How to Incorporate Sustainable Business Practices as Part of Business Strategy

How to Incorporate Sustainable Business Practices as Part of Business Strategy

Today’s consumers are demanding products and services that do not damage the environment. As a result, corporations are dealing with an unprecedented and complex brew of environmental, technological, market, and social trends.

Creating and implementing sustainable business practices not only impresses clients and customers but also helps businesses attract employees who are committed to working for a socially responsible business. Yet, some executives are reluctant to adopt sustainable business strategies in the mistaken belief that the total cost outweighs the benefits. However, business experience and academic research point to the opposite.

Sustainable business practices have a positive effect on business performance.

What are sustainable business practices in business strategy?

Sustainable business practices can be defined as those that:

  1. Do not harm the planet or people while still creating value for stakeholders
  2. Focus on improving social, governance, and environmental performance in areas where the brand or company has a social or environmental impact

Sustainability is all about the green approach to business that has gained immense popularity in the corporate world. It supports a long-term ecological balance by minimizing the negative impact on the environment.

Nowadays, employees, customers, and other stakeholders want to work with or partner with corporations that have integrated social responsibility and sustainable business practices in their business strategy. This is because they are more sensitized, and socially conscious and are looking for corporations that share their values.

So how can sustainable business practices be incorporated into business strategy?

1.   Incorporating sustainability into the corporate mission

Sustainability should be reflected in corporate strategies and business goals. This means making it a priority in all aspects of operations. Just like any other initiative, it is essential to assign responsibility and make a clear path of action. Set sustainability goals and measure results to set momentum.

2.   Partnering with employees

Be sure to train employees on the benefits of sustaining our environment. Share with them what the corporation is doing to prevent depletion of resources and how it improves the work environment. Employees have firsthand experience of what it feels like to work for the company, and they can offer ideas that can help ensure the successful implementation of sustainable business practices. For instance, turning off store lights when natural lighting is good enough to see clearly can help businesses save huge amounts in energy costs. A good example is a Walmart manager who recommended such a change and ended up saving the renowned company about $1 million annually in energy costs.

3.   Social Marketing

The sustainable business movement has a strong online presence with numerous members of #organic, #minimalistliving, #zerowastelife, and other practices heavily promoting it on blogs as well as social media. Brands can take advantage of these social communities to reach a large and engaged audience. Efforts towards sustainability can be recognized online with a limited budget.

Consumers who are interested in sustainability are active in finding products made, and services provided, by ethical brands. This can lead to valuable referrals without additional marketing.

4.   Building a community

Marketing impact and presence can be expanded by building a close-knit community. Partnering with popular bloggers who are in line with the brand’s image and ethics improves the company’s social media presence and gets discussions going. It is essential for businesses to create time to engage with customers and followers online and collaborate with other sustainable brands.

Many sustainable brands are often willing to promote the products and work of other sustainable brands to their own clients, customers, and followers. Community support and sharing are critical to growth as it helps the brand access new markets and resources. It reinforces the value of creating businesses that mesh with the brand’s principles, especially when it’s facing struggles or doubt.

5.   Electric and water conservation

Water is one of the most valuable resources we can all help conserve by minimizing wasting opportunities. For instance, you can convert to energy-efficient toilets, faucets, and lighting to save energy, water, and budget dollars.

6.   Developing a recycling program

Corporations can improve sustainability by developing an in-house recycling system for products like

  • Paper products
  • Electronics (such as monitors and computers)
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Supplies

Waste management vendors can help companies create a sustainable waste management program.

7.   Chemical management

We now have reliable research-based information regarding the impact of various chemicals on the environment. Corporations should strive to use non-chemical weed management and pest control products and green cleaning products.

Chemical vendors can help train employees and management on the proper disposal of chemicals. Companies that outsource facility cleaning to professional cleaning products should insist on the proper use and disposal of green products.

8.   Using energy-efficient products

Companies can boost sustainability in business practices by purchasing and using energy-efficient products in environmentally friendly settings. Look for electronic products that are EPEAT-compliant to ensure maximum efficiency.

9.   Developing sustainable work policies

It is essential for companies to develop sustainable procedures and policies to reinforce their efforts. For instance, enabling energy settings on devices such as computers and powering down equipment when not in use can support the cause.

Sustaining the environment can be an overwhelming task, but if all organizations (large, medium, and small) do their part, we can help conserve our planet.

Aepiphanni is dedicated to helping brands make a difference and inspire their customers, partners, and competitors to incorporate sustainable business practices in their business strategies. Reach out to our team of experienced business professionals for an initial consultation. We specialize in helping business owners and their companies win at the entrepreneurial game.

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