Businesses are slowly embarking on a journey of sustainability, as they look to improve their climate and environmental efforts in hopes of driving meaningful consumer change and behavior.
Sustainable Goal Development (SDG) has become a stronghold for many big and small businesses. Not only are consumers more interested in brands and companies that take climate change seriously, but so have investors become more fascinated by the innovative technology that’s helping businesses transition into a greener and more ethical business model.
In a matter of years, organizations have been pushing the boundaries, developing a host of new tools and resources that can help businesses lower their carbon footprint, while also ensuring they can become more eco-conscious regarding their practices and operations.
Recent data suggest that 67% of companies surveyed in a Deloitte report found to have started using more sustainable materials in their products.
On top of these efforts, research and development by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) are currently working with more than 3,400 companies globally towards decarbonization, and to meet SBTi targets in the next decade.
Across the world, and in varying industries, from startups to mass corporations, executives are starting to see the meaning behind sustainable business practices, not only helping to benefit the planet but also helping them remain relevant in a highly competitive marketplace.
Environmental policies and strong urgency for sustainability are no easy caveats for any new business or startup. Making the right choices can come with its challenges, and navigating these roads means you need to know exactly what to consider.
Tips For Building A Sustainable Business Model
Here’s a look at five things business owners should consider when building a sustainable business model that can work.
Make Sustainability A Core Principle
For a business to start becoming more sustainable and environmentally conscious, owners and executives must take the time to include these efforts within their core business model and operations.
Instead of looking to reinvent the wheel, consider what other businesses are doing and how it’s been working for them. Adapt as needed, and ensure that environmental and sustainability policies are included within the business framework right from the get-go.
Ensure that these policies are applied throughout the business structure and that current employees and new onboarding staff are briefed on how the company will work towards more ethical practices.
Have A Realistic Vision
Achieving full-scale sustainability or even net zero can seem like a pipe dream at first, but in the larger scheme of things, it might be a bit ambitious for a small startup. Even for big corporations, it’s not always possible to go completely green within the first few years.
Take some time to think of realistic green goals that you want to achieve, and draw up a road map that will help you and your team achieve these goals.
Of course, there will be some setbacks along the way, but instead of letting these hinder you, it’s important to keep your focus on the bigger picture of what you are looking to achieve.
Plan With The Environment In Mind
When planning for a new product range, or service offering, plan with the environment in mind. Start by looking at the types of materials you’re using in your products, and whether there are sustainable replacements available on the market.
Perhaps you can start by looking at implementing a remote or hybrid work scheme for employees to cut down on commute time to and from the office. Maybe you want to cut costs by reducing energy and water usage, but not sure how or where to start.
There are several points of entry that can help you find greener alternatives, but the most important is to consider how these efforts will help drive the business forward and help achieve sustainability goals.
Think How Small Changes Make A Big Difference
The average American employee prints roughly 10,000 copies each year. This figure accounts for per employee, and when you factor in costs, businesses tend to spend about $1,200 on printing per employee.
This is not only a costly exercise, but it’s also a wasteful one at best.
Printing less not only saves time and money, but it also helps to cut down on paper usage in the office. It’s a small thing you can look to change, but these small habits make a big difference in the long run.
Think of other places in the office or your business where you can implement small changes that can help to make a bigger impact on your sustainability goals. Consider areas where resources can be used to their maximum at all times without having to replace them every so often.
Think About The Conscious Consumer
Consumers are also becoming more aware of how companies operate in terms of their environmental transparency, and in the coming decade, we will see even more people supporting brands that are dedicated to improving the quality of the environment.
A study found that 66% of consumers would spend more if the products they purchased were from a sustainable brand. At the same time, 81% of consumers believe that companies should help to improve the environment by adopting more progressive sustainability goals.
This is only one such study of many that prove the fact that consumers, and not only younger ones, are finding it more and more important for businesses to take charge and become more eco-conscious.
There are a lot of businesses that can do to improve the quality of the environment or become more connected with their sustainable development goals. The ongoing need for more sustainable business practices throughout much of the value chain has now become a determining factor for consumers, and for small businesses, this could become the driving force behind their success.
Businesses at any scale should consider how their operations are making a difference in the bigger scheme of things, but also how their current business model is designed not only with the consumer in mind but focuses on the consumer of the future and their sustainability needs.
Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.
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