Businesses are a large contributor to societys dent in environmental unconsciousness, but they also possess the ability to leave lasting change like cleaner air, less energy use, and easy access to purified drinking water.
How Businesses Can Invest More in Sustainability
Emily Folk | Conservation Folks
Green is in. The natural health, environmental, renewable energy and sustainability markets continue to grow as conscious consumers are hyper-aware of their consumption and its impact on the environment. Access to statistics detailing our human imprint on the earth is impossible to escape and the diagnosis is pessimistic.
Businesses are a large contributor to society’s dent in environmental unconsciousness, but they also possess the ability to leave lasting change like cleaner air, less energy use, and easy access to purified drinking water.
An Exceptional Public Relations Boost
From a public relations perspective, indulging in sustainability practices gives your business a better image, strengthening your brand. Recently, the UK decided to ban a wide array of single-use plastics. The story sparked a spirited and positive response on social media. So while the investment may be hefty for certain sustainability implementations within your organization, the good press your effort can generate is invaluable.
Give Back, Get Back
Incorporating sustainability practices into your business is more than an expensive PR campaign. Titans, like DuPont, have seen savings in the billions per year after implementing practices to curb greenhouse gas emission.
Tesco, Walmart and Toyota are other industry giants who have made far-reaching environmental reform within their respective companies. These companies are not synonymous with altruism, meaning their motives driven by increasing profits. The sustainability model is one of those unique combinations that is both good for the environment and cuts business costs or generates additional sources of revenue.
Strengthen Bonds Within Your Business With Additional Education
Sustainability efforts are good for the environment and future generations, but you can also use sustainability as a tool to strengthen bonds within your company in the present. Companies offer courses that navigate the vast region of environmental, health and safety training. An employee innovation could lead to a sustainable solution that generates a large return on investment.
Another way to generate involvement and enthusiasm from your employees is to create contests. Set a budget and solicit employees to give detailed plans on how they'd use that budget to create a sustainability initiative that generates additional revenue or lowers costs for your business. You can either choose the winner yourself and put the plans to a company-wide vote. Additionally, the focus on innovation could spur other lucrative ideas.
Opportunity for Additional Streams of Revenue
An entrepreneur loves providing a solution to a problem. With increased industrialization comes more problems like generating high levels of waste, finding a way to dispose of that waste, and releasing excess carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Entire industries sprung up to cure these issues. Sweden found recycling to be so lucrative; they had to start importing garbage from other countries. Imagine the profit you could make and the lasting impact you'll have if you generate additional solutions for curbing greenhouse gases, find a new use for trash or an efficient and safe way to break down waste.
One of the easiest ways to create a more sustainable company is to go paperless. Communications like emails and memos generally don't need to be backed up by a hard copy. Consider storing information on hard drives as a backup as opposed to stacks of paper that will take hours to sort through. It's much more efficient to pop a keyword into a search box on a computer that fusses through various tactile files in person.
Other small improvements with big impacts include:
Using refillable k-cups instead of single-use k-cups
Stocking your employee lounge with reusable cups and utensils
Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products for your office
Incentivize employee carpooling or walking or biking to work
Budget for adding solar or wind power to your business in the future
The sustainability movement is the perfect time to seize a rare win-win situation. At the very least your efforts will make a positive impact on restoring our environment’s vibrancy and the odds are you’ll also make some money.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
Emily Folk - Contributing Author
Emily is an environmental writer, covering topics in renewable energy and sustainability. She is also the editor of Conservation Folks.
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