What are ways to improve business sustainability?
- Create a sustainability culture
- Reduce transportation emissions
- Become resource-efficient
- Do business with green businesses
- Establish strong partnerships
Creating and growing sustainability in your business is good for many reasons. First, sustainability ensures that our shared resources and environment continue to provide for current and future generations. Furthermore, a sustainable business model is simply a more successful one.
A strong sustainability story and culture can provide cost savings, build brand equity, and attract talent, among other benefits.
That said, sustainability is not easy for all firms to achieve. Strategies have to adapt, and businesses have to balance different trade-offs than before. To help you on this journey, we have listed five ways to improve business sustainability — each one can help your organization shape a brighter future for your company, communities, and environment.
Create a sustainability culture
Sustainability starts with your business culture — the guiding framework for how you do business.
It’s a must for businesses to embed sustainability in their culture. For successful long-term integration, you must be ready to adapt to new needs and sustainability crises as they appear. To do this, businesses have to continuously look for ways to innovate policies, processes, and attitudes toward a sustainability mindset.
This is achievable through widespread training and consistent communication at all levels.
Educate your people
As we mentioned, education is key to adopting a sustainable culture. Thus, you must educate your employees about the issues your business is facing, the intended impacts of your sustainability initiatives, and why such measures are important for your organization.
You might also take the time to include them in the strategizing process. Doing this will increase buy-in throughout the organizational chart, making it less likely that you’ll slip back into old ways.
Second, it empowers your employees to reshape company culture into something they can connect with and have a role in, which goes far in boosting morale and engagement.
Some education methods you could implement are organizing seminars or lunch-and-learns for employees to attend. Or, employing corporate social responsibility training.
Reduce transportation emissions
Reducing emissions is, of course, crucial for reducing your business’s carbon footprint. What most firms are unaware of is that one of the biggest contributors to this is their transportation emissions — particularly from employees coming and going from their offices to their homes.
Thus, how your employees do their daily commute is an important consideration when trying to reduce your company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
One possible solution is to locate yourself somewhere easily accessible via public transportation (buses, trains, vanpools). This should encourage your people to take advantage of these transport options. You may also provide employee dorms nearby your offices, which will help cut down the need for transportation altogether.
Another key consideration for businesses is their use of resources. Aside from raw materials, resources such as energy and water should be taken into account.
When it comes to these utilities, the first step is to be aware of the amount of energy and water you’re currently using, so you can identify problem areas. Unfortunately, corporate buildings take up plenty of these resources — things like lighting, air conditioning, desktops and laptops, bathrooms, and other facilities are difficult to replace or adjust to become more energy-efficient.
The solution, then, is to reconsider the location. Tapping into a more robust infrastructure built for sustainability will provide more benefits to your company’s triple bottom line, rather than just making a few meager changes to your office layouts.
A good option for many industrial and commercial businesses is to relocate to an industrial park. These areas have utility infrastructures that are planned, designed, and operated in a way that ensures economic, institutional, and environmental sustainability over the entire infrastructure life cycle.
By locating in this area, you’ll also be able to share premises and infrastructure with other sustainability-oriented organizations, pooling these resources and creating a symbiosis between one another. This promotes sustainable development and a circular economy approach that reduces your environmental footprint and improves efficiency overall.
Do business with green businesses
Tackling resource efficiency isn’t the only way that your business can move towards being carbon-neutral. Another way is to reconsider which businesses you’re working with.
From software service companies to packaging and manufacturing plants, to shipping carriers, all of these players in your supply chain have a big impact on your business’s environmental footprint.
Becoming a more sustainable business, therefore, depends on the companies you decide to do business with. Luckily, there are sustainable vendors that can be found across every major industry — the key to finding them is analyzing your supply chain to illuminate which ones aren’t practicing sustainability and doing your due diligence to find green business partners to replace them.
For example: if you source raw materials from outside vendors, do you know how these materials are procured? The simple act of making sure that your vendors follow fair labor practices and sustainable production methods can have a lasting impact on your company’s environmental and social impact.
Establish strong partnerships
Many companies interested in embracing sustainability often fall short of implementing concrete initiatives. This is because the learning curve is steep, and they lack the resources, knowledge, and skills to overcome it. Any team tasked with crafting a sustainability strategy for your company can easily become overwhelmed with trying to come up with an actionable plan.
One way around this is to form strong partnerships with more experienced organizations — particularly those in the spaces that interest your company, such as racial or gender equity, labor concerns, and environmental issues.
These organizations will be able to provide what is needed to help you get your efforts off the ground. Those that may not have the resources can still help you create and implement impactful policies that will put your company in the right direction.
Sustainability in business is an important aspect of continuous growth, providing value for stakeholders, and being a good neighbor to the communities you operate in. There are many different paths you can take to make your business more sustainable — such as these five ways to improve business sustainability.
For more assistance, contact Science Park of The Philippines (SPPI) today. As the foremost developer of eco-friendly industrial parks in the Philippines, we have the initiatives, infrastructure, and resources you need to start your sustainability journey — and get it right.