Sustainability isn’t only good for the environment or the community but also great for the business. In a 2019 survey by CGS, a business applications provider, over 60% of the respondents accounted for sustainability when shopping for a product. Meanwhile, 33% were willing to spend 25% more for such an item. The big question is, how can companies practise and integrate it into their business model? Here are five ideas:
1. Change Your Packaging
Embracing sustainability can be as simple as changing one’s packaging. For example, Hero Packaging is a company that offers compostable bags. Brands can customise these to carry their logo, motto, and other identifiable markings instead of the usual plastic bags.
Plastic is one of the biggest polluters of land and sea. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), about 8 tonnes of this material find their way into the oceans annually. They now comprise over 75% of all debris in these bodies of water.
Meanwhile, plastics pose a significant threat to both marine and human lives. Many aquatic species die or suffer an injury from ingesting or tangling themselves with plastics. That is also why a lot of companies and consumers are now looking into environment-friendly solutions for their packaging needs.
2. Support Environmental Causes
While volunteering can do wonders, sometimes time is not on your side. The next best option is to support environmental groups or organisations in other ways. Here are some ideas:
- Launch a fund drive. The money can go a long way in providing the right resources to volunteers and organisations.
- Promote their causes on social media. Share and encourage your friends and customers to learn more about these advocacies.
- Donate a part of your sales to these causes. You can set aside even 3% of your transactions for selected items to raise funds for these organisations.
- Create partnerships with earth-friendly organisations. Supporting eco-oriented organisations and companies like Hero Packaging will help them sustain their cause for a long time.
Note: When choosing a cause, it would help to choose one that resonates with your brand or business.
3. Look For Local Suppliers
All businesses use resources, and most generate waste. Both of these can have a significant impact on the environment and sustainability. Take e-commerce, for instance.
In an article by Quartz, online shopping can have the following effects:
- Many packages for small, few, or even single items
- More materials, such as Styrofoam or even more plastic to protect the product
- Bigger space for in-demand stocks and fast shipping options, which means this warehouse will need a lot of electricity
- Long and frequent travels, which may only contribute to increased carbon emissions
As a business, you cannot operate without resources, and it’s nearly impossible not to create waste. However, you can do something to use these assets wisely and improve energy conservation and environmental protection.
One option is to look for local suppliers for your raw materials. If you are in Australia, you can shift to Hero Packaging bags, which are also compostable. If you are a restaurant owner, you can source produce from the local farmers’ market. The shorter the distance the resources travel, the lower is your contribution to carbon emissions.
Businesses can embrace sustainability in many ways. By doing so, they can build cash flow grounded on ethics and social cause.
Alice Churchill is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.