Maybe your office has started recycling or has installed solar panels. Is that enough to call yourself a sustainable business?
The truth is that as individuals and as businesses we could all be doing more to move toward sustainable laboratory design, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly practices.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, but there are a few strategies you can promote at your place of business to become more sustainable.
Keep reading to find out how.
What Does It Mean to Be a Sustainable Business?
One of the biggest challenges to the sustainable business movement is that the definition of ‘sustainable’ depends on who you ask. Environmentalists, politicians, and business executives all have different ideas on the criteria for sustainability.
The United Nations gave some general guidelines in 2015 in the form of 17 goals to create a better world. Businesses are encouraged to align their practices with these goals, many of them relating to environmental impact.
Most people can agree that sustainability relates to a business’s ability to reduce waste and pollution, adopt clean energy, conserve water, use sustainable materials, and promoting sustainable commute and travel policies.
Below are specific, tangible ways that businesses can become more sustainable.
1. Be Accountable
The first step in becoming a sustainable business is making it a priority for your company and setting specific goals on how you plan to change.
Form a committee, research your current practices, and innovate solutions to change your business environment for the better. Consider novel practices and look into the benefits of renewable energy.
Make your sustainability goals a part of overall quarterly results meetings and incentivize employees to take an active role.
2. Green Procurement
Green procurement means working with companies that offer sustainable goods and services. Your partners should be as committed to going green as you are.
Whether it’s office supplies or coffee consider using vendors that prioritize sustainable practices.
3. Reduce Travel
We live in a digital world. Working remotely, hosting teleconferences, and recording webinars allow us to communicate with partners all over the world without a plane, train, or automobile.
As a company, you can encourage employees to reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling, cycling, or walking to work. You can also allow employees to work from their homes when possible.
4. Recycle Electronics
There are tens of millions of tons of electronic waste being produced each year. If you have to get rid of computers, tablets, cellphones, or other electronics, research e-waste recycling centers in your areas.
Major electronic retailers will usually accept old electronic equipment as will local charities and schools. Before tossing old equipment, think about how donating it could not only help others in need but reduce the overall waste from your business.
Take the Lead in Becoming a Sustainable Business
The time is now. Making small changes leads to big changes to help our planet.
Take this opportunity to set a goal to become a more sustainable business this year. Get your peers excited at the prospect of making changes for the greater good.
For more information on sustainable business, check out some of our other articles.