As businesses look to improve their climate, environmental efforts and drive meaningful consumer behavior change, they are slowly beginning to embark on a path of sustainability.
Many small and large businesses have made Sustainable Goal Development (SDG), a core value. Consumers are more likely to be interested in companies and brands that take climate change seriously. Investors have also become more intrigued by innovative technology that helps businesses transition to a more sustainable and ethical business model.
Organizations have been pushing the limits for years and developed a range of tools and resources to help them reduce their carbon footprint and be more eco-conscious about their operations and practices.
Recent data suggests that 67% of the companies surveyed by Deloitte found they have used more sustainable materials in their products.
These efforts are supplemented by research and development by Science Based Targets Initiative, (SBTi), which currently works with over 3,400 companies worldwide towards decarbonization and meeting SBTi targets for the next ten years.
Executives from all industries, including startups and large corporations, are beginning to understand the importance of sustainable business practices. They not only benefit the planet, but also help them to remain competitive in a highly competitive market.
For any startup or business, environmental policies and a strong urgency for sustainability will be a challenge. Making the right decisions can be difficult. To navigate these roads, you must know what to look for.
Tips for Building a Sustainable Business Model
Here are five things business owners need to consider when creating a sustainable business model that works.
Make sustainability a core principle
Owners and executives need to make an effort to incorporate these initiatives into their business models and operations in order to be more sustainable and eco-conscious.
Instead of trying to invent the wheel, look at what other businesses have done and how it has worked for them. You can adapt as necessary and ensure that sustainability and environmental policies are part of the business structure from the beginning.
These policies should be applied across the entire business structure. Current employees and new staff must be briefed about how the company plans to promote ethical behavior.
Although it may seem impossible to achieve full-scale sustainability, or even net zero, in the grand scheme of things it may be achievable for small startups. It’s difficult to go green in the first few years even for large corporations.
Spend some time thinking about realistic green goals you would like to achieve. Then, create a roadmap that will guide you and your team to reach these goals.
There will be setbacks, but these should not hinder your ability to focus on the larger picture of what it is you want to accomplish.
Keep the Environment in Mind When Planning
Planning for a new product line or service offering is important. Consider the materials that you use in your products and the alternatives available.
You might start by considering implementing a hybrid or remote work arrangement for employees in order to reduce commute time from and to the office. You might want to reduce energy and water consumption, but aren’t sure where or how to begin.
There are many points of entry that will help you find greener options, but it is important to think about how these efforts can drive your business forward and help you achieve your sustainability goals.
Consider how small changes can make a big difference
An American worker prints approximately 10,000 copies per year. This is per employee. When you add in costs, printing costs per employee can be as high as $1,200.
This is not only costly, but also wasteful.
Not only does it save time and money but also reduce paper usage at work. This is a small change you can make, but it will pay off in the long-term.
You can think of other areas in your office or business that you can make small changes to help achieve your sustainability goals. You should think about areas where resources can be used at their best without needing to replace them often.
Consider The Conscious Consumer
The transparency of companies is becoming more important to consumers. In the next decade, more people will support brands that work to improve the environment.
According to a study, 66% of consumers said they would spend more on products if they were made by sustainable brands. 81% of consumers think that companies should work to improve the environment and set more sustainable goals.
This is just one example of many studies that show that consumers, not only the younger ones, find it increasingly important for businesses and individuals to be more environmentally conscious.
Many businesses can make improvements to the environment and become more connected to their sustainable development goals. Consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable business practices across the entire value chain. This could be a driving factor in their success.
Companies of all sizes should think about how their operations make a difference in the larger scheme of things. They also need to consider how their business model is designed with the future consumer in mind and their sustainability requirements in mind.