Sustainability in business means operating without negatively impacting the environment, community, society or economy as a whole; the goal of a sustainable business strategy is to assume responsibility in these areas to make a positive impact.
Put simply, sustainability means caring for our planet, caring for all people and campaigning for positive change.
Creating and growing a sustainable business is good for several reasons; among them taking care of the planet and communities that we live within for the benefit of all. However, good conscience aside, a sustainable business model can also be a successful business model.
Consumers increasingly want to buy from companies with a green and socially conscious reputation, and it is reported that up to three quarters of employees working at SMEs feel working for a sustainable business is important. As expectations on corporate responsibility and transparency increase, companies are recognising the need to act on sustainability, and in doing so are reaping the benefits of this approach.
“Sustainability requires making every decision with the future in mind. It is about our relationship with the world around us — creating economic prosperity and social value while contributing to the preservation of the planet.”
How to Create Sustainability in Business
A sustainable business will consider a wide range of environmental, economic and social factors when making key strategic decisions. Each strategy will be unique to each organisation as they tie into larger business goals and values; below are five ways to make a business more sustainable.
1. Think outside of the box when it comes to recycling
Recycling doesn’t just refer to what goes to waste and in the office bins. It could also include: –
- Using upcycled furniture in your office or retail space
- Sourcing refurbished IT equipment including laptops and phones
- Working towards paperless offices
2. Aim for zero waste to landfill
Careful planning and effort across a business can make it possible to stop sending any waste to landfill – engaging expert waste treatment contractors, replacing disposable plastic cutlery with bamboo, issuing staff with reusable water bottles, and replacing fluorescent tubes with LED lighting.
Full buy-in requires a wider culture shift – consider providing mandatory environmental training to all employees.
3. Become a ‘B Corp’
“B Corps” are businesses that are voluntarily certified every two years for their social and environmental performance. It provides a framework to help balance the need to make a profit with the needs of the planet, and alliance with the B Corp also enables access to a network of other businesses who are willing to offer advice based on their experience.
4. Enable employees to work from home
Remote working could have a huge impact on a company’s environmental footprint and Covid-19 brought working from home into the mainstream.
If this way of working continues as future trends predict, there will be less electricity used, a reduction in commuting and individual carbon footprints, and fewer offices supplies required.
5. Diversity, inclusion and community development
Sustainability is about building something for the greater good that lasts – to be truly sustainable a business shouldn’t just focus on its environmental resources, it should also commit to being good stewards of the social landscapes in which it operates.
Linking ED&I and CSR with sustainable business practices is not only socially sustainable, it drives a commitment that sustains the longevity and diversity of its social resources, meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations.
Broster Buchanan are proud to have been shortlisted for Sustainable Recruitment Agency of the Year 2021. To read more about our work in this area please click here.