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Unveiling the Hidden Benefits of Sustainable Business Practices
Blog...Unveiling the Hidden Benefits of Sustainable Business Practices

Unveiling the Hidden Benefits of Sustainable Business Practices

Net zero trajectory
desktop imac compter with green landscape
In this article, we’ll review what sustainable business practices are, what the benefits are, and how your company can begin to incorporate them in your business.
desktop imac compter with green landscape

Many of those seeking to start a business often wish they could skip ahead to the good part, but the truth is – cultivating sustainable business practices will be more beneficial in the long run as opposed to any, “be successful in business quick” schemes many may gravitate towards.

If you were to ask any entrepreneur or successful business owner, odds are – they struggled before finally reaching the level of stability and financial independence they have today. 

Odds are, many of those companies still standing with success have made an effort to implement sustainable business practices.  

In this article, we’ll review what sustainable business practices are, what the benefits are, and how your company can begin to incorporate them in your business.

What are sustainable business practices?

Sustainable business practices refer to the various actions which allow a company to instill a more positive impact on the environment and their immediate surroundings – such as their local communities and residents, all whilst still running a successful and profitable business.

Sustainable business practices have become more important than ever before in the midst of climate change, seeing as the only way for high emitting companies to reduce their environmental impact is to implement the necessary sustainable business practices.
ted talk

When it comes to sustainable business practices, it’s important to remember the 3 pillars of sustainability:

  • Environment
  • Social
  • Economic 

👉 Businesses that wish to achieve sustainability must be sure to adhere to all three pillars of sustainable development. 

A good way to think of a business which has successfully implemented sustainable business practices is to think of someone who juggles. Just as the person juggling needs to be aware of each one of the three moving objects they rotate in the air, a business needs to be aware of each pillar of sustainability. If one or more pillar is ignored, the company will remain unbalanced – and implementing viable sustainable business practices will remain challenging. 

👉 Ultimately, sustainable business practices can allow companies to operate a more well-rounded business that can be both financially successful while also seeking to protect the general population and environment.

parent and child walking together in the woods

Why are sustainable business practices important?

Sustainable business practices are important because they allow your company to comply with the terms and conditions presented by investors, improve brand reputation, and to cultivate an overall more well-rounded business model.

Ultimately, sustainable business practices allow companies to align their mission statements and business goals with the current needs and expectations of customers, investors, stakeholders – and the planet.
woman with blonde hair

Here are a few other reasons why it’s important to to incorporate sustainable business practices moving forward as more people become cognizant of climate change:

  • Avoid Greenwashing – More and more companies are falling subject to greenwashing, which refers to when companies are accused of advertising green or sustainable practices more so than actually committing to the cause. Implementing truly sustainable business practices can help to avoid these accusations and ensure your company doesn’t end up with a bad reputation.
  • Comply with Environmental Regulations – Big time environmental disclosures such as the SEC Climate Disclosure Rule and the CSRD in Europe are demanding companies to share new environmental figures that many companies may view as overwhelming. However, if companies commit to implementing sustainable business practices, over time – the obligations required under these new environmental regulations will not feel as jarring.
  • Customer Satisfaction – Did you know that over the last five years, there has been a whopping 71% increase in the number of people searching online to purchase sustainable products? Therefore, implementing sustainable business practices is important in order to keep current customers satisfied and future ones intrigued in the business. Otherwise, your company could start to see a dip in sales revenue if it doesn’t hop on the bandwagon of sustainability. 
  • Reduced Business Costs – Resorting to the use of more sustainable business practices often means seeking to use more renewable energy sources and energy efficient technologies, both of which can help to reduce utility bills and slash overall business operating costs.
  • Long-Term Value – Taking the longer, but more steady route towards building a successful business through the use of sustainable business practices can set up your business for long-term success. This is because your business can remain relevant and valuable to customers in the future as their consumer habits evolve alongside climate change. 

young man on phone

What are some examples of sustainable business practices?

Some examples of sustainable business practices include seeking the use of renewable energy, reducing water usage, creating a more sustainable supply chain, and encouraging remote work to mitigate energy usage at the office. 

The great thing about seeking to incorporate sustainable business practices is that there are numerous, effective techniques each company can seek to implement according to their individual financial and environmental goals.

