Everyone should be trying to do their bit to reduce their impact on the environment, Eco-business says. For businesses, this is especially important as their spheres of influence extend way beyond just the people working for them.
Environmental impact is measured not only in how sustainable their offering is, but also in their supply chains, third-party contractors, trade partners and of course, the individual actions of employees. Businesses must therefore make a strategic and concerted effort to embed sustainability within their operations.
Whatever a company’s size, its connections and activities have the potential to instigate significant positive change, and there is no better time to make the effort than World Earth Day. But where to begin? Here, five sustainability experts and business leaders give their top tips for ingraining sustainability within any business.
The traditional global economy tells businesses to pursue growth and profit above all else. However, David Ko and Richard Busellato, co-authors of “The Unsustainable Truth” challenge this idea, encouraging people to consider their business in terms of the value it brings to their clients and customers instead.
“Understand why people choose you over another,” recommends David. “If the world keeps warming, there may be no volume growth and money will be tight. Knowing why people choose you will let you focus on what’s necessary and save resources for everyone.”
In doing this, companies prioritise minimising their environmental impact and resource use over generating excess profit.
“You cannot have a business model based on volume sales growth. Every activity will use up a fraction of our carbon budget,” says Richard “No process is ever purely ‘clean’, and it is paramount we do not fall into thinking that we can continue as we are because we have added in solar panels or recycling, for example.”
“Figure out what you need your profits for – it ultimately serves someone,” David continues. “Understanding this will help you know how busy you need to be so you can save resources, whether that is time, money, or materials.”