Historically, issues surrounding sustainability have been pushed to the back of the agenda by many businesses. This is all changing now; businesses are adopting sustainable approaches across the board, and coming to the realisation that environmental benefits can be nicely aligned with business profitability benefits. Businesses that are looking to embrace sustainability can begin by embracing a few simple techniques to begin with. Here we outline what those and how they can positively impact your business!
Partnering with non-profit organisations
Many businesses stop short of implementing any effective sustainable practises as the learning curve can be extensive in nature. A way around this is for businesses that are new to sustainability to form partnerships with non-profit organisations in a space that is of interest to them. Many of these non-profit organisations exist and can help your business with the necessary experience and resources you will need to begin implementing sustainable practises!
Whether you have an interest in environmental or labour concerns, racial or gender equality, there will be a non-profit that exists which can align with your business’ specific needs.
It’s usually the case that businesses looking to have the most significant impact with their sustainable practises start by educating their employees and firmly including them in the ongoing process. This is especially important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, educating employees can increase the feeling of involvement that they have across the range of the organisation, making it far less likely that the business will slip back into old methods. Secondly, including them in the process empowers your employees to individually do their part, which can go a long way in boosting overall morale and helping employees realise that they all have a part to play in achieving sustainable practises.
How you exactly go about educating your employees on the specific sustainable practises you are implementing will usually depend on your individual situation. Some options you can use include organising lectures, webinars, or even purchasing some corporate social responsibility (CSR) training.
Another fantastic way to get your employees involved in the process of sustainability is to take steps to encourage volunteering within your organisation. There are a number of strategies you can implement to achieve this.
For example, you could offer time off for employees who want to volunteer, which can sometimes be known as VTO. Even if you provide as little as one or two days off a year, this can still go a long way to empowering employees to achieve more sustainable goals. If you don’t want to consider this route, a company-wide drive for volunteering might be a better option.
Rethinking the supply chain
If your business sells or produces a physical product, analysing your existing supply chain has the increasingly vital potential to illuminate any significant opportunities you might have to embrace sustainable practises, including:
- Responsible sourcing of materials: The simplest act of ensuring that the outside vendors you source individual components or raw materials from follow fair labour and sustainability practises.
- Reduction in consumption of natural resources: Practises such as rethinking packaging or streamlining manufacturing processes to reduce waste from plastic can be implemented here to reduce the totality of natural resources that your business is consuming.
- Reduction in carbon emissions: There are a number of ways that businesses can reduce carbon emissions. The installation of smart sensors within facilities can positively ensure that electricity, heating, and cooling are automatically shut down when they aren’t necessary. Moving production of your physical goods closer to your end customer can also cause significant reductions in any transportation-affiliated emissions.
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