Organizations in the 21st century realize the importance of sustainability and how vital it has become for business survival. For instance, studies show that 52% of customers think sustainability is important and consciously choose eco-friendly brands. Therefore, your business practices determine your market share and sales to an extent.
Sustainability means organizations must conduct business without harming the environment and make arrangements to reduce their carbon footprint. A sustainable business strives to maximize the triple bottom line: planet, people, and profit. It means that a business shouldn't merely be profit-oriented but should also focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR).
What can business owners do to make their startups more sustainable? The answer is simple; focus on these three metrics:
You can make your organization more sustainable and improve these metrics by doing the following: decreasing your carbon footprint, ensuring your employees' well-being, and using electrical appliances efficiently, among other things.
Improving sustainability endeavors means organizations are meeting their present needs without harming the ability of future generations to meet their needs. That's the core principle behind sustainable development. A business owner should do the following things to create a sustainable company and be eco-friendlier:
1 Promote sustainability education
Business owners and managers must educate themselves on sustainability to become familiar with the knowledge necessary for reducing their carbon footprint. You can pursue a corporate sustainability course to make yourself well-versed in relevant insights regarding sustainability. This course helps professionals integrate sustainable practices into the core of their business strategies. Moreover, educate your employees about the necessity of sustainability and the importance of carbon reduction by:
- Providing them with training on green business practices
- Sharing information regarding sustainable practices
- Holding regular meetings on waste reduction and energy efficiency.
2 Cycle to work
American startups can follow the example of the Netherlands, a country designed for cycling. As the business founder, you should encourage a cycling culture at work to further sustainability.
Research indicates that one-fourth of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are caused by transportation alone. To counter this, encourage employees to use public transport when possible or carpool to work and reduce their carbon footprint. You can also conduct meetings online. Telecommuting makes it easier for organizations to promote sustainability. You can implement a hybrid work culture by letting workers work from home a few days each week.
3 Choose eco-friendly suppliers
A pro-environment company also ensures it works with ethical suppliers and vendors. This practice is called green procurement. How can you improve your green procurement efforts? Ask your suppliers the following questions:
- 'Are you fair-trade? Are you paying your worker livable wages?' Don't work with a supplier who relies on forced or underage labor.
- 'How do you produce these materials?' Work with vendors who don't waste water and are sourcing raw materials sustainably.
- 'Do you use renewable materials?' Vendors shouldn't use toxic or ozone-friendly materials.
4 Reduce paper waste
Statistics indicate that 70% of office waste is paper; going paperless can help you improve sustainability. Many companies are using online billing options and communicating with customers digitally. These options reduce office waste and make it easier for customers to track their payments online.
Instead of hoarding paper-based documents in office libraries and physical storage, invest in cloud-based storage options. You can digitize your information and make it even safer and more accessible.
5 Green shipping methods
Here's how you incorporate green shipping methods into your business practice for better results:
- Encourage the usage of biodegradable materials, e.g., bioplastics, plant fibers, compostable bags, inflatable air pillows, and corrugated bubble wrap, among other options.
- Avoid using some popular but environment-harming supplies, e.g., glass, cardboard, bubble wrap, and - you'd be surprised - Styrofoam.
- Avoid using large packages for small objects. Use compact packaging to reduce the space your order takes.
- Abandon the 'Russian doll' method, which uses too many boxes and packaging materials.
- Offer discounts on bulk purchases so you can merge orders.
6 Recycle and compost
Organizations can reduce their carbon footprint by recycling and composting - two crucial ways to bolster your ecological impact. Recycling is done with glass, paper, and plastics. Composting is for organic matter and is known as the most nature-friendly form of recycling your waste.
At your workplace, you should ensure recycling and composting solutions are accessible to employees. That's how you can allow employees to contribute to saving the environment and preventing pollution.
7 Manage power responsibly
You may reduce the harmful impact of technology caused by your business by doing the following:
- You can activate a power management system on all workstations to ensure they go into sleep mode when inactive for a long time.
- Shut down workstations at night before leaving the office. Don't leave your laptop or phone connected to a power socket over
- Use green website hosting services, e.g., Kualo, HostPapa, and DreamHost.
8 Get environment certifications
Getting these certifications will demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Since 78% of your customers are more likely to purchase products labeled eco-friendly, getting your business certified 'green' can bolster your reputation. Here are some well-known environment certifications to get:
- Green C certification:- This certification celebrates businesses adopting green practices.
- B Corp Sustainability certificate:- You can obtain this certification when you positively affect society and the environment.
- Green Business Bureau certificate:- Called GBB certificate, this credential recognizes green startups as industry leaders in the fight against pollution.
Improving sustainability in your business ad organization means reducing your company's negative impact on the planet and its environment. Go paperless, recycle as much as possible, and use energy-efficient appliances. Refrain from wasting water, adopt green shipping methods, and choose eco-friendly vendors or suppliers. That's how you can lessen your carbon footprint. But, most importantly, offer sustainability education to your employees; teach them how to reduce their carbon footprint individually for effective outcomes.