6 steps to build a sustainable business

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Sustainability is becoming more and more important to consumers. A growing movement against plastic products and irresponsible consumption is a sign of what people expect from businesses in terms of sustainability. At present, an increasing number of consumers want to get goods from environmentally conscious companies so aiming to be carbon neutral and zero waste can be a great selling point.

What makes a business sustainable?

How can you build a sustainable business or transform yours into an environmentally friendly one?The first step is to analyze the impact of your business on the environment. Does your business or industry cause pollution to air, water and soil, health issues, extinction of species, and more? Does your business use sustainable resources? Before starting building a sustainable business, you need to get a deeper understanding about sustainability which is not a destination but a journey. Once you embrace the fact that sustainable business practices save money, simplify operations, and build brand equity, you will continually search for new ways to embrace them.
Here we have listed six ways that will enable business owners to shape a more sustainable future for their company.

Use green energy

Try to use renewable energy to keep your workplace warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Heating produce large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere therefore it is necessary to minimize CO2 emissions.

Foster a culture of sustainability

Start with simple steps such us using energy-saving bulbs at office or utilising reusable glass instead of plastic cups for water. You could also encourage your employees to embrace sustainability through incentives and prizes.

Reduce the use of paper

The big amount of paper and waste that many companies accumulate on a daily basis is simply unnecessary. The elimination or reduction of waste in all forms is great for the planet and a major cost saving and you can achieve that by using digital storage instead of paper storage for your documents, digital forms to collect data and electronic invoicing to deal with suppliers and consumers.

Reduce transportation

The best way for many manufacturers and businesses in general to shrink their environmental footprint is to reduce the amount of transportation required to obtain parts and material. You can achieve that by buying raw material from local suppliers and avoiding any unnecessary transportation.

Encourage reuse and recycling

You can encourage your employees to reduce their waste production by making sure that your business waste policies are clearly outlined for all of your workers. If you decide to implement a new recycling program, you might send out a company memo that details about how to recycle in the workplace. This initiative should be followed by a waste management strategy. You could also stimulate your workers to reuse old items or donate them so others can use them.

Focus on excelling in your area


Sustainability is about being a part of an ecosystem. Further in the bigger ecosystem, you are going to become a part of many ecosystems. In some, you might be a significant player and in others, you might be a small player. But in the end, it’s all about the contributions you are making in all  those ecosystems. So, instead of trying to be a big player in every ecosystem, look at how things work to drive incremental value.
Running an environmentally friendly business helps to reduce your impact on the environment and makes you save money. It could also be used as a selling point: in the USA, 90 percent of shoppers prefer cause-based products and companies. After all, sustainable business is also good business.

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About the author

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Sandra Melo

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