When you think about what makes for a successful business, sustainability probably isn’t the first word that springs to mind. After all, with so many fast-growing startup businesses out there at present, it might seem like focusing on sustainability would be a big disadvantage. However, the opposite is true – in fact, in an age where people are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the planet and actively looking for ways to reduce it, companies that are sustainable tend to stand out as having a unique selling point. There are many things that make businesses sustainable; from tackling waste management and water usage to choosing more eco-friendly materials and suppliers – any business can take steps towards being more eco-friendly. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to build a sustainable business without sacrificing profitability or effectiveness. In this article, we’ll look at the top ways you can build a more sustainable business.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the ability for a business or industry to continue operating without negatively impacting the environment, society, or the economy. Sustainable living encompasses a variety of definitions, but most of them center on the principle of ensuring that future generations have the same opportunities as the current generation to live well. Sustainability is about more than reducing your carbon footprint; it involves finding ways to use fewer natural resources, increase productivity, and create less waste. Sustainable business practices can help companies reduce their operating costs while also building goodwill among consumers by proving they are committed to being good stewards of the environment.
Control Of The Life Cycle Of Your Product
One of the first steps to building a more sustainable business is to have a firm grip on the life cycle of your products. This involves understanding all the stages of your product, from the moment of conception all the way through to when it leaves your business. This can be a daunting task for many businesses as there are often numerous stages within the product lifecycle that might be difficult to keep track of; however, it is an essential part of building a sustainable business. To get on top of the life cycle of your product, you will need to arrange a life cycle assessment from a company that specializes in helping companies adopt sustainable strategies such as Greenly. They can help you to understand the lifecycle of your product and work out ways to make it more environmentally friendly.
Foster A Remote Work Environment
One of the more common challenges presented by a sustainable business is the idea of remote working. This can be a tough nut to crack for many businesses as a large proportion of employees prefer to work in an office environment; however, for certain positions, it can be a great way to keep costs down and reduce environmental impact. If you have employees that need to be in a central location, or perhaps you have office space that you can’t give up, then it might not be a possibility for your business. However, for certain positions that don’t require regular interaction with team members or where being in the same location isn’t essential, it can be a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Not only will it reduce transportation costs, but it will also likely reduce the amount of office space you need. This is particularly important in large metropolitan areas where commercial real estate is in high demand and short supply.
Encourage Alternative Mobility Options
Another way to reduce your environmental impact is to encourage your employees to use alternative mobility options when traveling to and from work. This might involve offering subsidized public transit passes, providing free or reduced-cost carpooling services, or introducing a ride-shares program within the office. If your business is based in a large metropolitan area, this is likely already common practice; however, it can also be beneficial in smaller towns where public transportation might be less prevalent. A great way to introduce this idea to employees is to offer incentives, such as a reduction in parking costs or monthly transit passes, to those who choose to travel using alternative mobility options. It may not seem like it’s making much of a difference at first, but it can make a significant impact when scaled across the entire office.
Be Mindful Of Your Paper Consumption
Another simple way to reduce your environmental impact is to be mindful of your paper consumption. This doesn’t just mean making sure your employees are using both sides of the paper when printing; it means reducing the amount of paper you use in general. This might involve switching to digital communication where possible or setting up systems that reduce the need for printed materials. Some businesses encourage their employees to use the “paperless” option whenever possible, while others go a step further by digitizing as many aspects of the business as they can. Taking these steps will greatly reduce the amount of paper you use and help you to become more sustainable.