How To Integrate Environmental Sustainability Into Business

Being climate conscious might not be easy, but by following these steps you can make sure you’re doing it the right way.

It would be an understatement to say that protecting the environment is one of the world’s most pressing concerns today. Extreme weather conditions are becoming increasingly common in today’s world, from floods in Malaysia to heat waves in India and Antarctica. These are just some of the unnatural weather events that have happened so far this year.

In such a difficult situation, it is of paramount importance that companies also strive to become sustainable from the ground up. Because of this, many big companies like Google, Nike and Disney have started to make efforts to be more eco-friendly. When you are new to running a business, sustainability can be challenging. To make the process a little easier for you, here is a guide to running a climate-conscious business:

Get a clear picture of how sustainable your business is right now

Before thinking about which sustainability initiatives to put in place, it’s important to get a clear picture of how things are currently being done. This means doing some research on sustainability-related aspects, such as: B. your company’s resource consumption, carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. Today you can analyze collected data with specific sustainability analysis tools such as risk assessment, benefit-cost analysis and life cycle assessment. These tools help you make decisions not only based on current or past conditions, but also consider how situations will change in the future. Once you have this information, you need to figure out how to be sustainable while maintaining or increasing productivity without incurring additional costs.

Encourage longer conversations about sustainability

Once you identify where you need to make changes, it is then appropriate to encourage people within the organization to implement those changes. This can be done through training and active communication about the upcoming sustainability initiatives. You can invite guest speakers to talk about climate awareness and host climate change workshops to convey to your employees that sustainability is a priority for the company.

Create incentives for sustainable supplier behavior

In addition, companies must also have discussions with their suppliers about sustainability. After all, a company is only as sustainable as all of its moving parts. Before you start sharing your sustainability efforts with your investors and the public, make sure your suppliers are also following your guidelines. You can encourage suppliers to adopt climate-friendly practices by issuing supplier awards and motivating your suppliers to improve their reputation, which in turn can help them attract more customers.

maintain transparency

In the recent past, many companies like H&M and Nestlé have been found guilty of greenwashing (pretending to be eco-friendly but actually not taking the right steps to achieve sustainability). Of course, greenwashing scandals can damage your brand’s reputation. While big brands can bounce back from these scandals, it’s much harder for small businesses to do so.

Today, around 42% of customers look at a brand’s label to learn about its sustainability efforts. This should be a clear sign that customers want to know how their products are made. Therefore, it is important to have a data-driven approach to sustainability. One way to do this is by using blockchain technology to track your supply chain. This can help provide customers and all other stakeholders with credible information about where the product (or parts of it) are made and whether they meet all relevant quality and sustainability standards.

Set achievable sustainability goals

A study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that although 90% of the participating executives considered sustainability important, only 60% actually made it part of their business strategy. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that sustainability goals are often unattainable.

Your goals don’t have to be as big as becoming completely carbon neutral by 2030. Instead, you can focus on smaller tasks, such as B. Reducing the use of plastic packaging in your products for a specified period of time. However, to actually achieve this, you must consistently track progress and be accountable to all stakeholders for your progress.

Remember that the road to sustainability is not linear. The economic impact of certain practices, as well as government policies, will constantly change. To keep up with these changes, your sustainability program must also be constantly updated.

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