Whether it’s the politicians, economists or marketers, the word “sustainability” seems to have become the leitmotif of our time. However, just because we can hear it nearly everywhere, it doesn’t mean that we all understand the full meaning of it. This is especially true when it comes to business, as truly sustainable businesses are hard to come by, at least the big ones.
Once we understand what sustainability entails, we can truly appreciate it and make it imperative for our enterprise. Today’s market is more competitive than ever, and sustainability is the value that will keep you afloat.
The Culture of Sustainability
Most entrepreneurs think that sustainability is actually a technical matter. Although this is to some extent true, sustainability is more of a culture than a particular procedure. It should be adopted by everyone, starting from top management all the way to the last ground employee. All the employees must understand how a sustainable business functions and actively contribute to preserving the environment.
In practice, this includes such trivial things such as saving on copy paper, but also larger endeavors like altering the business plan. All in all, you shouldn’t let sustainability be just another catchphrase used by your marketing department, but actively seek to develop a culture of sustainability. In other words, eco-awareness should become part of the office etiquette.
A good example of a sustainable brand would be a running apparel company, Rockay. The Rockay team produces and sells accelerate socks and compression sleeves for runners, but their business strategy comes with a twist. Namely, their merchandise is made from recycled ocean waste, mostly fishing nets, nylon and other waste
They work closely with the fishing industry to provide them with plastic waste that is transformed into flakes, then pellets, and ultimately sports footwear.
Collaborative Sustainability Effort
A truly sustainable business should take better care of its procurement. This means that they should choose their suppliers carefully and check if they also use eco-friendly methods.
This way, you will stimulate the industry from the inside to change its ways and become sustainable. For instance, if cardboard boxes manufacturers get numerous requests for recyclable packaging, then they are more likely to completely alter their technology or production to use less energy and less natural resources.
One Sustainable Step At a Time
A good sustainable business knows that there are numerous small things that make up for their sustainability and the place in the market built thanks to it. This means that you should start small and continue small until you reach a satisfactory level of sustainability. Large investments aren’t needed, as simply replacing all incandescent light bulbs with LED ones Is enough to start the change.
You can decide not to print business emails after this and for the next step you can gather all the employees to brainstorm together on how you can make your business more sustainable. After all, the people who are in the office every day know best how to cut down on operational costs and help save the planet.
Knowing vs. Doing
If you try to make your business sustainable, you are likely to receive support from everyone in the company. A study has shown that nearly everybody will support the idea of a sustainable business, but only 2 out of 3 chairmen or senior executives will actually do something to introduce the change. If you want to be competitive in today’s market, you should not only be aware of the importance of sustainability, but actually implement it.
If a company making running socks can be a sustainable business, then pretty much any enterprise can adopt this concept. The competitive market and environmental alarm make it imperative for your business to become truly sustainable.
Infographic Source: Rockay