Whether you’re planning to launch a startup business or looking forward to implementing sustainability in your already booming business, you have arrived at the right place! This article highlights the top 9 key steps to sustainability in business. These steps will not only help you figure out a way to make your business viable on sustainability factors, but also be ready for the implementation of strong ethical, social, and environmental parameters.
Small businesses impact the environment in a major way. They can play a key role in reducing the negative impact of our activities on the environment. Eco-conscious brands are currently at the forefront of small business sustainability.
Consumer demand for non-toxic, environment-friendly products is growing more than ever. The eagerness of consumers to keep their families safe is pushing businesses of all kinds to implement more environmentally friendly practices, and the consumers are actively reacting to it.
9 Key Steps to Sustainability in Business:
- Know Your Source
Are your products sourced sustainably?
Is the supplier of your products following work ethics?
Is green procurement an active agenda of your company?
These are some of the questions that you need to about your source products. To make your small business sustainable, all the questions raised above should receive a positive response. Your producer should be following sustainability principles during the manufacturing of your products. The supplier should be honoring fair-trade principles throughout the supply chain. To reduce transportation costs and promote the local economy, green procurement should be uplifted as much as possible.
- Ensure Your Product Packaging is Eco-Friendly
When it comes to the packaging of your products, try your best to go green all the way. Use biodegradable or fully recyclable materials for packaging purposes.
If you must use plastic, don’t pack your products in semi-plastic, non-recyclable hybrid materials. Either go fully green or just stick to plastic.
Give your product packaging a certain emotional connection that motivates people to purchase more products that follow sustainable packaging.
- Sustainable Warehouse
The storage bunkers where you place your stockpile of products should be obeying sustainability standards as well. You can do that by choosing a place that uses electricity captured by solar panels, pack your products in environment-friendly containers shunning plastic ones and minimize waste generation by donating useless, excessive products.
- Ensure Your Product Shipping and Delivery is Eco-Friendly Too
Besides making sure that your product packaging is eco-friendly, the shipping boxes, delivery parcels, etc. need to be compliant with environment-friendly standards as well.
Materials to be included in shipping bags and boxes:
- Mailing pouches that are biodegradable (typically made with 50 percent renewable wood pulp starch)
- Starch-based packing peanuts, for example, biodegradable filler.
- Cardboard that has been recycled.
- Bags that can be composted
Materials to be avoided:
- Standard plastic pouches with plastic bubble wrapping, hardly recyclable
- Styrofoam-made materials, all of them!
- Plastic bubble cushioning
- Use e-Invoices – Minimize Paper Usage
Making use of electronic billing systems makes the job a lot easier for you. Besides that, you’re also trimming down on paper usage which is a great initiative towards sustainability in business.
Going paperless has many other benefits. It reduces physical effort, increases your storage space, and allows you to deal with your customers digitally.
- Spread Eco-consciousness Among Employees
Working from home is, without a doubt, trendier than it has ever been. Allowing your staff to work from home whenever possible decreases pollution and fossil fuel consumption, thus, improving your company’s overall carbon footprint.
Encourage your staff to adopt a greener mentality by rewarding and incentivizing environmentally beneficial behavior, and admiring their efforts. Ask for suggestions and advice on how you can make good changes in your company and community to inspire and engage them. Bike to work days, zero-waste days, and bring your lunch days are just a few examples. Set targets, crush them, and celebrate your achievements.
- Choose Sustainable Office Space
Whether you choose to build your office from scratch or rent a place for your office work, always look for the qualities mentioned below. Make sure your office space complies with most of them:
- To save electricity, find a location with an abundance of natural light if at all possible.
- Rent a place with LED lights, or install the same in your own office, say no to overhead lighting.
- Single-use coffee makers and paper cups should be avoided. Instead, invest in a regular coffee maker and urge your employees to bring their own mugs.
- If at all possible, change the temperature on your thermostat. It’s understandable that summers can be tough, but your office doesn’t have to feel like a refrigerator.
- Place actual plants indoors to improve the quality of the air within your office.
- Minimize Your Company’s Waste Output
Invest in cloud storage to reduce your company’s dependence on physical materials. Use virtual spaces such as different Ad service providers to promote your business. Collaborate with your partners over the air instead of meeting in person, and slowly but steadily make your business join the digital age.
- Fund NGOs Dedicated to Environmental Sustainability
Find companies that work for environmental sustainability and support them in whichever way you can. There’re many other similar ways to promote sustainability in business such as starting plant-a-tree campaigns, utilizing green web hosting services, investing in environmental programs, and start fundraisers for eco-friendly activities.
We’re hopeful that the above-mentioned key steps will help you bring sustainability to your business. After complying with these tasks, don’t just stop there! There’re countless other ways to integrate eco-friendly practices in your businesses, so don’t stop exploring. Fetch them all, implement them, and be a good citizen of the planet Earth.
Author bio: Tatyana Artemova is an entrepreneur, mastermind expert, and founder at IStartHub.net. She writes about business ideas and growth hacks to support entrepreneurs on their business journeys.