10 Good Reasons for Your Business to Become Sustainable

How sustainable is your business? Do you work in an environment that needs an eco-tune up? It’s easy to think green at home as you go about your daily life, but harder when we are in our office environment. It’s almost like we have a split personality, being eco-warrior at home and a ‘what do I care? I only work here’, at our place of employ. We spend more of our life in the office than at home, so this disparity does not make sense. Being ‘green’ is not about saving the world single handedly in our homes; it’s about doing all we can wherever we are to preserve resources. Being eco at work is just as important as being eco at home. It’s time to make a difference.

If your workplace is not converted to using sustainable practises, or has no green policy, here are the reasons you need to use to get one implemented.

Here are 10 good reasons for you company to invest in becoming sustainable at work:

MONEY

Practising sustainability at work makes good financial sense. Sound eco-principles are based on saving resources, and as you save resources – you save money. Almost every corner of your business can benefit from a green policy if you sit down and think about it, from turning off computer monitors at the end of the day to reusing waste items, you can save your bottom line as well as the planet.

The best part of saving money by having sustainable policies in place is that this is a cause employees can be involved in and feel passionate. Not only will it save your company money, it will bind your company together in a good cause that will enrich the lives of your employees inside, and outside, of work.

ATTRACT MOTIVATED EMPLOYEES

The rising generation of employees are more interested in companies that consider the world around them and not just focus on making money. Having an active and effective green committee or policies in place indicates that your company is committed to more than just the bottom line. This will attract the right kind of candidates that will be committed to your company and work as a team.

It’s now proven that in a business with the feel good factor of a sustainability initiative staff will work harder, give more of themselves and stay longer. The highly educated, mobile and tech-savvy age group that falls within the demographic band known as Generation Y wants a workplace that’s like them: extends to a life outside the usual 9 – 5, urban, flexible, collaborative, environmentally sensitive and unconventional.

RECYLE MONEY

With the upturn in the recycling industry and the drive to take industrial waste and make it into a new product there is money is selling the waste you produce. Designers are creating patterns for industrial waste that they know they can repeatedly procure, but a new breed of eco-conscious designer is springing up that procures industrial waste and then makes new products out of it.

There’s money in your garbage.

ADAPTABLE

Sustainability policies are adaptable for all industries and size of company, so as your company grows, you’ll be able to send out eco-friendly ripples that lower your carbon footprint whatever you do. Being lean, resourceful and nimble in your day to day operations means that you can afford to look to sustainable suppliers, or even request sustainable principles from your suppliers.

Your active green credentials will translate into anything that you do and give your brand a new type of integrity that translates into customer loyalty.

FULFILLING A NEED

More and more companies and consumers are looking for earth friendly practises in the businesses they deal with because sustainability reaches further than just conserving water and recycle waste. It encompasses the way employees are treated, the ethics of the company and often industrial philanthropy too. Consumers are now overlooking some companies that do not invest in the future of the planet or its workforce, in favor of forward thinking businesses, as it satiates their eco-credentials. And the trend to sustainable businesses is growing.

TRANSPARENCY

One of the parts of company sustainability that is a massive plus is the transparency of eco-operations. Eco-operations are easy to verify and easy to see, so sustainability makes your company operations very transparent.

EXPOSURE

Companies with a strong eco-ethics have a right to be able to advertise it. Green companies achieve much in business, and when they fail, they also tend to admit it and make amends. Consumers love this. These transparent companies also draw charities to them and form partnerships with NGO’s that add to their credibility of their sustainable credentials.

NURTURING

The impression a company gives of by partnering with sustainable initiatives and charities is that you care. Having a green face to any company suggests correctly that you are interested in more than the bottom line.

RESPONSIBILITY

Many companies say that as they don’t manufacture anything, they don’t have a large carbon footprint.

Walmart is a prime example of a company that doesn’t make things, yet is developing a supplier index for its tens of thousands of suppliers to measure the carbon impact from the things they sell to the company.

According to Matt Kistler, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Walmart, 88 percent of the company’s environmental footprint is in its supply chain, and only 12 percent is under its direct control. So if the company is going to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality, it is going to need to address most of its reductions in its supply chain.

With their purchasing power, they have a tremendous opportunity to influence the supply chain and reduce their (indirect) environmental impact.

ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Sooner or later with the damage we are doing to the planet, we are going to see regulation over industrial sustainability. It all boils down to whether you want to choose how your green policies affect the company, or you are forced to accept what the regulatory body wants you to do. As a general rule being forced to conform to the rules is much more expensive, so choosing to start eco-policies now will be much less painful, and more economical, in the long run.

Becoming a sustainable business is a strategic decision. Companies that choose to turn a blind eye to the benefits from becoming more sustainable are putting themselves at an immediate competitive disadvantage, and quite possibly set themselves up as targets for regulation in the long run. Make sure you take advantage of all that being a sustainable business has to offer, and maybe you’ll be the company that makes the rules for the others to follow.

 

Resources:

https://hbr.org/2009/09/why-sustainability-is-now-the-key-driver-of-innovation

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/topics/sustainability.html

http://calgary.isgreen.ca/living/work-environment/businesses-approaching-sustainability/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/energy-and-sustainability/

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