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3 Ways to Run a Sustainable Business

sustainable business office with "do more" on computer screen

With climate change, environmental destruction, and the depletion of natural resources making headlines daily, you may be taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint in your personal life, but are you doing the same in your business? When given a choice between two similar businesses, many customers today will choose the company that’s known for its sustainable business practices.

This is especially true among one of the most powerful consumer groups: millennials. These buyers are particularly connected to brands that make sustainability and social responsibility a priority in their business model, as explained in this post by Curalate.

If you’re not operating a sustainable business, then you could be missing opportunities to appeal to eco-conscious consumers and grow your company. In this article, we share some ways that you can start being a more sustainable business today.

1. Add Sustainability Initiatives to Your Mission Statement

No matter what industry you’re in, you can find a way to build sustainability into your mission statement. For example, if you’re an ecommerce retailer, you can make sustainability part of your mission to lower your carbon footprint by reducing excess packaging, using recyclable packing materials, or employing delivery vehicles powered by electricity or natural gas. If you sell coaching services, then you can make it a part of your mission to reduce paper, communicate digitally, and recycle at the office.

Once you make sustainability part of your mission, it will become a core value of your business, and you’ll consider sustainability when making all of your business decisions. And when you lead sustainability efforts, you set a positive example for coworkers and employees who will be more likely to take an interest in lessening their own negative environmental impact.

2. Stay Abreast of Sustainability News

Large corporations all over the world are taking steps to be more sustainable, and they’re doing it in innovative ways. Consider setting a Google alert for “sustainable business” or “corporate sustainability” so you can learn about the ways business leaders across the globe are creating new environmental solutions and sustainability initiatives. You just may be inspired by their innovations and experiments.

Furthermore, by staying abreast of sustainability news, you may learn about new technologies that you can start using in your business, like more efficient lighting, temperature controls for your office space, or renewable energy to power your manufacturing.

3. Build Sustainability into Your Business Culture

If sustainability isn’t built into your business culture, you and your employees may not keep it in the forefront of daily business matters.

How can you make sustainability part of your culture if it hasn’t been a priority in the past? Consider hiring employees who have experience working for sustainable companies. You can also add a section about sustainability to your employee manual and your company website. You may even want to consider hosting team-building events that focus on sustainability so employees get a dose of it on a regular basis.

Most importantly, though, you should strive to make sustainability part of your office’s daily routine. There are simple ways you can incorporate sustainability initiatives into the office culture. For example, you can equip desks and work stations with recycling bins; use chemical-free, eco-friendly cleaning products; and encourage employees to refill water bottles and use mugs instead of disposable coffee cups.

Small steps can lead to big change

It can be daunting to try to give your business a green overhaul overnight, so, instead, focus on making small changes to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Once one eco-friendly method or practice is in place, focus on adding the next one.

For example, you can start by introducing sustainability into your mission statement and make employees aware of your efforts to become a more environmentally conscious business through a meeting or memo. Then start implementing simple sustainable practices around the office, such as starting a company recycling program.

Before long, you’ll be known throughout your industry as a sustainable business, and you’ll attract new customers who are drawn to your values. Even better, you’ll be doing your part to help the environment.

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