Sustainability is about more than just being a little more green with your business. Companies that adopt sustainable business practices are setting themselves (and everyone else) up for success by cutting down on waste and improving their relationship with the world around them. But how can a business be more sustainable? Here’s what every small business needs to know when creating their plans for sustainable operating.
According to a blog by Harvard Business School Online, “In business, sustainability refers to doing business without negatively impacting the environment, community, or society as a whole.” While this is an admirable goal for any company, let’s face facts. There is no way for us to live in our modern society (or at least none invented yet) that truly does no harm to the environment.
The real question is, how can we reduce the amount of harm while increasing the amount of good we do? By mitigating environmental damage and increasing how much you give back to the environment and your community, you can become more sustainable. In other words, seek to use less and give more.
Sustainable practices don’t just benefit the environment, they also benefit our communities, our health, and even our business! Here are just a few benefits that can come from small business sustainability:
So how can businesses help the environment? There are a lot of ways to be more sustainable in business, no matter what industry you’re in. Here are a few methods made for any business.
The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council®) is an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable practices, particularly in paper production. They work to support sustainable forestry, forest conservation and restoration. They also seek to prevent illegal logging and the exploitation of workers and communities. To learn more, check out our other blog post all about FSC certifications, what they mean, and why you should seek them out.
There’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the materials businesses use, both for products and for packaging. For packaging, seek to use recyclable and/or bio-degradable materials instead of single-use plastics. For products, many industries can benefit from using materials such as hemp, jute, bamboo, RPET, etc. Even if you can’t change a lot, a little goes a long way when it comes to what you sell and ship. You can also find more renewable energy sources by contracting with solar and wind companies for your business.
More than just what you sell and send, you can create a more sustainable business by changing what you do internally. Work with your employees to cut down on waste by:
Data storage salespeople LOVE to talk about how going digital is going green because it saves paper. But cloud storage isn’t happening in a literal cloud. Data centers require a lot of upkeep and can produce a lot of emissions, so going digital isn’t necessarily going to reduce your carbon footprint. If you want to go digital for the health of the planet, do it right by:
Being sustainable is more than just reducing how much you take, it’s also about increasing how much you give. While you may not be able to put nutrients back in the soil like jute or hemp, there are lots of ways for you to give back to the environment and the community, including:
When putting together your green initiatives, any company will find lots of ways for how businesses can be more sustainable. Whether that’s recycling, finding renewable resources for your materials and energy consumption, or even finding ways to give back to your community, sustainability is all about giving more than you take. As a business, take time to explore where you can take less and give more to the environment and your community.
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