it comes to being ahead of your competitors.

Of course, with sustainability, the point isn’t to double your earnings or generate a bigger number of clients. While that is one of the benefits of sustainable business, it is imperative you are making the changes for the sake of the environment, not to solely greenwash your company.

Products, that might interest you

With that being said, let’s focus on minor improvements your company can make to get started on a more environmentally friendly approach to business.

Green packaging is the way to go—instead of packaging your products in materials that cannot be recycled (such as plastic and Styrofoam), wrap them up in reusable or biodegradable materials, which consume less energy when produced.

Alternatives you can use for packaging are biodegradable plastics, plant-based materials, and recycled materials. If you sell your products in-store, be sure to remove the option of carrying the purchased items in single-use plastic bags, and instead offer a sustainable alternative—a one-time purchase of a single cotton bag will result in years of environmentally friendlier shopping trips.

Combine sustainable packaging with upcycling. While waste sorting is already a step in the right direction, there are steps your company can take to make use of things that would otherwise end up in the bin. Try coming up with packaging or product ideas where your customer is able to repurpose the material—there now exist pencils which you can plant once you use them up, for example.

Consider your carbon footprint—instead of flying out or driving to various national and international meetings, why not do it over a Skype call? We are, after all, in the twenty-first century—as long as an in-person meeting or conference isn’t absolutely necessary, there’s no reason for you to be contributing to the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.

Reducing your company’s energy consumption might seem nearly impossible. Our lives nowadays depend on electricity, as it’s used for heating, lighting, work, and much more. Cutting down on energy use is, however, possible—simply asking your employees to be more energy efficient will drastically lower your monthly bill.

Even the smallest efforts, like turning off unnecessary lights and air conditioning, or replacing some office equipment with energy-efficient alternatives (e.g. exchanging traditional light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs), will lead to bigger changes.

There are countless ways of subtly changing your company’s everyday habits. Small lifestyle changes here and there create a ripple effect. Whether it be by inspiring you to make more changes personally, or by encouraging your business partners to do the same, they give way to bigger improvements. 

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