Sustainable Business

In today’s world, being a sustainable business isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must. As people become more aware of environmental issues, companies are realising that their actions have a large impact on the planet and society. Businesses contribute significantly to climate change through energy consumption, waste production and supply chain operations. A staggering 71% of global greenhouse emissions have been produced by only 100 companies since 1988.

Going green isn’t just about saving the earth, it also sparks innovation, improves brand image and keeps customers and employees happy. By focusing on sustainability, businesses can gain a competitive advantage, therefore attracting new markets, as 92% of consumers are more likely to trust an environmentally conscious brand. Money and resources can also be saved if sustainable practices are put in place.

There are multiple ways a business can improve sustainability practices, this blog post suggests simple, yet effective ways of making a start in reducing environmental impact.

Sustainable Business

Sustainable sourcing

Leading businesses are evaluating their supply chains, opting for more sustainable resources and business operations. The EU has adopted the ‘Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive’ (CSDDD) to ensure companies comply with sustainable practices. While mainly targeting larger companies, provisions are also put in place to support SMEs in meeting their due diligence obligations.

Sustainable sourcing ensures that procurement practices don’t contribute to negative outcomes such as child or forced labour, environmental degradation and other unethical practices.

It’s important for businesses to tackle these supply chain issues not only from a compliance perspective, but also from a risk management and reputational standpoint. Engaging in unethical practices can lead to poor brand reputation, resulting in a loss of customers and investors. Implementing sustainable sourcing practices mitigates these risks and builds more resilient and sustainable supply chains.

Furthermore, sustainable sourcing involves evaluating suppliers’ environmental and social practices to ensure they align with the business’s sustainability goals. Companies can adopt various certifications and standards, such as Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance, to verify their commitment to ethical sourcing.

Transparently reporting on sustainable sourcing efforts can enhance stakeholder trust and shows a business’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, paving the way for other companies to follow suit.

Green Transportation Choices

Transportation remains a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, consequently leading to climate change. With over 28% of U.S. emissions attributed to this sector, it’s vital for business to address this environmental challenge. By embracing green transportation choices, organisations can not only reduce their ecological footprint, but also foster a culture of sustainability.

Internal decisions can be made within a company, such as optimising delivery schedules to prevent empty trips, utilising video calls to limit unnecessary employee travel, investing in fuel-efficient vehicles and limiting business trips. Implementing telecommuting options where possible can further reduce the need for travel and decrease overall emissions.

External measures can be coupled with employee incentives to encourage more sustainable commuting to work. Discounts on electric vehicles and bikes, providing subsidised bus passes, implementing carpool services and encouraging walking through employee rewards and walking clubs are all ways to make sustainable transport more appealing to employees. Additionally, offering flexible work hours can help employees avoid peak traffic times, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

Adopting green logistics practices, such as using electric or hybrid vehicles for deliveries, and partnering with eco-friendly shipping companies can also significantly impact a company’s carbon footprint. Moreover, businesses can explore alternative fuels, like biofuels and hydrogen, to power their transportation fleets.

Through a combination of internal optimizations, employee incentives, and community involvement, businesses can drive significant environmental improvements while fostering a culture of sustainability.

Sustainable Business

Reusing over Recycling

Green Peace emphasise the importance of reusability over recycling, as only 9% of plastics ever produced have been recycled. They call on larger companies to commit to more sustainable packaging solutions, emphasising the shift from single-use plastics to reusable alternatives.

Therefore, for your business to embrace reusability over recycling, it’s important to opt for high quality, well-made materials from suppliers, this typically ensures better durability, and a smaller chance of throwing products away.

Smaller internal changes such as limiting the use of paper within business operations can massively reduce a business’s environmental impact long-term. Additionally, moving as many practices to online as possible is a great start at removing the need for recycling.

Other reusable products such as using hand towels over paper towels and providing glasses and mugs over disposables cups significantly helps.

Certain industries, such as the exhibition stand sector, generate significant waste, with many stands being discarded after a single use at tradeshows. However, Quadrant2Design, an exhibition stand design and build contractor, prioritises sustainability and reusability to address this issue. They offer reusable, modular exhibition stands that reduce both waste and cost. Their scalable, customisable designs support sustainability by avoiding single-use materials, significantly enhancing their environmental credentials.

Adopting reusable practices not only benefits the environment, but also aligns with sustainable business values. Investing in high-quality, durable materials and making smaller internal changes can significantly reduce waste and promote long-term sustainability.

Sustainable Business

Conclusion

It’s essential for businesses to make continuous improvements to their sustainability efforts, reassessing internal and external operations and procedures critically. This involves evaluating supply chains, optimising transportation and prioritising reusable, durable materials.

By implementing these changes, businesses can significantly reduce their environmental impact, improve their brand reputation, and strengthen their sustainability credentials. Embracing these practices not only benefits the planet but also positions businesses for long-term success in an increasingly eco-conscious market. Through sustained commitment and innovative strategies, businesses can lead the way towards a more sustainable future.

Going green isn’t just a trend—it’s a necessity for modern business. By integrating sustainable practices into every aspect of their operations, companies can drive meaningful change, inspire others, and secure a competitive edge. The journey toward sustainability is ongoing, but with dedication and proactive measures, businesses can create a positive, lasting impact on both the environment and their brand.

Written by 

Hi, I’m Frankie. This is my blog (Thoroughly Modern Grandma) about blending old fashioned values with modern technology, whilst trying to reduce our waste and be a little kinder to our Planet.

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