With the global pandemic causing a colossal shift in economies, hundreds of businesses suffered. Disruptions have caused chaos in productivity, demand, and even consumer spending habits. But in some cases, the businesses that integrated sustainability strategically into their operations even before the COVID-19 crisis showed more resilience amid the economic changes.
When we say eco-sustainability in business, it means doing business without adverse effects on the environment and society. It centers on meeting the needs of the present without sacrificing the future.
Most investors now increasingly seek out businesses with positive environmental, social, and governance performance because they are more stable to last in the long run.
Sustainability in business is not just good for the environment or society—it is also for the good of the business itself. Here are some benefits for you to consider operating an eco-sustainable business.
Reduces operation cost in the long run
Reducing carbon footprint is not the priority of many businesses. But in reality, it can save more money in operating costs at the end of the day.
Helping your business become more eco-sustainable is actually easy. It can be as simple as switching to eco-friendly lighting, conserving water, and installing solar panels
LED bulb uses 30 percent less energy than regular incandescent lights which last 25 times longer. Conserving water is as simple as fixing leaky faucets, saving up a ton of gallons of water a month. And installing solar panels could cut half of your electric bill—which all means significant savings.
Boosts business reputation
For a business to last, it has to build a good image. In a 2018 article by Forbes, considered as one of the most reputable companies for corporate social responsibility is Lego. This is because of their decision to create Legos from plant-based sources instead of plastic which reduces their carbon emissions in a big way. This resulted in the booming of the company’s reputation.
Consumers see sustainability as a plus, and businesses with economic values are eager to broadcast them because of that fact. It is literally telling people they are putting a certain sense of purpose and corporate responsibility into its products. Being eco-sustainable shows the world you care about more than just earning profits.
So, with that's been said and done, how would you turn your business into a sustainable one?
Although most companies and businesses today are forced to move and operate online, many workers still need to go to the office despite the risks. Some positions do not allow for telecommuting, but if employees can do the work outside of the office, let people take advantage of it even if it means three days a week of work-from-home.
The impacts of telecommuting can be compared to have the same effect on the environment as planting trees. It eliminates 3.6 billion tons of carbon emissions caused by people commuting. It also lowers the risk of people getting health issues associated with commuting to work these days.
And this doesn't end with just cutting paper usage. Going digital means adapting to the urgent need to design a more innovative, more robust, and more diverse supply chain. As businesses faced a supply shock when more and more people and countries ordered people to stay home, consumers struggled to procure basic product needs.
Despite the advances in technology, the pandemic revealed a system that heavily relied on outdated processes that impacted trade and demand. With businesses adapting to technologies like artificial intelligence, it's more viable to build a global exchange capable of weathering storms.
Building a sustainability committee
Creating a team of volunteers responsible for sustainability initiatives promotes a sense of accountability to sustainability.
This committee often focuses on two areas: One is on the company's operations, examining the sustainability opportunities within the organization, and the second is educating employees on sustainability and engaging them in actions that they can do. They will also be responsible for eco-friendly corporate events that will surely build a culture of sustainability in the workplace.
The bottom line is eco-sustainability in business has its challenges, but it is necessary. Those who embrace sustainability ideas' full complexity sooner than later will contribute to a better world and experience higher long-term profits. But ultimately, it has to be a collective effort. It requires a whole new form of collaboration. For any single business to create zero emissions, suppliers need to innovate cleaner products, and regulators and customers willing to support their efforts. But as long as we continue to move step by step toward sustainability, we can build a more resilient and optimistic future for everyone.
About The Author:
Kat is a Molecular Biology Scientist turned Growth Marketing Scientist. During her free time, she loves to write articles that will bring delight, empower women, and spark the business mind. She loves to bake but unfortunately, baking doesn't love her back. She has many things in her arsenal and writing is one of her passion projects.