Last editedNov 20212 min read
For any business owner, building a successful brand and turning a profit are usually at the top of the list of priorities. But with the increasingly pressing issue of climate change, it’s also important to consider the wider environmental impact that your company has. From production to transport, all areas of business operations can result in carbon emissions, which should be minimized wherever possible.
Contrary to what many might believe, sustainability and profitability can actually go hand in hand. While sustainable measures can be costly in the short term, they generally make your company more efficient and less wasteful in the long term, which in turn improves profits. For example, if you can use solar panels to power your business, then you will save money on energy costs. Keep reading to find out how to be more sustainable in business.
Examine your supply chain
Considering your supply chain is a great way to encourage sustainability in business. Examples include examining the suppliers’ credentials – do they source their materials in a sustainable, ethical way? You should aim to work with suppliers who produce Fairtrade products or those that are made using recyclable or biodegradable materials.
Not only should you look for the most sustainable suppliers, but you can also build a sustainable business by looking for local suppliers. If you can source your materials from nearby, then you cut down on the carbon emissions associated with transporting the goods as well as costs.
Create good packaging
One of the best ways to be more sustainable in business is to think about the packaging you use for your products. Whether you operate an in-person business or are part of the growing trend for e-commerce businesses, packaging is an absolutely crucial part of both your sustainability strategy and brand identity.
First of all, try to use biodegradable or recyclable materials for your packaging. Steer clear of single-use plastics and go for more eco-friendly alternatives such as cardboard or paper. You can even experiment with more innovative materials such as wood pulp, cornstarch and even seaweed, which can be processed into attractive and environmentally friendly packaging.
In addition, you can aim to make unique and beautiful packaging for your products. Not only is this an excellent marketing strategy, but it also means that customers are more likely to keep your packaging, rather than throwing it in the landfill.
Think about transport
If you’re wondering how to be more sustainable in business, then it’s crucial to think about how you and your employees commute to work. It’s important to lead by example here, choosing to travel by public transport, bicycle or walking rather than taking a private car to work.
You can encourage your employees to use eco-friendly modes of transport by supplementing the cost of public transport or by offering support to buy a bicycle, for example. In addition, you should consider the location of your office and choose a place that is easy to access by public transport.
Get involved in charities and other green initiatives
Looking beyond the scope of your individual business, one of the best ways to be more sustainable is by examining the other businesses that you partner with. Research the environmental organizations that operate in your local area, and support them with charitable donations. This has the added bonus of improving your relationship with the local community and your customers.
Some forms of carbon emissions are impossible to avoid, so offsetting these is a good method to encourage sustainability in business. Examples include planting trees for a certain number of products sold, or using an environmentally friendly web-hosting service that carries out eco-friendly initiatives.
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