The modern business world is making very big steps in the direction of sustainability. The reasons behind this are numerous and they range from more altruistic deciding factors to the sheer fact that a higher level of sustainability ultimately leads to more optimized production and higher revenue.
Even if we take a look at this issue from the customers’ perspective we will see that as many as 92% of American consumers will trust the brands they perceive as socially or environmentally conscious.
With all this in mind, it should be clear that integrating sustainability into the core of your company should be one of your highest priorities. Let’s see how to do that in the most efficient manner.
Establish a clear set of goals
This simple strategy should be the very first thing you do whenever rolling out some new sustainability initiative. To put it simply, a clear set of specific, achievable, and time-constrained objectives makes both an excellent way for creating tangible and immediate steps toward these agreed milestones as well as a perfect way to measure how well your initiatives are enveloping. The creation and implementation of these objectives should be overseen by a board composed of employees from all company instances.
Reduce energy expenditure
This can be achieved in a number of different ways like purchasing more energy-efficient equipment, reducing peak demand (usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), automating the lights and thermostats, and taking better advantage of natural light. Ideally, though, your business should go all-in and invest in alternative and clean energy sources like solar panels. Even though such investments are not negligible, developed countries like Australia offer green grants for projects of this type so they are more than manageable.
Improve waste management
One of the best ways to do that is to establish a clear reward and penalty system that will encourage your employees to treat the waste in a more responsible manner. You will make their job easier by setting up an efficient and easy-to-use waste disposal system. If we again take Australia as an example we will see that the installation of systems like a waste chute in Sydney and other cities is becoming a common practice. So, you should try to emulate this trend and make disposal as fast and streamlined as possible.
Move infrastructure to the cloud
This move will prove to be beneficial for a variety of reasons. But speaking strictly from the sustainability perspective, moving your business to a virtual, cloud environment will reduce the volume of paper you use on a day-to-day basis, the space necessary for storing these materials as well as the associated costs, and the number of tools you need to use on-site. This simple change also opens the way to work models like telecommuting that use the company’s resources in a far more optimized and sustainable manner.
Use biodegradable materials and recycle
Even if you have the most streamlined operations in the world, your business will inevitably produce a certain amount of waste. Since you can’t eliminate that liability, you should start using items that are biodegradable or that can be easily recycled. So, instead of plastic kitchen supplies, your employees should use biodegradable packaging and reusable cutlery. Instead of throwing away the ink cartridges, you should send them for recycling. The opportunities for making such initiatives are practically endless.
Establish an eco-friendly corporate culture
In one of the previous sections, we mentioned that your employees should be encouraged to handle waste in a more responsible manner through a system of small benefits and rewards. Well, this strategy doesn’t have to be limited only to this single area and your employees should
be encouraged to reduce energy waste, commute to work using a bike or public transport, engage in local eco-friendly initiatives, etc. All these efforts will create a very eco-friendly corporate culture that will start carrying its own momentum.
We hope these few examples gave you some general idea about the strategies you can use to build sustainability right into the very core of your business or even helped you to come up with a couple of unique approaches of your own. The most important thing to take out of this short discussion, however, is that some actions need to be taken, the sooner the better. Sustainability is not something you should check a couple of PR boxes. These moves will, above anything else, benefit your organization in a very tangible and immediate way.
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