2022/12/20

Building a Sustainable Business

Drake Editorial Team

With the increase in conscious consumers, businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the growing demand for corporate sustainability from consumers and employees alike.

Sustainability doesn't just mean being environmentally conscious. It is about providing a positive impact for the environment, business, and its people.

Many businesses have adopted sustainability initiatives and practices in order to build trust among stakeholders. Not only does this improve their bottom line but also reduces waste and increases productivity through improved employee engagement.

We’ve compiled some best practices to help you build on the three sustainability pillars – environmental, social, and business.

 

Environmental Sustainability

According to Nielson, 81% of respondents feel strongly that businesses should be using their resources to improve the environment. This is especially true for Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z employees.

Sustainability is a mindset, not just a practice. It’s about taking care of the environment in every decision you make at your company.

Think about how you can reduce waste and cut down on energy consumption by making small changes in your daily routine:

ReduceIt might seem obvious, but the best way to reduce waste is to avoid creating it in the first place. Where possible, avoid low-quality materials, products, and tools. This applies especially to single-use or disposable items such as printing paper, plastic bags and packaging, food packaging, coffee cups and more.

ReuseReusing materials saves resources and reduces waste. Ask yourself if there are materials you can share or hire instead of buy new equipment. Make sure the products you do purchase can be reused, recycled, or donated when they are no longer needed.

RecycleA good way to reduce waste is to start with a three-bin system: landfill, recycling, and paper. Check all bins regularly to see what your biggest wastes are and be sure to update your system as your business evolves.

Low Energy TransportReduce pollution and business costs by encouraging walking, cycling or e-transport where possible. Use air transport only where necessary.

Energy UseKeep your energy use low by ensuring your building is properly insulated, choosing high efficiency light bulbs and equipment, and turning off appliances when they’re not in use.

 

Social Sustainability

Social sustainability is about focusing on and taking care of the people in your business. People development is an investment in the future, and a key to business success.

Focus on staff retention as well as attractionProvide your team with a ‘WIIFM’ – “what’s in it for me?”. Do you offer a competitive salary and great benefits? Can you provide flexibility for your staff? What are your company values? How are you involved in the community? Share the ‘why’ of working for your business to create interest and long-term engagement.

Encourage employee participationEncouraging employee involvement can be as simple as seeking input from employees when making decisions or asking them for feedback in an annual satisfaction survey. Get their input and listen to their feedback.

Make work more flexible It’s suggested that 74% of employees feel happier when they work remotely. A flexible work environment means employees can adjust how they spend their time at work based on their needs outside of it and still make an effective contribution to their job performance without sacrificing personal priorities or goals.

Create supportive teams by encouraging collaboration Creating collaborative teams means creating a culture where people feel comfortable sharing ideas but also holding each other accountable.

 

Business Sustainability

Business sustainability means taking a longer view of your business and making informed decisions that enhance the value of that investment over time.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has a range of benefits, including improved innovation, performance, employee retention, and grants access to a bigger talent pool. Some meaningful ways to accomplish this is a respect for equity among employees, inclusive language, and embracing differences such as neurodiversity and physical ability.

Shop local Cycle capital back into your community by choosing local suppliers. Not only does this keep your footprint low and preserve resources, but it also keeps your community thriving by creating more jobs, nurturing innovation, and promoting growth in your own local economy!

Fit for Purpose Use fit-for-purpose technologies and materials to reduce costs and improve quality.

 

Sustainability isn't just about the environment. You can be sustainable in any area of life or business.

Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It’s about how we live our lives and how we can make a difference in our communities, whether that community is as big as your city or as small as your street block.

Every little bit counts, and together, we can make a difference!

 

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