Imagine a world where companies aren’t just concerned about the next fiscal quarter, but also about the kind of world they’ll be leaving for future generations. That, my friends, is what we’re striving for when we talk about sustainable strategies. It’s about businesses taking a conscious step back, examining their impact, and making choices that don’t just line their pockets but also contribute positively to the environment. It’s like a win-win where the planet and profitability shake hands!
But in a world where “sustainability” seems to be the buzzword on everyone’s lips, who better to take inspiration from than the trailblazing pioneers at Patagonia?
The folks who aren’t just talking the talk, but hiking the hike when it comes to sustainability. These outdoor enthusiasts have made it their mission to minimize their carbon footprint, reduce waste, and lead the pack in ethical manufacturing. From crafting clothing out of recycled materials to donating a chunk of their profits to environmental causes, Patagonia is the poster child for businesses that have fully embraced a greener mindset.
But you know what? Even your business could have that kind of eco-conscious values if you can build a good enough strategy. And in this blog post, we are unveiling 8 ways you can be sustainable in business practices.
So are you ready? Let’s dive in.
What Is A Sustainable Business Strategy (And Why It’s Important)?
Sustainable companies determine their activities, operations, products, and services through a focused understanding of the environmental and social conditions in which it functions. As a result, they ensure that their impact on the environment and society remains either neutral or positive.
A study found that around only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions (yikes!). So more than ever, the time has come for businesses of all sizes to become part of the solution. This means taking proactive and conscious measures to cut down on emissions and waste while contributing to cultivating a healthy planet.
To add another layer to their current concern, customers are paying close attention to these impacts. What’s more, global consumers expect more of the brands they use to support social and environmental issues. A report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) found that an estimated 68 million Americans base purchasing decisions on their own values — personal, social, and environmental. The study further claims that these consumers spend up to 20% more on environmentally safe products.
These statistics alone are reasons enough to make you want to go green, STAT!
How to Make Your Business More Sustainable
As mentioned above, consumers of all ages (and especially younger generations) are searching for brands that publicly fight for sustainable values that align with their own. But don’t fool yourself that these consumers are mainly concerned with eco-friendly materials and packaging. That, my friend, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainable corporate compliance.
The consumers of the modern Era look to purchase and support companies that have an ongoing concern and focus on sustainability across the entire supply chain in all aspects of the business operations.
And now is your opportunity as a business owner to embrace sustainability and implement innovative strategies in the process.
Wanna know how? We’ve got the answers right here.
Next, find a few of our helpful tips to get you started.
1. Start Recycling at Work
If your workplace doesn’t already make an effort to recycle, take this post as a sign to start doing so right away. That’s because beyond consumer concerns, your own employees will probably give you a rotten eye or not at least trying to salvage corporate waste.
People are lazy; we get it. And it’s so commonplace for everyone to be slothful and throw items in the first trash bin they come across when at work. To help out with your own employees recycling initiatives, provide ample recycling bins in the workplace. It’s equally important to make sure they’re properly labeled for the types of items that go in each of them.
2. REDUCE WASTE
What’s better than recycling? Reducing waste, of course.
In the present world, a great amount of waste is produced daily, especially plastic, paper, and bottles, among others. And corporations and businesses of all sizes can produce a lot of waste. A good way to make a move toward sustainability is by monitoring your supply chain.
Audit your waste and look for ways to substitute recyclable or reusable products into the manufacturing process.
3. Green Commuting Is the ‘New Cool’
Daily commuting is one of the biggest contributors to our environment. In the US alone, transportation accounts for approximately one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions. A way to actively help diminish this impact is by encouraging people towards green commuting.
A green commute is any form of commuting that does not involve a single passenger driving alone to work… or even fully ditching personal vehicles and opting for environmentally-friendly alternatives, such as cycling. A few other good examples of green commuting are carpooling, taking the bus, and taking the metro.. Heck, even walking is a fantastic way to commute to work (plus it’s excellent for the heart).
Do you live too far to walk or cycle to your work? There are also inexpensive scooters and electric bikes that you can buy or even rent by using Apps.
4. Offer Remote Work Options
The pandemic took us all by surprise, and it hasn’t been an easy time for any of us. However, one good thing that the virus-who-must-not-be-named was the newly flexible work conditions, such as remote working.
Yes, yes… Not all positions allow for remote work, but if the work can be done outside of the office, be flexible with your employees and allow them to take advantage of it.
Remote workers have the same impact on the environment as planting a forest of trees: they eliminate 3.6 billion tons of greenhouse gases caused by commuting annually. Working remotely also helps people avoid health risks associated with commuting. Plus… it keeps your employees happy.
