As we build towards Earth Day (Sunday, April 22) we’re going to devote much of our content to sharing the ways in which shifting focus to sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices can help your organization, and position it to become a sustainability leader in your industry.
To start, here are three ways your business can become more sustainable.
#1 - Sustainability as a Business Model
Taking the time to understand if your industry has or will have sustainability regulations coming forward, and what they are, is time well spent. In many cases those regulations, when they come into action, are going to mean big changes for your business. If you haven’t done the work to educate yourself and your employees ahead of time they could also mean a lot of headaches.
So why not get ahead of the curve? Take the initiative and look for ways to use sustainability to help create new streams of business. By making sustainability a part of your business model you demonstrate that your organization takes environmental and social responsibility seriously. We live in a world where environmental and social awareness is very high. It's practically expected that brands make some sort of effort to include sustainable initiatives in their corporate strategy. Consumers notice brands that give back to the community, employees new and old relish the opportunity to work in an innovative organization, and stakeholders trust companies that value foresight and long-term growth over short-term gain. That's a domino effect of new business opportunities and that has a real impact on your bottom line.
#2 - Get Your Team Involved
If making sustainability a part of your business model isn’t on your radar at the moment, that doesn’t mean there aren’t very real things that can be done in your office to help the cause. Even small shifts can have a big impact, but the place to start is with your team. Make it your mission to get your employees involved in very real ways that allow them to feel empowered and to feel like they have ownership.
Here are some ways to help ensure your team feels involved:
- Find out what’s important to them: what kinds of sustainable initiatives are going to excite them?
- Start with something easy and very attainable: like turning off all machines at the end of the day to get people bought in and on board, and then build to more challenging initiatives, like going paperless.
- Make your initiatives shareable: if your team is truly engaged in the initiatives and having fun, then it’s time to share what you’re doing with your customers through social media and any other digital marketing platforms you may have. Creating authentic sharing moments will help your team feel ownership and pride in what they are doing and let your customers see and feel your brand’s authenticity.
#3 - Recycle Your Electronics
We had to mention this one. Obviously it’s our business, but even if it wasn’t we would mention this, because choosing to recycle your electronics in a safe and secure way is one of the best things any company can do to support sustainability in the office. Having an end-of-life plan for your IT and electronic assets benefits your company's bottom line as well as the environment. By recycling those electronics into reusable materials or refurbishing them to be resold, companies can recover a significant amount of money from the proper disposal of their electronic devices.
We hope these quick tips start your journey to a more sustainable office! Understand that sustainability is more than just environmentally responsibility. It's also a smart investment for the future. Whether you believe in climate change or not, our planet has limited resources and it's a poor business strategy to keep all your eggs in one basket. What sustainability can do is diversify how your organization grows and profits, making it flexible and more resilient to forces outside of your control. With that in mind, a sustainable business is not just good business, it's smart business.