Therefore, if some of the above ideas don’t sound appealing to your company – here are a few more ideas on sustainable business practices instead:

  • Reducing Paper Usage – Even in 2023, you’d be surprised how much paper is still used – such as when mailing an important letter you prefer to keep off the computer or sending a package which requires paper. The more you can encourage your company to stick to secure, digital communication – the more you can reduce your paper usage, need to recycle, and chances at throwing away superfluous trash.
  • Get Creative with New Green Products – There has never been a better time to harness your company’s creativity. Big name companies like Apple have done this, such as by revamping their most recent Apple Watch to aim towards carbon neutrality. If your company can develop new, novel ideas to make your existing, popular products green – it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
  • Seek Sustainable & Ethical Sourcing – The sustainability of a product or service always starts with the materials used to make the product itself. If implementing sustainable business practices at the office sounds like a challenge, maybe try ethically sourcing your products instead to tackle your environmental impact at the root of the cause.
  • Involve Your Employees – Studies have shown that employees are happier when they work for companies committed to environmental reform. Therefore, one of the best sustainable business practices a company can implement is to continue encouraging their employees to engage in sustainable practices – such as challenges to participate in Veganuary or recycle more often. 
  • Use Sustainable Packaging – Long gone are the days where plastic was all the rage, seeing as nowadays – sustainable packaging is accessible to almost any company regardless of their product. See our guide on sustainable packaging for more details on how you can change your product’s packaging to be more eco-friendly!

👉 No matter which sustainable business practices your company chooses to implement, you’ll be bound to experience the same benefits as everyone else.

paper containers

What are the benefits of sustainable business practices?

The benefits of sustainable business practices include a lower turnover rate from employees, gaining a competitive advantage, increased sales revenue, and being able to meet newfound customer expectations in the midst of growing awareness surrounding sustainability.

However there are hidden benefits of sustainable business practices that many corporations are unaware of when weighing the pros and cons of whether to venture down the route of sustainability.

A few of the less well-known benefits of sustainable business practices include the following:

  • Employee Retention – It’s true that millennials are job hopping more than ever before, and while it is more so due for their desire to grow their careers at a more rapid pace – many choose to switch jobs because they’re unhappy with their company’s current stance on climate change. Therefore, adopting sustainable business measures can help to reduce employee turnover rate – which in turn can also help to boost your brand image and chances of attracting new talent. 
  • Staying One Step Ahead – Your company has probably heard by now about both local and federal climate legislation being passed. When companies seek to become more sustainable, they often do not realise that it will help them to not only comply with the current environmental regulations – but future compulsory standards. Ultimately, choosing to implement sustainable business practices can help your company be prepared for future requirements and prevent the need to change your business model to comply accordingly. 
  • Tax Benefits – Unbeknownst to most, companies that choose to implement sustainable business practices can often benefit from tax cuts that they wouldn’t otherwise. For example, Canadian businesses can benefit from the Capital Cost Allowance (or CCA) when they contribute to the production of sustainable energy. In addition to this, Biden’s climate bill last year allows both businesses and the average American to get a tax write off when they purchase an electric car, purchase energy efficient appliances, or install renewable energy such as solar panels.

👉 Long story short, there are almost always hidden benefits to sustainable business practices – many of which are directly beneficial for your business itself.

to do list

How can your company implement sustainable business practices?

Your company can incorporate sustainable business practices by reviewing the sustainability of your supply chain, seeking to conserve energy, and setting concrete sustainability goals. 

It’s important to remember that not all companies should or will seek to implement the exact same sustainable business practices, as different ideas may prove more effective for different companies.

While not all sustainable business practices may prove efficacious, there are bound to be multiple that could prove effective in the long-run for your company.

Here are a few more sustainable business practices ideas that might be well suited for your company:

  • Recycling & Compost Bins – If you want more of a “set it and forget” sustainable business practice, consider putting in recycling or compost bins in the office – as this might be a good, simple way to start you sustainability journey. This is a passive, yet effective way to help reduce waste at the office.
  • Offering Employees Public Transportation Passes – Some of the carbon footprint from your company may fall under scope 3 emissions, otherwise known as the miscellaneous emissions  caused by activities that are out of your company’s control. One of the best ways to reduce these emissions is to give employees a way to get to work that doesn’t contribute to excess greenhouse gas emissions – such as a bike-share subscription or reduced-fee for the area’s light rail system. 
  • Upgrade Your Technology – The price may seem hefty now, but does your company realise that in the long-run – having updated laptops, phones, and even refrigerators in the office can help you to cut back on utility costs? If this option is financially feasible for your company, it’s an effective sustainable business practice with long-term benefits for everyone involved.

Overall, sustainable business practices don’t only benefit the consumer, communities, or the planet – but they can do a great deal to help you move your business forward in ways your company previously thought were impossible. 

If you’re still struggling to find the right sustainable business practices for you, don’t stress – Greenly is here to point you in the right direction.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article on 3 mistakes to avoid procurement has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Keeping track of all the benefits that your business could experience as a result of implementing greater sustainability practices can be difficult to keep track of, but don’t worry – Greenly is here to help! Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you comply with all of the upcoming regulations relevant to your company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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