5. Go Digital (ahem, ditch the papers)
Despite the rise of digital technology, many organizations still insist on using more paper than necessary. And paper is so unnecessary nowadays that even plane tickets are being made digitally.
People are tech-savvy and are getting more and more accustomed to using technology to simplify their lives. This is to say, almost everyone is adaptable and will quickly learn how to use tech for corporate communications and receipts. More than ever before, computers, smartphones, Apps, and other smart devices are integrated into the workplace. Take advantage of these and avoid using paper whenever possible.
Going paperless can create efficiencies, help you automate more of your business processes, and offer your customers better security (ah yes… did we mention it can also save you a lot of money?).
6. Opt For Clean Energy Options
In addition to reducing physical consumption (turn off those darn lights and AC when the office is empty!), consider switching to energy methods that consume and emit less waste. This is another area where going green helps you save serious money. A report by McKinsey says that energy is the fourth-largest in-store operating cost for retailers after labor, rent, and marketing.
A good way to go on about it is by contacting your utility suppliers and asking them to conduct energy audits on your store. Be sure to ask them for suggestions on the best ways you can lower your energy usage.
One quick alternative towards sustainable energy compliance is switching to LED light bulbs, which use less power. Also, you can look into solar options for powering lights and other electronics.
7. Transparency is Key
As stated earlier in this article, sustainability is of growing importance to consumers and your employees alike, so be sure to share your mission and work with everyone in your business environment. That’s because transparency and authenticity are key when it comes to putting sustainability at the forefront of your business.
8. Create a Sustainability Committee
This initiative is becoming a bigger trend in every office, and if you’re not doing so yet, start brainstorming a group of passionate volunteers for this role. Selecting a team of people who are responsible for sustainability initiatives in the workplace can do wonders for your efforts.
A sustainability committee creates accountability, and these people can further take care to follow up with others and strengthen a culture of sustainability and social care in the workplace. Moreover, a committee will keep the eco-ideas flowing. Task them with talking to other employees about challenges and suggestions, and give them the power to make reasonable decisions (in other words, make it easy for people to comply).
It has never been so important to contribute to a green economy. A 2018 survey from data platform Euclid found that “52% of millennials and 48% of Gen Xers feel it’s important that their values align with the brands they like. Baby boomers don’t fall too far behind, with about 35% of them stating they feel the same.
Plus, it has never been so easy to comply, be it by incentivising, substituting old practices (such as paper), or even communicating with both your employees and with your clientele. Indeed, technological advances, infrastructure improvements, innovative start-ups, circular design practices, consumer behaviours, and regulatory pressure are creating an environment where retailers can pursue circular initiatives with confidence and ease.
Bonus: Partner With Sustainable Marketplaces
Imagine a digital haven where eco-friendly values reign supreme – that’s a sustainable marketplace in a nutshell. These platforms provide a curated space where businesses with a green heart can showcase their offerings. But it doesn’t stop there!
Such marketplaces take your sustainability game up a notch by adhering to eco-friendly values a bit too aggressively!
- These platforms have a green website so you don’t have to worry about your digitally produced carbon footprint.
- They go the extra mile by offering carbon footprint assessment packages, helping you measure and reduce your environmental impact.
- The audience you’ve been dreaming of – those eco-conscious souls who care about the planet as much as your products – they’re hanging out on these platforms.
Partnering with a sustainable marketplace is like having a magic wand for your business’s green transformation. Your environmental efforts get a spotlight, attracting those who value ethical and sustainable choices.
They help you quantify your impact and work on a game plan to shrink it. It’s not just a feel-good step; it’s a data-driven leap towards a greener future.
Introducing Swiss Impact Store: Your Perfect Partner
Speaking of sustainable marketplaces, allow us to introduce you to the crème de la crème – the Swiss Impact Store. If you’re in the world of sustainable fashion, this is where you want to be. They’re all about quality, ethics, and a commitment to the planet. It’s the place where conscious consumers and businesses with a heart can meet and create a more sustainable tomorrow.
Ready to take the leap into the world of sustainable marketplaces? Your green adventure starts with a single click!
A sustainable business will not only bring you respect from customers; it can save you heaps of money and resources in the long run. For retailers and brands, focusing on sustainable practices is not only crucial to protect the environment and our planet but also a key way to attract younger generations of consumers and drive long-term brand loyalty.
So… how will your business further pursue corporate social responsibility from now on?
Let us know in the comments below what you believe is the most useful (and doable) sustainable business strategy.
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