Sustainability is not a trend. Over the past several decades there has been a movement striving towards changing the way we handle our influence on the environment. The majority of these approaches aim to improve the way we manage not only environmental issues, but also financial and social issues in the long term. Contrary to popular belief, a sustainable business approach can be just as effective and successful as any other model.
There are a number of ways in which leaders can build and maintain a successful, sustainable business. When business places sustainability as a core principle within the organisation, it can help their teams create personal connections to become sustainable and assist everyone in remaining focused on the goals.
Building a sustainable business comes with a number of benefits. For instance, consumers are more likely to spend money for services or goods that come from a company that is mindful about the impact they have on society and the environment. Being mindful of your business’s sustainability practices can actually lead to higher sales! Furthermore, by developing sustainable practices operations can be streamlined, making the work more efficient and saving resources. This is a major benefit as increasing productivity, decreasing operational costs leads to reduced costs all around.
Not only do consumers prefer to do business with companies that are environmentally friendly, but employees also want to work with companies that are both environmentally and socially responsible. When entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses they are more likely to recruit and retain top talent.
Finally, many companies around the world are expected to cut their carbon emissions. It’s an act being mandated by both state and federal regulations in a number of countries. By building something sustainable, instead of having to make major changes as an established business, companies can improve their energy efficiency while minimizing the carbon risk.
So what are a few ways in which businesses can practice sustainability? Whenever it’s possible, go paperless! Not only does switching paperwork and billing online help to cut down on paper waste, it also creates more free space. When it’s practical, email receipts and invoices. Of course, what paper is needed, inevitably, opt for a local vendor that supplies recycled, sustainable paper.
Another great way to offset your carbon footprint is to become active in philanthropic efforts. There are all types of ways a business can contribute to charities working to help the environment. For example, donate a percentage of your revenue to nonprofits combating climate change or fundraisers raising money for green efforts. Run a promotion that for every 15 products sold a tree will be planted. It can be fun to get the whole team together and have people collaborate on new eco-friendly initiatives.