In 2023, sustainable business will be the norm. Companies will be expected to have a positive impact on the environment and society, and those that don’t will face harsh consequences. Every business must demonstrate resource-efficient operations, and sustainable practices throughout their entire operations, from production to packaging and shipping.
This shift will be driven by changing consumer preferences, government regulations, and a growing awareness of the importance of sustainability. Businesses that are able to adapt to this new landscape will thrive, while those that don’t will struggle to survive.
What is an Environmentally Sustainable Business?
An environmentally-sustainable business operates in a way that protects the environment. This means minimizing pollution and waste, using renewable energy, conserving resources, and using environmentally friendly products (from similarly sustainable suppliers) and practices in their daily operations.
How are Environmentally Sustainable Businesses Profitable?
Create goodwill among new and existing customer base
- Demonstrates that you care about the environment and are willing to take steps to protect it. This can attract new customers and instill loyalty as customers are increasingly interested in supporting businesses that are eco-friendly.
Reduce operating expenses
- Sustainable practices often save money by using less energy and water, and reducing wasted materials.
Government incentives and tax breaks
- Businesses with green practices often qualify for government funding and tax breaks. This can help offset some of the costs associated with operating a sustainable business.
Competitive, marketable edge
- “Green businesses” can use sustainability as a key differentiator in marketing efforts. Consumers will always choose the environmentally-friendly solution if prices and quality are comparable—and will often pay a premium to be part of sustainability.
The Challenges of Environmentally Sustainable Businesses
With the increasing awareness of climate change and its effects, more and more businesses are looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly. However, there are challenges that come with making this switch.
- There is an up-front investment when adopting new practices.
- It can increase your product or service’s cost to produce, and therefore selling price.
- It requires a lot of knowledge to find worthwhile changes, then create and implement a plan to transform business practices.
Despite these challenges, implementing some sustainable practices will have net positive results for nearly every business as the need to protect the environment becomes more and more urgent—and the expectations set by consumers and government agencies are elevated.
How to Change your Business in Environmentally Sustainable Ways
There are many ways to be environmentally sustainable, but the most important thing is to have a plan and to stick to it.
Like a diet, even implementing small changes helps accomplish goals. In order to be successful, adoption of sustainable practices throughout their entire operations is a lifestyle.
Things to consider:
Adopt Green Practices
Use renewable energy, reduce waste and use recycled materials.
Invest in Carbon-Reduction Projects
Another solution for businesses to offset their emissions is by investing in carbon-reduction projects like forestry and conservation efforts, renewable energy projects and community projects.
Supporting a work-from-home or hybrid work model
This has proven to be a productive model through Covid and beyond. Moreover, the move to work from home models takes millions of cars off the road.
Go Green with Email
According to Eco2 Greetings, text-based emails sent emit approximately 4 grams of carbon dioxide per unit. Furthermore, Science Focus, found that sending 65 emails is equivalent to driving a mile in your car in terms of energy usage.
Other potential solutions for your business could be to consider using a carbon negative email marketing platform, and reduce the amount of junk sitting in your various boxes, since everything stored (even if left in your trash) adds to your computer’s carbon footprint.
There are also many resources available to help companies make the transition. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides tips on how businesses can conserve energy and reduce waste.
All businesses can become sustainable businesses by adopting simple, yet effective practices in their day-to-day operations. To those making environmental sustainability the very foundation of their business, hats off to you!
Need help making small improvements or drastic changes to your business?
Consider hiring a consultant with experience developing and implementing plans and policies that help businesses thrive. Find your expert on Cansulta.
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