The Complete Guide to Building a Sustainable Business

Today’s consumers are more conscientious about the products they buy, where they’re sourced, and how they’re made. People want to work with companies that care about the environment and social issues. They want to engage with a sustainable business.

In this post, you’ll gain an understanding of the meaning of a sustainable business, its benefits, and how to build one. Nearly 70% of consumers are willing to pay more to engage with sustainable brands. This means that companies that prioritize economic, environmental, and social impact can boost sales growth and gain a greater market share. Keep reading to learn why sustainable business is important and how to build a company that cares about environmental and social issues.

Key Takeaways

  • A sustainable business prioritizes economic, environmental, and social issues in every aspect of its operations.
  • Sustainability yields several advantages, from cost savings and brand awareness to innovation and lead generation.
  • In just five simple ways, brands can aim for sustainability that brings longevity and overall success.

What Exactly is a Sustainable Business?

A sustainable business is one whose concern about their overall impact on the world drives their operations and processes. It’s one that assumes greater responsibility for its role in society and the environment. Their short- and long-term effects guide every business decision they make. 

Businesses aim for these 17 sustainability goals. 

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For companies, sustainability is the key to longevity. A business that drains its resources and ignores the people it serves will struggle to succeed. Sustainable businesses, on the other hand, can thrive indefinitely. Social and environmental awareness drives a business to excellence, bringing numerous advantages along the way. Such benefits include:

  • Cost savings: By reducing excess waste, organizations can save money on materials.
  • Brand awareness: By developing a strong identity as a sustainable business, you can set yourself apart from the competition and gain brand awareness among your target audience.
  • Innovative product development: In striving to achieve sustainability, companies must think of new solutions to old problems. 
  • Improved reputation: People come to trust and respect you as a company that cares about the world around them.
  • Lead generation: As people search for sustainable businesses, they’ll find your brand and become familiar with your services.
  • Secure investors: Enterprises with concern for environmental and social issues have a lower risk, attracting stakeholders.

External factors like government regulations and consumer demand can influence a business’s decision to seek sustainability. But it’s typically internal factors like profitability and a sense of personal responsibility that cause a business to achieve sustainability. Whatever the reasons, sustainability doesn’t just feel good. It does good. 

5 Ways to Build a Sustainable Business

While nearly all CEOs see the value in sustainability, only 60% of organizations have a sustainability strategy. That’s because most companies don’t understand how to build a sustainable business. Here are five ways any business can work toward a goal of sustainability and longevity for ultimate success.

1. Research Your Materials

Your materials are the root of your business success, so it’s essential to know everything you can about them. For instance:

  • Where do they come from?
  • Are they sourced ethically and responsibly? 
  • Do the people creating your materials work in optimal conditions and receive fair pay?
  • Do your materials contain toxic substances that could be harmful to people or the environment? 

It’s imperative that you understand all there is to know about your source materials. Consumers won’t trust your company’s sustainability efforts if they discover that the materials you use to create your products don’t meet sustainability standards.

2. Assess Your Packaging

The EPA reports that packaging contributes to more than 23% of American landfills. From the materials you purchase to the products you sell. 

A simple package redesign can make a significant difference in your overall waste production. Eliminate single-use containers and opt for reusable containers or those that break down easily. Many packages are made from biodegradable materials like seaweed, wood pulp, and corn starch, all of which are ecologically friendly.

Changing the way you package your products doesn’t just boost your sustainability. It can also save you money. Using less material has a more significant impact on your bottom line. 

3. Eliminate Waste

Reduce waste by sending digital communications to your prospects and customers. Most organizations send out some form of direct mail to reach their target audience. Regardless of whether it’s successful, it all ultimately winds up in a waste bin. 

Email campaigns and social media posts not only eliminate waste. They’re typically free. The average business spends $167 per person on direct mail. For multiple reasons, going digital is a strong step toward sustainability.

Another form of business waste is promotional items distributed at events and conferences. Opt for quality products that people will use and not just throw away. An embroidered drawstring bag is more likely to have a longer shelf life than a stress ball stamped with your logo.

If we don’t take action now, America’s solid waste production will reach 342 million tons in just a few years.  

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4. Consider Employees

While every business needs employees, they require a certain number of resources – the more people who can work from home, the less energy you need to run your facility. You don’t use as much electricity to light office spaces. You have fewer computers and machines running and generating heat, and your space doesn’t require as much air conditioning. 

Additionally, the elimination of commuters driving to and from work cuts down on pollution, reduces gas use, and minimizes your business’s carbon footprint. With online video conference software and instant message chat features, company teams can work together while remaining apart.

5. Explore Your Storage

An often-overlooked opportunity for sustainability is your storage solutions for products that have yet to sell. The economic and environmental impact of climate-controlled warehouses adds up over time. Consider using an ecologically-conscious facility that relies on renewable energy, such as storing items in eco-friendly containers rather than plastics that pollute the environment. 

When it’s time to rid your space of extra inventory, don’t simply throw items away. Instead, consider donating them or selling them at a discounted rate to employees. When it comes to sustainable storage, think outside the box.

Rethink Your Company’s Strategy

Televerde offers helpful global sales and marketing resources to help companies with demand generation, engagement, and customer lifecycle marketing. Our qualified staff enables you to develop effective strategies that meet today’s consumer needs and deliver sales. Let us help you create a sustainability strategy that can bring longevity and success.

Need more resources? The Televerde Resource Library consists of webinars and tools to help you prioritize sustainability in your workplace. 

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