Why should your business be environmentally sustainable?
When we talk about corporate sustainability we mean the duty that every company has to look at its environmental, social and economic impacts and to improve wherever it’s necessary. Consumers have high expecations these days. They’re happy to research a company’s social and environmental commitments and will reject any that don’t meet the mark. Millennials – the first generation of digital natives – just ‘ditch and switch’ brands and services if they’re not happy. This is why it’s essential for companies to be seen to respond to the increased demand for societal and environmental responsibility. The larger and more profitable your company the more scrutiny you’re under. You need to set an example to win brand loyalty.
What is an environmentally sustainable business?
It’s not easy to categorically state that a company has achieved sustainability. In 1994, John Elkington came up with 3 P’s that business and marketing experts tend to still rely on as a measure:
- Planet, the environmental dimension
- People, the social dimension
- Profit, the economic-financial dimension
If you analyse the areas of synergy and union between these three concepts, you can start to assess how sustainable your company is – there’s always a balance to be struck between the three. Sounding complex? Don’t worry – here’s our 5-step guide.
Five steps to becoming a more environmentally sustainable business
Here’s how you can join the sustainability revolution and innovate to create a brighter future for us and our planet:
- Believe in your Brand: it sounds obvious, but if you don’t believe in your brand and its commitment to sustainability, how can you expect your audience to get on board? Prepare a detailed plan on how to make your company more sustainable, and stick to it. When your audience sees your dedication to sustainability, they’ll respond naturally with more loyalty. Customers will identify more with your brand when they believe you share their ideals.
- Reuse and recycle: recycling is a must for any business. Start with recycling paper and ink cartridges, but what about furnishing your office with vintage or used furniture? Do your staff use reusable water bottles? Have you banned disposable plastic cutlery? Have you replaced fluorescent tubes with LED lighting? Always ask yourself how your brand is promoting sustainability and what recyclable materials you’re using in your manufacturing process. It’s all food for thought, and with a little planning, you can make sure your business produces almost zero waste.
- Working remotely: when employees commute to work each day, the way they travel leaves a substantial environmental footprint. You can help reduce the carbon output generated by that daily commute by offering your employees the option to work at home. We’ve now got the technology to make this a reality, and the global pandemic forced our hands, so why not leverage it long term for the good of our planet?
- Set deadlines and goals: sustainability must become an integral part of your business. But that means evolving. Set goals to achieve and when you do achieve them, set more. Corporate sustainablity is a process not not an end game and there’s always room for improvement. The secret is how to embrace new initiatives that dial up your engagement without reducing profitability. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
- Measure, Offset and Reduce your business carbon emissions. Getting an understanding of your business carbon emissions by calculating your carbon footprint is a great way to understand how you can reduce your business carbon footprint. Once you understand what business activities are contributing to the highest carbon emissions you can work on a plan to reduce your carbon footprint. Most businesses struggle to reduce all their carbon emissions which is where offsetting can help you to become a carbon neutral business.
These first 5 steps will start you off on your journey to corporate sustainability. It’s not as hard as it sounds: small actions and decisions can reap great rewards for staff and customer loyalty and of course for the environment!
If you’d like more information and advice on making your company cleaner and greener get in touch with us at email@example.com – we’d love to hear from you.