How can Businesses Become more Sustainable?

Can you be a green business even if you didn’t set out to be one? Perhaps your unique selling point (USP) is not converting used coffee grounds into fuel. Maybe you don’t have a zero-emission technology product on the market. Or you did not start a small business to help save the world on purpose. No matter what you sell, you can always be more sustainable. It will enhance not only your social conscience but also your income flow.

Here are five ways in which you can make your business more sustainable:

  • Planning sustainable sourcing: Customers want you to consider the values of your suppliers as well as your own. They want to know where their products come from and how and by whom they get manufactured. Some small enterprises will have a more extensive supply network than others. A simple activity is to look at your suppliers, whether they are in the single or double digits, and see if their sustainability criteria match yours. Examine their activities and approaches – how they contribute to the earth rather than detract from it. Rank each component in your supply chain in terms of social, ethical, and environmental consciousness. And consider what you are and aren’t willing to compromise in environmental effect and employee treatment.

It is critical to be realistic and balance your ambition with your ability to pay. Some providers would charge a higher price for clean production in low quantities. By weighing the 10 C’s, you will determine which individuals or companies will supply your business. Consider the modifications you can afford to make in the short term and what you will need to do to meet your long-term sustainability goals.

The Ten Cs:

  1. Competency
  2. Capacity
  3. Commitment
  4. Control
  5. Cash
  6. Cost
  7. Consistency
  8. Culture
  9. Clean
  10. Communication

How sustainable sourcing can help:

  • Improve your brand reputation and expand your target market.
  • Reduce operating costs by cutting back on shipping and transportation.
  • Stand out from competitors.

  • Working towards environmental certifications: B corp is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee, says PWC. The non-profit B Lab evaluates and certifies B Corp enterprises for devoting as much thought to their social and environmental effect as their financial returns. For-profit organizations that earn a minimum score against different social and environmental requirements are eligible for certification. The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is a free online platform that assesses how a company interacts with its employees, customers, community, and environment. If your company has been operating for less than a year, you can apply for a special ‘Pending B Corp’ status. For a charge, B Lab will license the Certified B Corp: Pending intellectual property to your startup to enable you publicly demonstrate your commitment. You can apply for the entire certificate after a year of operation.

How environmental certifications can help

  • It is an efficient approach to increasing your business’s credibility, trust, and worth.
  • It signals to your investors about your management of social and environmental performance.
  • Demonstrating robust governance

  • Utilize energy-saving technology: ‘But how much will it cost?’ is the number one concern for small businesses considering investing in new, energy-saving technology. Don’t allow the cost to stop you from investigating the menu of smart lights, thermostats, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, whether you have an office or work from home. Use solar panels. The initial cost is crucial, but consider the long-term cost benefits of these energy-saving technologies. With planning and perseverance, you may save money in the long term by conducting a basic energy audit of your business, setting some goals, and selecting any of these sensible solutions. Exploring how the Internet of Things can work for you is another approach to tracking energy consumption. However, selling online with a website and app is a concrete way to cut your carbon footprints. 

How technology can help

  • It saves money in the long term.
  • With IoT, you can get insights into equipment performance.
  • You can also broaden your market. 

  • Eco-friendly packaging: The rise of online shopping is not good news for the environment. According to an Oceana analysis, Amazon created 465 million pounds of plastic packaging trash in 2019. According to the industry newsletter Packing Strategies, while eco-friendly options may be more expensive, consumers are ready to absorb that cost in the overall product price. However, to appeal to the eco-friendly customer base, you can reduce packaging and replace the packaging you require with more sustainable solutions to better appeal to this client group.

They are as follows:

  • Biodegradable materials: These packaging materials degrade in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Recyclable materials: These materials can be delivered to the appropriate facilities for processing before being recycled into new raw materials.
  • Reusable materials: These are environmentally beneficial alternatives because there is no waste and no plastic pollution.

Don’t utilize a mix of materials. For example, if your packaging comprises two different polymers, it may be unrecyclable. If you must use plastic, stick to a single type. Consider smart packing as well. Rather than including a paper catalog or advertising inside the package, include a scannable QR barcode that directs your consumer to your website, where they may learn more about the product, get a special deal, or give feedback.

How eco-friendly packaging can help: 

  • It can cut costs.
  • Enhance sales and social media appeal.
  • Deliver extra value.

  • Working towards zero waste: Small businesses are not only providing plastic-free delivery but also refill services to customers, thereby fueling the return and refill revolution. According to the popular environmental blog, keeping the return and refill system local saves transportation expenses connected with shipping the packing or container back for replenishment.

Return and refill are popular services for selling cleaning products or beauty products such as makeup. Furthermore, if you sell on Amazon, the massive distribution business estimates that two new programs will keep 300 million products in use each year, boosting its and your circular economy ambitions. With the new Fulfillment by Amazon Liquidations and Grade and Resell services, small businesses will be able to resell returned products as used on Amazon. And they will be able to offload the handling of returns and overstock merchandise to Amazon and its partners. 

How working towards zero waste can help:

  • Generate various income streams.
  • Cutting the costs.
  • Encourage a local circular economy while retaining customers.

To ensure the sustainability of your business irrespective of its size, you should keep these five tips in mind to make that possible. Planning sustainable sourcing, having an environmental certification, using energy-saving technology, eco-friendly packing, and applying zero waste- will help you direct your business on the right path to achieve sustainability. 

Guest article written by: Ishant is an SEO expert with a rich and long history of helping companies across industries to rank high on multiple search engines. Currently, he’s working with Sage Software Solutions, a leading ERP, CRM, and HRMS provider in India.

1 thought on “How can Businesses Become more Sustainable?”

  1. I think eco-friendly packaging will help us a lot to save the environment. Most of FMCG goods come in plastic paper packaging which can be replaced with eco-friendly packaging.


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