Sustainability in business isn’t just a modern buzzword. Being eco friendly becoming one of the most important pillars in any business model. With more and more of us looking at our wastage and impact on the planet, environmental responsibility is the watchword of the century.
So any business starting out today needs to look at it’s eco friendly credentials as an integral part of its offering. But is it that important? Can’t you just set up a your business and worry about the environmental side later?
These are why you really should focus on being eco friendly from the start with any new startup.
As consumers are looking to minimise their waste, so they need the services and businesses they use to do their bit. We all still need to eat, get places, wear clothes and use a whole smorgasbord of services on a daily basis. But more and more of us are making choices based on that companies global impact.
In fact, millennials (those born between 1980-2000) are twice as likely tosearch for zero wasteor sustainable options as their older compatriots. And in response, more and more brands are releasing sustainability statements and zero waste targets. If the established players are moving towards this, any startup should be too.
One upshot of being eco friendly is you’ll use less stuff and therefore spend less money. Go fully cloud based and avoid the costs of printing on paper, storing paperwork and then shredding it a few years later.
Minimize your energy use and keep energy costs down. By installing smart sensors such as Nest you’ll be able to control the resources you use and turn off unused lights, control the temperature or decrease water usage.
We’ve become so used to the idea of shipping things halfway around the world, that we ignore the fact that we can source things from closer to home. But with all the press about sweatshops and far flung Chinese factories polluting the environment, more and more consumers are looking for products with less of a carbon footprint.
Being an ethical and sustainable business might mean finding a better way to make your product. A good example of this isethical shoe company Baabuk. They source the raw materials for all of their wool shoes from within a 200 kilometer radius of their factory in Portugal. And to top it off, all their workers are paid a fair wage. The business avoids shipping materials around the world, saving on import duties and transportation and minimising their global impact.
Plastic is the Enemy
As the world looks at loosening its dependence on plastic, more countries around the world are looking at ways to combat the use of the material. Single serving plastic such as straws, disposable cups and carrier bags are already being phased out in eco friendly many countries. And, some countries such as the UK, Australia, Kenya, India, parts of the USA and China have seen the plastic bag binned and the disposable cup outlawed.
As a startup, focusing on using sustainable packaging is instantly going to win you new friends. It will also save you having to find a new supplier in a few years when the inevitable plastic taxes run the material outta town.
Global giants such as Coca Cola, L’Oreal, Walmart and Evian have all committed to using only sustainable packaging by 2025. Get ahead of the pack(aging), not left behind.
Win More Fans
As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, people are looking for the sustainable option. Consumers these days are more savvy and tend to look for a product that aligns with their personal ideals. So if you’re offering a quality product that cares for the environment, customers won’t just be customers, they’ll be fans of the brand and potential ambassadors.
And perhaps most importantly of all…
We should all be aiming to minimise our impact on a personal level, but business has a particular responsibility. The leverage of your product or service being used by so many people means you have a chance create a positive impact. From your product manufacturers to your office supplies, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle.
After all, the world’s resources are finite and we’ve been consuming them at an unsustainable rate for a long time now. By being a responsible business, with an eco friendly outlook you’ll be safeguarding the future of our planet for many more generations to come. All business should be based on a long term strategy and outlook of course. And what better way to manage a long term outlook than by safeguarding the future of our planet?
About Michelle Joe:Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her.She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find heron twitter: @michellejoe524
The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from:
# Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions)
# Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman
# Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel
# Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky
# Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley
# Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke
# Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley
# Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea
# and more green living books to follow.