There has been a lot of talk lately about the importance of being a sustainable business, and a growing number of businesses are making the move to eco-friendly business practices. In this blog, we have taken a look at why your business should be more sustainable, and the changes you can make to reach your sustainability goals.
Why Should Your Business Be More Sustainable
Show Your Commitment to Being an Ethical Business – Being a more sustainable business showcases your commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. Customers, employees and investors are starting to value companies that prioritise the impact that the business is having on the environment.
Enjoy a Competitive Advantage – By embracing sustainability, you can set your business apart from competitors. A lot of consumers are becoming interested in sustainability, and so they are more likely to choose companies that align with their values and prioritise this. Showing that you are committed to sustainability can boost your brand’s reputation, which gives you a competitive edge, something that many competitors lack. Consumers are more likely to trust a business that actively contributes to a greener world.
Benefit from Cost Savings – A lot of sustainable practices can lead to cost savings in the long run, especially if you implement a variety of sustainable practices. Using energy efficient technologies, reducing your waste and conserving your energy can all reduce your business’ operational expenses and increase profitability.
Improved Employee Engagement and Retention – A sustainable business is more likely to attract and retain top talent, as many employees purposely choose to work for a company that prioritises being eco-friendly and sustainable. Employees take pride in working for a business that understands social responsibility.
Gain Access to New Markets – Embracing sustainable practices open doors to new markets and customers, as a growing number of environmentally conscious consumers are looking for products and services that align with their values. If you are a sustainable business, you are more likely to attract a sustainable target market.
Audit Your Current Sustainability
Before you start your journey towards being a more sustainable business, audit your current sustainability. Review the carbon footprint of the business and think about where you could make improvements. This is likely to be dependent on what your business does and the industry that you work in, as different businesses have the opportunity to make different improvements. But, until you audit your current sustainability, it’s hard to highlight the problem areas. Once you have a good idea of the improvements that can be made, you can make a sustainable plan.
Adopt a Sustainability Mindset
Being more sustainable as a business can require a handful of big changes, and this can feel like a daunting or time consuming task. But, by adopting a sustainability mindset, everything tends to feel a lot more achievable. Instead of simply making a pledge to cut down on your waste or to better utilise a renewable energy source, go one step further by adopting a complete sustainability mindset. Make sustainability part of the day to day running of your business, and encourage your employees to think more about sustainability during their day at work. The more you embrace sustainable business practices, the quicker doing so will become second nature and part of your business processes.
We can all agree that it’s impossible to stop using energy completely as a business. After all, the majority of businesses have computers to power, equipment to run and machinery to use. Even lights, staff rooms and simple kettles use a small amount of energy. In the winter, energy output tends to increase as lights are on for longer and heating needs to be factored in. But, there are bound to be things that you can do to reduce your energy output in some way. Every little bit of energy you save goes towards helping you to become a more sustainable basis, and reducing your output by a small amount adds up. Encourage employees to turn lights off when they leave a room, and avoid leaving computers on standby for long periods of time. Even changing to energy efficient appliances can make a significant difference over time.
Renewable Energy Source
The majority of business owners don’t think twice about where their energy comes from, or the source that is producing it. But, the amount of energy you use is likely to be one of the biggest negative contributions that your business is making to the environment. So, it’s a good idea to be as green as possible. If you’re going to use energy, you may as well use green energy. To be a more sustainable and eco-friendly business, consider using alternative energy sources, those that are greener and renewable. This includes solar energy – such as the energy that comes from installing solar panels on the roof of your business premises – and wind energy, which comes from wind turbines. Hydropower is also a greener energy source, which involves generating energy from the flow of water in rivers and streams.
There is no denying that businesses produce a lot of waste, regardless of what the business does or the industry that it’s in. Even businesses that are largely based in an office have a lot of waste, let alone those with production lines and manufacturing to take into account. One of the key ways to be a more sustainable business is to minimise your waste. Take a look at what areas or activities are producing the most waste, and do what you can to cut down. This could mean switching to recyclable materials, changing a supplier or simply encouraging employees to make the most of the resources they are using.
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