Sustainability has become an imperative for the new normal within the business world, and the world, in general. Now is the time to put theory to practice in any way you can. If you have a business, go green.
In any business you have, regardless of its focus or the industry it belongs to, you must look at the consumer and how their buying behavior, purchase intent, and habits have changed. Only this way can you know how to adapt your product offerings or services in order to remain relevant and stay up to date with every market trend.
Otherwise, you risk getting lost in the competition and remaining behind. Certainly, this is not something you want to happen. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to conduct thorough research constantly and keep your ear to the ground.
One significant change in consumer behavior is related to sustainability. More and more individuals are becoming aware of the urgent need to adopt eco-friendly measures and habits in order to decrease the negative impact humans and businesses can have on the environment. It may seem like everything you try to do isn’t enough.
But, in fact, every action – no matter how minor or insignificant it may appear – can help, given that it adds up little by little from every individual and business that tries to and is committed to becoming more eco-friendly. Today’s consumer values more sustainable-driven companies that are dedicated to improving their business operations.
For this reason, environmental, social, and governance factors have become more important to consumers and investors alike. Moreover, consumers have started looking at a company’s corporate social responsibility policies to see whether the business aligns with their values and to make a better-informed buying decision. Eco-minded employers and entrepreneurs are favored.
But businesses that have a long way to go until they can call themselves eco-friendly may hurt financially. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance to start a sustainable business from the beginning or learn how and where to change the approach within your current business operations to move towards a greener future.
Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed; it is understandable. The recommendation is to start little by little, gain awareness and commit to building or shifting the company culture towards sustainability.
Businesses don’t become eco-friendly in one night, so it is crucial to be Tpatient and passionate about the cause. Otherwise, you risk not being able to focus on truly building a green business, and, instead, you can end up practicing greenwashing tactics, which isn’t the desired outcome at all.
This being said, here are four things you can do towards successfully building a sustainable business nowadays:
1. First Things First: Do an Environmental Audit
First and foremost, it is crucial to know what needs to be done, taking into consideration your business model and the current approach to doing business. This is especially necessary if you have a well-established company that needs a complete sustainable revamp.
An external environmental audit is precisely what your business needs to clearly understand what areas need changing and how such change can be effectively and seamlessly implemented. Such auditing services have the tools, expertise and knowledge to support businesses in becoming greener.
2. Practice Recycling and Use Recyclable Materials
Recycling isn’t the only way of building a sustainable business. In fact, if you only commit to recycling alone, the company has a long way to go before it can become a truly eco-friendly, green business. However, this being said, practicing recycling is still a crucial aspect, and people and companies alike should be committed to it.
Experts from Mil-tek point out the importance and urgency for businesses in NZ and across the world to encourage and implement recycling initiatives, from installing suitable bins for each material within offices to using recycling balers and compactors for larger materials.
In addition to practicing recycling, you should also aim to use as many recyclable and biodegradable materials as you can so that you can create an eco-friendly company culture and an on-site office. This way, the generated waste can be significantly reduced, as the negative impact on the environment will also be.
3. Encourage Eco-Friendly Behavior and Reward It Accordingly
In today’s day and age, consumer has shifted their attention more toward sustainability, and their changing behavior is proof of that. The same applies to employees and, more recently, to a growing number of entrepreneurs and employers. This shows that change is happening and that sustainability is being taken more seriously – as it should.
But for everyone to take part in eco-friendly behavior within a business, this must be encouraged as well as rewarded. So, building a company culture around sustainability is a must, given that this is the new normal.
Entrepreneurs, business managers, and leaders everywhere, across all industries and business types, should aim to reward their employees for the sustainable behavior they adopt, regardless of how minor the action is. Looking at the bigger picture, every drop makes an ocean, and that should be celebrated.
This way, people will feel more incentivized to keep performing such activities, in addition to seeing how they can positively influence the environment.
4. Work With Local Collaborators and Suppliers
Working with local collaborators and suppliers is an effective way of becoming eco-friendly, and there are two main reasons for that:
- First of all, you can reduce the carbon footprint exponentially, given that you no longer need to ship from many miles away, which significantly pollutes the atmosphere.
- Second of all, you support local businesses that need this help a great deal. This also means you support the local economy and the community.
Therefore, working with local businesses and suppliers is an excellent strategy that can help you become more eco-friendly. An essential and noteworthy mention would be choosing suppliers and other business partners committed to adopting green initiatives and becoming sustainable.
By collaborating with like-minded entrepreneurs and suppliers, you promote the green business model across all stages of the company and can become an example in your industry.