Six Tips For Running a Sustainable Business

As our business world modernises, sustainable business has been given more focus. Here are some of our best tips.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that companies are now expected to give back to their community and global society as a whole.

We are seeing an increasing emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in companies’ business models and among investors alike.

Taking a green approach to management is one of the biggest trends of modern industry.

While it is vital to take a sustainable approach to business, it can also be challenging to incorporate CSR policies successfully.

This is especially true for smaller businesses that might not have the resources to develop watertight approaches to sustainability.

With that in mind, here are some tips for enhancing sustainable practices in your organisation.


Take a Course in Sustainable Business Management

A brilliant way of ensuring your business practices are in line with current sustainability standards is to take a sustainable finance course. Finance short courses are valuable resources for teaching business owners relevant skills and techniques to implement sustainable practices in their organisation.

A green finance course will provide education on the challenges businesses and financial systems face as the global climate deteriorates and the methods used to counteract these issues.

So, learning about finance online could be ideal whether you opt for an education in environmental finance, sustainable supply chain management or sustainable business management.

Such courses will help you build a foundational knowledge of CSR and how to best integrate sustainable approaches into your operations.


Take an Intentional Approach to Sustainability

When promoting sustainable business practices in your organisation, CSR must be incorporated into all strategies and business goals.

This means that sustainability should be considered in every aspect of your operations.

To do this, you should clearly detail what your sustainability goals are. This will help you to develop clear and actionable strategies.

While planning your CSR policies, it is essential to be intentional with your aims and ensure responsible parties implement these ideas.

Assigning accountability to individuals within your organisation will help to build a culture of sustainability throughout the company.

Additionally, when people are responsible for achieving specific goals related to your social and environmental policies, you can track your successes and shortcomings more accurately.

Ultimately, making a clear effort to put CSR policies at the centre of your operational activities will help build a culture of responsible business practices within your organisation.


Recycle Everything You Can

It is estimated that around three-quarters of the solid waste thrown away across the globe could be recycled. However, only a relatively small amount of this actually goes to recycling facilities.

The overarching reason for this is that recycling waste requires planning.

If your business is situated in a city with no single-stream recycling waste collected off the street, you might need to be more proactive.

Many companies need to take matters into their own hands when recycling their waste and hire external companies to manage the process.

To do this effectively, you should first assess what your business is throwing away and how much of this is potentially recyclable. Next, you should look around for a local recycling company that would be willing to handle the job.

Once you have a contract in order, set up recycling bins across your facilities and promote the importance of recycling waste to your team members.

If you really want to make a difference using your recycling strategy, you could commit to becoming a zero-waste entity. Some companies are trialling such approaches, and estimates suggest that they have diverted around 90% of their industrial waste away from landfills.

The ultimate goal here is to reach net-zero waste in landfills.


Outlaw Single-Use Plastics

An estimated 35.8 million plastic bottles are used in the UK each day. However, only around half of these are actually recycled. While a lot of this comes from individuals simply throwing their bottles in general waste bins, you can take steps to counteract this problem as a business.

Plastics effectively do not biodegrade, so they will likely remain in the environment for millions of years when thrown in a landfill. When the problem of the ubiquity of micro-plastics across the planet is also considered here, the issue of single-use plastics is clear.

If you are looking for an easy way to make your company more environmentally conscious, consider taking steps to reduce plastic use in your organisation.

A straightforward way to do this is to ban single-use plastics like water bottles and plastic cups in your facilities.

You can do this by installing water fountains that your employees can use as a source of drinking water while at work. Another common strategy businesses are using is to hand out reusable bottles to their staff.

These can double as an advertisement for your enterprise if you commission branded items.

You could also remove items in vending machines that use plastic bottles or single-use plastics to further reduce the environmental impact of your operations.

While this approach can successfully reduce the waste your organisation produces, you should still think carefully about implementing such a ban.

Offering your employees viable alternatives to plastics is essential. Ultimately, you risk frustrating your employees with a command and control approach, so tread lightly here.


Develop Green Partnerships With Other Companies

While doing your own individual part for promoting more sustainable business practices is commendable, your organisation will not be able to resolve broader problems without cooperating with other entities.

You should, therefore, attempt to build relationships with other companies in your industry or local community.

Partnerships with other organisations that prioritise sustainability will help you to build a broader culture of socially conscious and environmentally friendly strategies.

When building these partnerships, you should focus on the disposable, resource-hungry elements of your manufacturing or operations.

This will help you to identify which aspects of your business need to be improved. Once you understand unsustainable practices, you can find socially and ecologically conscious business partners to enhance your CSR policies.


Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Conventional halogen or incandescent light bulbs use up to 75% more energy than their LED counterparts. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to promote sustainability in your facilities is to switch out your outdated light bulbs and replace them with LED lighting.

While there might be a fairly high upfront cost to making this change depending on the size of your operation, it is thankfully a one and done process.

Simply assess how many inefficient bulbs you have throughout your organisation and order comparable LED bulbs online.

Additionally, once you have taken care of the upfront expense and the time-consuming activity of changing all of the lights in your office space, you can expect savings in the future.

LED bulbs might be more expensive than halogen or incandescent ones, but these lights’ energy efficiency and longevity make them much more financially viable in the long term.

Overall, as a business owner in the modern era, you must begin to take steps to make your enterprise more socially and environmentally sustainable.

This will help ameliorate the many social injustices in the world and the ongoing climate crisis.

However, there are also many financial benefits for companies incorporating CSR into their business model. These include better customer and employee retention, increased investments and higher brand loyalty.

Here is another fantastic article on our magazine:

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