World of Wellbeing

Sustainable business: 5 simple changes you can make now

By Jane Courtnell • 21st January 2021

Jane Courtnell shares five simple ways you can tweak your working world to create a sustainable business.

By the end of this century, the stability of our economy and society will be lost.

Consequently, we’re witnessing a change in consumer demand, with 75 per cent of millennials confirming they’d pay more for sustainable goods/services.

According to a 2018 BSR report, global companies, NGOs, investors, and social entrepreneurs are more effective at leading the sustainability agenda than national governments.

Compelling reasons to prioritise your organisation’s sustainability – here’s how to do it.

Tip #1: Reduce plastic use

We’re producing over 300 million tons of plastic every year, of which 8 million is dumped into our oceans and 50 per cent is for single-use purposes. In the U.S. plastic waste rose to ~39.9 million tons, based on a growth rate of five per cent.

To reduce plastic use, consider:

  • Using recycled materials.
  • Providing centralized recycling points.
  • Using reusable cups for coffee machines.
  • Providing drinking water/refill stations.
  • Encouraging minimal packaging and maximizing reuse or recycling potential throughout your supply chain.
  • Using posters for educational purposes. e.g. communicate the waste hierarchy of refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Carrying out a waste audit to find out how much plastic waste (plus other) you’re producing.

Tip #2: Use clean energy

Renewable energy has doubled its share of the global power mix, increasing from 5.9 per cent in 2009 to 13.4 per cent last year.

Taking advantage of renewable energy providers is a smart way of indirectly adopting green technology for improved business sustainability. Switch to a renewable energy provider such as Azure Power and the Renewable Energy Group Inc.

Tip #3: Work remotely

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the way business is done. With the closure of international borders and employees working from home, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation are significantly reduced. e.g. daily emissions were down by 17 per cent in early April 2020.

Many believe that remote work is part of the solution to cut GHGs emissions. And it makes sense to utilise remote work software in your business to operate more sustainably.

Tip #4: Communicate the issues

In the U.S. only 1.2% of news communicates issues associated with environmental destruction. This lack of discourse, compounded by the rise of fake news is brewing a torrent I label as our communication crisis.

Consider the fact that approximately half of 18 to 34 year-olds consume their news online, with Google handling 90 per cent of search inquiries. This presents an opportunity for businesses around the world to close today’s communication gap online.

Create online content that is SEO optimized as part of your business sustainability strategy, to empower society is becoming more sustainable and applaud green action for better societal, business, and planetary health.

Tip #5: Introduce nature into the workplace

As a free, plentiful resource nature is often taken for granted, and it’s easy to separate ourselves from the natural world. But stepping outside is vital for our wellbeing, employee health, happiness, and productivity. Re-establishing human connection with nature is vital to motivate action for sustainable change.

Introduce nature into the workplace (e.g. plants, water features, living walls, rooftop gardens, green spaces), and encourage employees to get outside during their breaks (e.g. introduce flexitime so employees can have long day walks).

For a positive future, we need sustainable businesses.

Building a more sustainable world needs the support from our businesses.

Local authorities and government departments across the globe are placing sustainability on a pedestal of importance. Thinking ahead of the curve, businesses must respond and collaborate with authoritarian and governmental bodies accordingly.

Let’s redefine how we do business together, and opt for a more sustainable business model.

Read how community has been given a wake up call, here. 

Jane Courtnell

Jane is a Content Writer at Process Street (https://www.process.st/workflow-software). While earning her degree in Biology at Imperial College London, she developed an enthusiasm for science communication. She continued her studies at Imperial College's Business School; and with this, began looking at how biology can be used to solve business issues, such as employee wellbeing, culture, and business sustainability.

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