Your business is “green,” right? You incorporate the most popular green business ideas and practices; you do your part. Good for you!
Have you ever stepped back and given your program a thorough review? Many businesses take piecemeal approaches to going green: turning off lights when not needed, recycling as much as possible, adjusting thermostats. But that is changing as the country–and the world–gradually adapt the concept of sustainability.
You probably have heard the term. To you (and most people), sustainability and sustainable business practices refer to making the most of the resources given. As in, being as efficient as possible. That’s close, but there is an official definition, as well as a set of procedures, that help guide businesses toward sustainable business practices.
The accepted definition of sustainability was crafted in 1987 by the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development (often referred to as the Bruntland Commission):
“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council offers another view:
“The conscious and proactive use of processes or systems that improve triple bottom-line performance: people, planet and profit.”
What does this mean for your business and operations? There are a number of steps you can take, any of which leads your firm down the path of sustainability.
Reduce costs: Through energy efficiency, more efficient use of raw materials, and reduced waste and transportation costs.
Attract customers: Design better products and services, better anticipate market needs, act in advance of competition, and create new markets.
Attract and retain talent: Understand that employees, especially millennials, are very conscious of best business practices. They prefer to work with firms that are aligned with their core values.
Simply put, the Council says, sustainable business practices help you ride out the current challenging economy, and set your firm on a solid path for long-term success. As a result, your business stands to earn trade certifications (ISO, for example), and will be attractive to investors.
Wisconsin businesses can take advantage of other programs offered by the Council. They include:
– Annual conferences and workshops
– Annual Sustainability Report, showing various metricies
– Green Tier Program: Helps your business achieve environmental and economic gains
– Focus On Energy: Lower your operational costs through energy-efficiency measures
In addition, you can join the Green Masters Program. Obtain more in-depth training in 9 sustainability areas.
For more on the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, visit their website.
As noted above, sustainability encompasses much more than merely conserving resources. While that is a noble step, numerous activities that help your bottom line fall under the umbrella of sustainability. Chances are you’re involved with them already–you just didn’t view it that way. Well now you do.
But look at the other categories. See if you can do more. You just might be surprised at how easy it is to meet your needs while not compromising those of future generations.
What sustainable business practices has your firm introduced? What positive effects have you noticed? Feel free to leave a comment. If you found value in this post, please share it so others may benefit from what you and I have written. You may use any of the buttons below. To contact me, send an email.
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