While sustainability has been a smart and sensible pursuit for a long time, it’s now more urgent than ever before, pushed along by three powerful motivations that can actually be pursued simultaneously: protecting the environment, maximizing profitability, and attracting customers.
Embracing a sustainable operation is pragmatic in the long run because it protects the world around us (the importance of that doesn’t need to be clarified), and because it makes it markedly less likely that you’ll suddenly struggle for vital resources — but it’s also key for impressing potential customers who are increasingly likely to care about only supporting businesses that are demonstrably committed to sustainability.
Ready to make your business more sustainable for all these reasons and more? Here are some great ideas on how you can achieve it.
Cut back on your resource use
The biggest thing you can do is cut back on the resources you use for your business. Plenty of companies leave office lights turned on and computers running overnight when there’s no need for it, or they have supplies delivered in numerous trips where one would be more economical.
Get into the habit of turning electronic devices off when you’re finished using them. Particularly avoid using fuel for business trips: it’s necessary sometimes, but if you get fuel cards for your drivers (such as those listed at iCompario) then you can track exactly what you’re spending and figure out where you could remove or reduce trips.
You should also try to embrace this in your personal life, and encourage all your employees to do the same. Setting a good example through your business isn’t enough, and if people see your workers using resources unnecessarily, it will undo a lot of that effort.
Commit to minimizing waste
It isn’t just the resources you use that you should care about: it’s also the waste you produce through your daily operations. How much single-use plastic do you get through? If you get supply packages, they might not use recyclable cardboard, or they might combine it with plastic sheeting that can’t be recycled so easily (or even at all).
You also need to think about the electronic devices you use beyond just turning them off when you can. When you buy devices that were planned to become obsolete fairly quickly (Apple devices, for instance), you can just buy later models when they come out, but then a lot of those older models end up becoming waste.
Think about getting in touch with a service like Circular Computing with a goal of providing high-performance computers in a sustainable way — not through using different materials, but through refurbishing old machines so that parts get used for as long as they’re operational.
Donate to green charities
Very simply, you can opt to donate a certain amount to green charities: you could offer something each month, or each year, or you could even offer a flat percentage of your operational revenue. It depends on how well your business is doing (which is to say how much you can afford to donate) as well as how committed you are to sustainability.
If you can’t offer anything in this way, you needn’t feel guilty: just do what you can to pursue sustainability otherwise. If you can, though, then it’s definitely worth doing. Green charities need all the help and support they can get.