Sustainable business practices have become increasingly necessary with the depletion of natural resources and the threat of climate crisis. But did you know that practising sustainability can have a direct, positive impact on your business and your employees? A recent survey conducted in the UK showed that 40% of consumers would opt for a brand that has environmentally sustainable business practices.
1. Work Anywhere
Large office buildings not only rack up your expenses in terms of rent but also in the form of energy bills. Central heating or cooling and lighting the whole office contribute to a sizable part of the bill. By shifting to remote work, we can downsize our office or even completely get rid of it.
Some business leaders argue that working from home actually increases electricity consumption. With everyone heating and powering their own individual space, they argue, there’s a larger overall footprint than if all employees worked from a single shared space.
By making sustainable consumption an integral part of your business value, you can motivate employees to be more mindful of their energy usage. From switching off lights before leaving a room or drying your clothes outside on a sunny day, each step compounds into a large saving.
But the best part of working from Anywhere is the reduced commute. We have all spent hours caught up in the rush hour traffic or in crowded buses and metros. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time with your family or on your latest hobby? Remote work allows us to cut down on fuel consumption, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from cutting down curbside air pollution, it also saves our ears from noise pollution.
2. Partner with NGOs
In AnswerConnect, we partner with multiple Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) around the globe to plant trees, protect wildlife and help educate local communities. We plant a tree for every customer and every employee, every month.
Employees are increasingly opting for sustainable and socially responsible companies. Purpose-driven employment can generate better productivity and long-term loyalty. Giving your business a purpose beyond profit can help you boost employee morale, well-being and retention rates.
While choosing an NGO, consider the social or environmental cause that you would like to support as a brand. For example, if your business emits a lot of CO2, carbon offsetting using tree plantation might be a good way to neutralise the negative effects. Or if you use a lot of plastics, you can contribute towards ocean cleanup or recycling drives.
And along with the joy of doing good, the money you donate towards this good cause might also come with potential tax breaks. Research local laws and talk to your NGO partner for more information.
3. Plant trees
Natural disasters have caused unexpected disruptions in the global supply chain. Climate change is drastically altering weather patterns and destabilising ecosystems. This increases the risk of natural disasters. Planting trees and preserving natural biomes might mitigate some of these disasters that might affect your business.
Planting trees can help our planet and climate change through multiple channels. Trees absorb the greenhouse gases we emit and convert them into the oxygen we breathe. Air pollution is more than just a threat to our respiratory system, it can even affect our cognitive abilities in the long run.
Trees also play a vital role in regulating the local water cycle and preventing soil erosion, protecting us from draughts and flash floods.
A wide array of studies have shown that spending even as little as ten minutes in nature on a daily basis can do wonders for one’s physical and mental well-being. Give your employees the joy of being amidst nature by organising tree plantation or maintenance drives.
4. Offer employees eco-training
Sustainable business practices are not stand-alone measures. They are often interwoven into the core values and culture of a business. From going paperless to volunteering in cause-driven programs, there are multiple ways to include green thinking as a part of the company culture.
Collaborate with your employees to find out hidden avenues to achieve your sustainability goals. Include them while gathering ideas for new eco-conscious initiatives. This will not only promote team bonding but also help your employees to embrace the new goals with enthusiasm.
You can take this a step further by organising workshops and training programs to equip your team with all the tools they need to make your mission a reality. A lack of knowledge can be an impediment to adopting sustainable business practices. Be it effective recycling or restoring your local pond, with the right tools and information, everything is possible.
5. Carbon-proof your supply chain
So far, we have explored a set of actions you can take as a business to be more eco-friendly. But they are all measures that are local and very close to you. We often tend to forget the invisible factor that comprises the biggest part of our carbon footprint: the supply chain.
A 2016 McKinsey Report estimates that a company’s supply chain is responsible for 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Sourcing your materials locally and avoiding overseas purchases can help reduce your carbon emissions.
Using locally sourced materials is a great way to contribute to society. This also reduces your product cost and dependence on overseas labour. This also cuts down on the number of resources spent on packaging materials. Ethical labour is a primary goal of sustainable practices and it might be easier to ensure that your supplier follows these practices when they are local.
Today’s global economy is carbon intensive. To achieve net zero emissions by 2050, we have to work together. A sustainable business model can help grow your business and protect the planet. You can enable your customers and employees to lead an eco-friendly life by taking the first step.
Want to take the first step to building sustainable practices into your business model? Get in touch with AnswerConnect today and learn more about how our services can help.