7 Ways To Integrate Sustainability Into Your Business

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 08/07/2021 | 16:28

Many years ago, profitability used to be the main concern of many businesses. Everyone wanted to turn a profit. However, that isn’t enough nowadays. In today’s marketplace, companies are expected to be green and sustainable. This is because customers want their purchases to have an impact on the environment or at least not hurt it. Thus, many organizations are looking for ways to integrate sustainability into their businesses to gain a competitive advantage.


How To Integrate Sustainability Into Your Business?

Sustainability focuses not only on how business affects the environment but also on its effect on society. However, it’s a complex concept that can be difficult to implement. Luckily, with technology and the willingness to change the status quo, sustainability in the modern business world is now easier.  

Here are seven ways to integrate sustainability into your business:

  1.     Reduce The Amount Of Paper That Your Business Uses

You might’ve heard about being paperless or going ‘paper-free.’ This practice allows your employees to handle documents digitally rather than on paper.

Going paperless may seem imperative when you consider that tons of office paper is wasted every year. For some, going paper-free might not be a realistic goal, but there are minor changes you can make to cut back on the amount of paper use, like the following:

  • Go paperless in business transactions, such as when using email invites. Conveniently, companies like Greenvelope.com have made it possible to eliminate the need for paper by providing online invitations that companies can use.
  • Reduce the number of printed copies distributed for each document sent by email. Instead, let your employees access the document and print out the pages they need.
  • Be a digital leader in your industry by setting up an intranet where employees can share information and files electronically.
  • Change your printing providers. Perhaps you could go to a bulk ordering service that prints on demand. This way, there’s no waste when documents aren’t used. Doing so will also allow you to avoid duplicate copies are made of the same document.
  • Use email to communicate with employees instead of memos or handbooks.

So, think about these questions: how much paper do you use at work? Are you willing to go paperless? Remember, even if the task seems monumental, they’re very much possible to accomplish.

  1.     Install Solar Panels To Power Your Business

Reduce your business’ energy costs by installing solar panels. Off-setting your energy consumption costs through renewable resources can reduce your carbon footprint and positively impact the environment. It might be hard to justify the initial investment, but in the long run, you may save money and help save the planet at the same time.

An incentive offered by some countries is a solar tax credit. This credit allows businesses to deduct a percentage of their total costs from their taxes when they install solar panels. Hence, if your business utilizes solar panels, the practice could help lower your total cost and give you a much-needed capital boost.

  1.     Reduce Packaging

One way for businesses to integrate sustainability is by using recyclable packaging. For instance, a company could package its product in a plastic bag that customers can take home. This allows any company to improve its public relations and make sales. This way, both the environment and the consumer are happy. 

  1.     Encourage An Active Lifestyle Among Employees 

Over the years, businesses have realized that it’s essential to encourage their employees to become more physically active to help reduce cars on the road. For example, some encourage their employees to bike or walk to work by providing secure and convenient storage areas. Some countries also encourage businesses to practice this by giving tax incentives to those with facilities that promote a healthier workforce.

Business man worker riding bicycles in city,Concept ecology bike go to worker
  1.     Use Green Marketing 

Innovation often starts with small steps. Green marketing is a great way to advertise your business in a unique, eco-friendly manner. 

Whether through product packaging or by printing your advertisements on recycled paper, making consumers aware of how your sustainability efforts can only help improve your reputation and increase sales. This may be costly and challenging to do, but there are many benefits to doing so.

  1.     Use Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Lights Throughout The Office

Many offices are moving toward LED lights to save electricity, but the trend doesn’t seem to have caught on with many small and mid-size businesses. While the upfront cost is slightly higher than traditional lighting systems, you’ll see savings in just your first year of use. This positive result is made thanks to LEDs’ longer lifespan and energy efficiency. Also, when you factor in the state and local incentives given for your switch to LED lights, you’ll be sure to recoup your investment in a short time.

Having an occupancy sensor is also a huge feature of using LED lighting. You’ll see significant savings on electricity costs just by using less energy when people aren’t around. This alone can cover the additional cost of the sensor.

The truth is, many people still don’t realize how many square feet an office can occupy. So, while you may think LED lighting only benefits the visible areas of your store or workspace, in reality, it can reduce energy costs throughout the entire area.

  1.     Give Your Employees The Option To Work Outside

Encourage your employees to get some fresh air by adding more work-from-home days or giving them the option of working at an off-site location for a day. In some cases, it might even be more productive to let workers commit to remote work full time. This is because, sometimes, working in a small office can breed negativity and stress. Also, giving your team members the option to work in a more relaxed setting won’t only help them avoid burnout but it can also help you attract highly qualified professionals.

This option to work out of the office can save you money on space and boost employee morale. When they feel more valued and less stressed, employees are happier to come to work each day and feel more productive as well.

Final Words

As the world’s population grows and natural resources become scarcer every day, sustainability has never been a more critical business advantage. There are many ways you can integrate sustainable practices into your company without making any drastic changes or sacrifices. 

Following the list above can help make gradual changes with a considerable impact. You’d be amazed at how much you can affect the planet without sacrificing anything that can hurt your business.

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Mihai-Alexandru Cristea | 12/04/2024 | 17:28
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