Perhaps no issue has become more important for companies in 2022 than sustainability. Large corporations and governments across the world are shooting for net-zero emissions. While this may be a realistic goal for some companies, it may not be financially attainable for others. Mid-sized companies that have lower cashflow than large companies, but more assets, projects, and employees to manage than small businesses may have more trouble achieving net-zero emission goals. Instead, let’s talk about some very practical, simple, and attainable sustainability strategies for mid-size businesses.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is essentially engaging in practices that do not harm, but that instead promote, the ecological health of the environment. Businesses are huge consumers of natural resources, so this focus on sustainability in the business world is a welcome change.
Plus, consumer research increasingly shows that customers care about sustainability and want to support businesses that engage in such practices. Businesses that can integrate sustainability into their strategies and models will not only be doing a truly good thing in helping to maintain our planet, but they’ll also attract customers who share their values.
5 Practical Sustainable Practices
Some large corporations have high goals of completely eliminating their carbon footprint and other similar aspirations. Unfortunately, mid-size businesses may not have the resources to achieve that. But there are several simple and practical steps that businesses can take right now to work toward sustainability.
- Invest in water and energy conservancy. While this does take a bit of capital on the front end, sustainable and efficient fixtures and appliances in your facility are a great way to save you some money and help protect the environment. And selecting energy-efficient electronics, in everything from computers to refrigerators can help support energy conservation.
- Seek sustainable sourcing. Whether it be primary business partners or simply the company you order paper towels from, purchasing from other businesses that support sustainable sourcing helps fuel the circle of even more sustainable practices. Even something as simple as choosing biodegradable K-cups for the office Keurig is an important step!
- Create a plan for recycling. If you run a business, you probably have a computer. And eventually that computer will need to be replaced, along with all the other technology in your facility. Creating a specific plan for recycling electronics, as well as certain light bulbs, paper products, and other office supplies is a simple step that all employees can take ownership in.
- Choose eco-friendly maintenance products. While it’s easy to choose the inexpensive and powerful chemical product to kill the weeds in your business’s parking lot, there are many truly eco-friendly products to help maintain your facility. This could also include any pesticides used on the exterior, as well as cleaning products. And not only are green cleaning products better for the environment, but they’re better for your employees as well.
- Empower employees to improve the workplace. In many ways, your employees are your ”boots on the ground.” Because they see the details of daily operations they may be able to offer insights into places your business could eliminate waste or invest in sustainable products and practices. Providing a specific avenue for sharing such ideas, or creating a method to get ideas up the chain of command, empowers employees to share their opinions. You might also consider incentivizing employees to look for ways to improve sustainability efforts.
Of course, these ideas will be difficult to implement without a plan. Like any business plan, it must include specific action steps and accountability to ensure it’s carried out in full measure. Coalescing these steps together to creates an approachable action plan for leadership, employees, and vendors to practice sustainability strategies for mid-size businesses.
What are some things your business does to sustain the environment? Drop us a note in the comments!