Sustainability isn’t just an advocacy anymore; it actually impacts an organization’s bottom line.
Nowadays, customers are more likely to value sustainability in their purchases. According to a study by First Insight, nearly 90% of consumers in the 42-57 age bracket said that they would be willing to spend an extra 10% on sustainable products. This is a huge increase from two years ago when only 58% of consumers were willing to pay more for the greener options.
This shift in attitude is largely due to the growing awareness of climate change and the impact that humans have on the environment. Consumers are now beginning to see the importance of sustainability and are more likely to demand it from the brands they support.
Organizations that want to stay competitive must find ways to make their operations and products/services more green and sustainable. There are many ways to do this, and it can often be as simple as making small changes in your daily routine. Here are five tips for making your organization more sustainable:
1. Educate yourself and your employees on the importance of sustainability.
The first step to making your organization more sustainable is understanding why sustainability is important. Once you understand the issues, it becomes easier to see how your company can play a role in making positive change. Educating yourself and your employees on sustainability will also help to build buy-in for making changes in the way your company operates.
There are environmental consultants who can provide this service for your organization, finding opportunities to improve sustainability and giving recommendations for implementation. Accenture, for example, one of the largest multinational companies in the world, has set goals for sustainable services and operations, carbon offsetting and compensation, and implementing energy-saving measures across their organization.
2. Evaluate your company’s waste stream and look for ways to reduce, reuse, or recycle.
Chances are, your company produces a lot of waste. The average American generates about 4.5 pounds of waste a day, and that resulting waste is mostly recyclable. A significant portion of that waste ends up in landfill sites that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. evaluating your company’s waste stream is a good way to identify opportunities for reducing the amount of waste you produce. Even small changes can make a big difference.
For example, setting up a recycling program in your office can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill by encouraging employees to recycle. You can also look for ways to reuse or recycle the waste your company produces. This could involve working with a waste management company that specializes in recycling or partnering with a local organization that accepts donations of reusable materials.
3. Implement policies and procedures that promote sustainable practices.
Once you’ve educated yourself and your employees on sustainability, it’s time to start implementing policies and procedures that promote sustainable practices. This might mean instituting a recycling program, using energy-efficient lighting, or switching to recycled paper products.
Even improving processes that get rid of paper or streamlines your operations, like cloud-based systems, can make an environmental impact. Whatever changes you make, be sure to communicate them clearly to all employees so that everyone is on board, and has a clear implementation plan.
4. Make sustainability a part of your brand identity.
When people think of your company, you want them to think of more than just your products or services—you want them to think of you as a responsible corporate citizen that cares about making positive changes in the world. You can make sustainability a part of your brand identity by incorporating it into your marketing materials, social media presence, and public relations efforts.
A successful example of this is Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company that is well-known for its sustainable practices. The company uses recycled materials in its products, and encourages customers to repair and recycle their clothing instead of buying new. Patagonia also donates 1% of its profits to environmental groups, and has been vocal about its support for environmental causes. As a result, the company has built a strong reputation as a sustainable and responsible business.
5. Hold yourself and your employees accountable for being sustainable.
Making your organization more sustainable is an ongoing process—it’s not something you can do once and then forget about it. You need to continuously strive to reduce your impact on the environment and hold yourself and your employees accountable for being good stewards of the planet we all share. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making your organization more green and sustainable!