In the last few years, we finally realized that climate change and global warming pose a great threat to society, so words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco-friendliness’ have become present at every corner, business landscape included. Even if we don’t focus on the environment, running a company that’s not held down by waste, old traditions and dependency is a great business move.
Knowing about sustainability is just one part of the puzzle. In order to become a greener company, it’s necessary to create a well-planned and financially viable sustainability initiative. Here’s a guide on how companies can tweak their sustainability strategies and meet important standards of modern society.
In the US, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations should be treated as legal persons aka citizens who are protected by the Constitution, so corporations got a chance to switch from obligatory to voluntary initiatives for being “good citizens”. But still, many companies are choosing to make sustainability efforts and include them in their mission. Creating a green company mission means that all the decisions, collaborations and suppliers need to be strategically created to fit your sustainability initiative.
Western society creates a lot of waste, so waste reduction should be one of the first efforts in your green initiative. Let’s take a look at some business giants and their strategies. For instance, Google founded a project called Google Green to reduce their resource waste. This effort resulted in the overall drop of power requirements for their data centers by circa 50%. By reducing waste, you can make savings that can be aimed at other green strategies.
Waste reduction is important, but it’s impossible to eliminate all your waste, so it’s important to implement certain changes in the ways your business handles waste collection. Professional waste management can include waste recycling, operational waste management planning and other services that provide easy and green waste removal. Investing in infrastructure such as garbage compactor technology can also improve your waste management. Additionally, these units save money, space and time and improve the hygiene of commercial premises.
The benefits of digitizing your documents and focusing on Cloud-based technology are countless, but there are some more noticeable ones. For instance, from a green standpoint, it cuts down the volume of paper and disposable materials you will need which reduces pollution, deforestation and waste. From an economic standpoint, digitalization will make your business easier to maintain, leaner, more open for outsourcing and easier to scale. Going digital and ditching paper is nothing but wins across the board.
Usually, not every employee is thrilled with new sustainability practices, especially senior employees who don’t like changes. This is a great opportunity to educate your workers on why it’s important to adopt green practices. You might choose to bring in a guest speaker, go on a field trip to showcase recycling factories or local areas that need cleaning. Showing all the benefits of sustainable business is also a great educational opportunity.
It’s true that most sustainability efforts start with CSRs, but employee engagement is the key to the success of your green initiatives because they are the ones executing them. It’s a smart move to start a “green team” of employees who would meet and discuss changes that can be implemented. These changes can be simple like starting a recycling program or big like starting a community involvement program that involves employees in community work and sustainability work. This move will not only bring a lot of support to your company from the community but also teach employees and management how they can make a change. Green teams engage employees to play their part at work, but also take what they’ve learned home and boost their positive impact on the environment.
The Global Goal is a safe place to turn to on your way to sustainability. These goals focus on sustainability, but also consider the benefits of greater equality, fair wages and investing in diversity and inclusivity. According to research that resulted in the “Better Leadership, Better World: Women Leading for the Global Goals” report, gender equality in the workplace can potentially unlock trillions of dollars in new market value linked to the Global Goals. Diversity and inclusivity are key to sustainability because they force us to step outside of our comfort zones and have honest conversations, provide opportunities for future generations and open companies up to a more diverse market share. They provide benefits for social sustainability, eco-friendliness, as well as economic growth and profit.
These aforementioned ideas definitely provide all business owners with an idea of how to change the directions in which their company is heading and steer it to a greener path. Remember that green policies are only practical if they provide benefits to all parties involved. In the end, every company needs to have its business interests in mind and protect them in the process towards sustainability. Now that you know where to start, set a course for sustainability!
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