Running a business in today’s highly competitive world is increasingly more challenging than it used to be. In the not-too-distant past, many organizations did not pay much attention to sustainability issues. However, top management has realized that there’s an increasingly important business case to be made for sustainability and that making their business more sustainable should be a key part of their corporate goals and ethics.
There are many different paths your business can travel down to become more environmentally and socially responsible. The ones you choose will be dependent on several factors, such as the following.
- Your organization’s structure and size.
- Whether or not you manufacture a physical product.
- Your specific sustainability goals.
Corporate Social Responsibility
There is increasing recognition among business leaders that paying attention to social and environmental issues can often bring unexpected business advantages. For instance, being environmentally friendly will enhance your organization’s reputation as a responsible, sustainability-focused entity with consumers, shareholders, potential investors, and employees. Here are some interesting statistics to pay attention to.
- 66 percent of US consumers overall and 80 percent of young people (ages 18-34) say they are willing to pay more for sustainable products.
The realization of the benefits of sustainability has fostered the development of a whole new business model termed corporate social responsibility (CSR), where businesses work to achieve social and environmental goals as well as their organizational objectives. If you are not yet on board with this concept or want to increase its effectiveness for your business, here are some ways to make your business more sustainable.
Connect With Nonprofit Organizations
If you are interested in embracing sustainability but have stopped short of implementing any concrete initiatives because the concept is new to you and the learning curve seems to be somewhat overwhelming, think about working with nonprofits and other organizations in the spaces that are relevant to your business interests. Such organizations have the resources and experience needed to help get your sustainability efforts started.
Pay Attention to Educating Your Employees
If you want your business to implement the most impactful sustainability initiatives, you need to educate your workforce about the issues and include them in the sustainability process. This is important for several reasons, including the following.
- Increasing buy-in throughout your organization, making it less likely that the old ways will gradually reassert themselves.
- Empowering your employees to do their part in making your business more sustainable. This can go a long way to boosting workforce morale and helping each person understand they have an essential role to play.
Click here for some examples of successful sustainability initiatives.
Analyze Your Supply Chain
If your business produces and sells a physical product, rethinking your supply chain can potentially uncover significant opportunities to embrace sustainability, including the following.
Materials: If you source individual components or raw materials from outside vendors, find out how these items are procured or made. Do your best to ensure that you use vendors who follow fair labor practices, embrace fair-trade agreements, and run their businesses sustainably.
Natural Resources: It may be possible to significantly reduce the amount of natural resources your business consumes. For example, consider minimizing the amount of packaging you use and/or investing in more sustainable packaging and streamlining your manufacturing process to cut down on plastic waste.
Tech Waste: With respect to waste, pay attention to your tech. Refurbished electronics can have a significant impact on the environment and can also save your business money. Make sure you have a program for effectively recycling the tech you already own. Worldwide, e-waste is expected to reach 120 million tonnes per year by 2050 if current trends continue.
Carbon Emissions: There are many ways to reduce your business’s carbon emissions, including the following.
- Installing smart sensors programmed to automatically shut off heating, cooling, and electricity when necessary.
- Installing on-site solar or wind power to replace some of your electrical needs.
- Moving the production of physical goods closer to your end customers to reduce transportation-related emissions. Also, research whether a local business is producing precisely the product or solution you need. Partnering with local suppliers not only cuts down on transportation emissions but can also serve to enhance your brand when you support your local community.
If you want to embrace more sustainability, you might benefit from taking a sustainability course, such as the Harvard Business School’s online Sustainable Business Strategy program.
This course will help you analyze the different business models capable of driving change and explore how your business might address some of today’s difficult-to-solve challenges, such as climate change and income inequality. You’ll also look at the role played by the government, investors, and customers in driving the increasing demand for sustainability.
Make Your Corporate Events More Sustainable
Successful corporate events, especially those for your top executives, only happen with detailed and careful planning. When considering your next event, think about how it might affect the environment. For example…
- Look for a venue that places importance on recycling, uses efficient appliances in kitchens and bathrooms, and encourages the reduction of plastic and paper waste.
- Think about transporting your attendees in a more sustainable way. Encourage ride-sharing and go more local so that people don’t need to fly.
Planning a corporate event is difficult and requires a lot of time and effort, as there are many factors to consider, especially if you’re focused on making your event as sustainable as possible.
If you need help putting together a large-scale corporate event, MTI Events can help. We have years of experience planning and coordinating corporate meetings, events, and trips, and we will make sure everything goes off without a hitch. We align our goals with yours, so if you are focused on sustainability, then so are we.
Contact us if you would like help planning your next corporate event!