7 Steps to Establishing Your Business as Sustainable
It’s been shown in the latest statistics that businesses with an environmental focus are on the rise. If you want to appeal to the consumers and investors of the future, it’s a good idea to start establishing your company as a green business now. This goes beyond just implementing greener habits in the work place, or switching your product’s packaging. You need to take the entire supply chain into consideration and concentrate on building a strong green marketing strategy. Here are seven steps to establishing your business as sustainable.
Sustainable supply chain
In order to achieve long-term success as a green business, you need to consider the full life-cycle of your products. Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of the products they buy. To market yourself as a green business you need to meet certain criteria. The materials you use need to be sustainable and ethically sourced. Minimize emissions and waste produced throughout the entire supply chain. Ensure your workers are paid sufficiently according to fair trade initiatives. Carry out a life-cycle assessment of your products to understand the true environmental impacts and look for areas for improvement.
Foster a green culture at work
If you want to boost your green reputation, here are a few tips for creating a sustainable office and work space. Your commercial property needs to represent your values. This means focussing on zero waste and recycling initiatives, energy-efficiency, and using sustainable materials. Foster a green culture among your employees as well. Encourage an active commute to work scheme and other environmentally-friendly habits. Many employees prefer to work for a sustainable company so this will also help your business. You’ll boost morale and motivation and this will result in more engaged employees.
Never underestimate the importance of brand consistency. If you’re going to focus on marketing your brand as green then this needs to be embedded in all aspects of your strategy. You need to think about being consistent in your branding colors and visuals, tone of voice, and message. A solid green marketing strategy will help you establish your business as sustainable.
When marketing your business as sustainable, you need to be careful about your pricing decisions. Consumers actually expect sustainable products to be more expensive due to fair trade and more costly production methods. It’s better to make your supply chain as sustainable as possible and charge more for your products. Putting a green label on something only because it contains natural ingredients isn’t enough to up your prices. The more of an impact your brand’s mission makes, the more exposure you will get, and the more products you will sell.
Local community efforts
Prove your company’s values by joining the volunteer community. You can find plenty of ways to help out in your local community online. This could be as small as planting trees or a local green space. You could even join forces with another sustainable business to host an event or other marketing schemes. Publish your community efforts on social media and ensure you get the word about your good work out there. This will help to reinforce your reputation as an ethical company and give you the opportunity to promote your business.
Work with a non-profit
As well as reaching out to other businesses you could also get your company affiliated with a charity or non-profit. Do your research and find the best option for you. Here is a list of charities and non-profits. If you’re endorsed by a charity this could be very beneficial to your reputation as an ethical and sustainable business. Working with a non-profit is a two-way partnership and you can do your bit for a good cause while promoting their brand and yours.
If you do enough charity work and really boost your corporate social responsibility (CSR), you could aim towards getting certified. Sustainable businesses can apply for B Corp certification, for example. You will need to show a serious commitment to the environment, however. This includes actively working towards a sustainable future from your supply chain and materials to your charitable giving and employee benefits. You will be assessed on how your operations impact the environment, community, your workers, and your customers.
Whereas registering as a B Corp may seem like a long way off, there are plenty of ways you can start making your business more sustainable now. To establish your company as a green business, begin evaluating your supply chain and marketing strategy.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.