Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important part of running a business. One international study found that 80% of global consumers prefer supporting eco-friendly brands. This statistic is even higher in some countries, particularly Europe and many parts of the United States.
The support for sustainable living didn’t come from nowhere. Most people finally recognize that protecting the environment requires a commitment from all levels of society. This includes individuals as well as small businesses. Indeed, no organization is too small, or too new, to start green initiatives.
What’s more, there are plenty of eco-friendly practices that will give your small business a boost –– in addition to helping the environment. Natalia Parletta is a Forbes author that has talked about this trend in detail. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Check out these four ways you can help the planet –– and your startup –– at the same time:
Hold Green Events
Lots of small business owners attend or even host regular conferences about topics like marketing, sales techniques, or website optimization. Green America has lists of many green business events that are offered every year. However, relatively few make a splash by hosting eco-friendly events in their community. Indeed, one way to make a serious impression on potential consumers and interact with like-minded business owners is to host or attend a sustainability conference. Such an event offers business leaders a brilliant opportunity to connect with consumers, network with industry experts, and even gain a little publicity.
Paper consumption is, for most businesses, an unnecessary expense. Of course, using paper on a large scale is also bad for the environment. It’s almost always preferable, then, for a business to adopt a nearly-paperless plan of action.
The good news is, being able to access important documents remotely is also much more convenient and efficient for employees. Note, sometimes businesses may need to use paper products when dealing with important contracts or legal agreements. Beyond that, though, consider ditching the paper trail.
However, you need to make sure that you go paperless the right way. Some paperless business strategies have environmental problems of their own. This is a reality that GreenBiz pointed out on their blog. You need to make sure that you choose the right paperless strategies to grow your business.
Implement a Work-from-Home Policy
The average worker commutes about 54 minutes every day. This leaves a large carbon footprint. If you want to know what the environmental impact of your commute is, then you can use this tool from Colombia University.
Whether your business manufactures sophisticated lab equipment like 48 well plates or you provide telecommunications support, odds are plenty of your staff can work from home without disrupting the normal functionality of your business. Implementing a work-from-home policy can be a tremendous step toward bolstering your business and your green efforts. A work-from-home policy will help cut down on emissions caused by automobiles and public transport –– in addition to utilities within your office. And businesses that allow employees to work remotely are also more likely to attract quality candidates to fill vacant positions.
Partner with a Charity
It’s never a bad decision to promote a worthy cause. So giving money to charitable organizations that fight for environmental protection is a worthwhile practice that businesses and individuals alike can carry out. Additionally, small businesses can enhance their own profile, and attract more potential donors, by collaborating with a charity. At the end of the day, teaming up with a charity truly is a win-win proposition!
Make Sustainability a Central Focus of Your Business
Green business practices are becoming a lot more important these days. You should do your due diligence and make sure that you follow the right green business strategies.