Start Your Business’ Sustainability Journey in 5 Steps!

Sustainability Journey

In a climate-challenged environment, running a business becomes even trickier. You want to maximize your profits and revenues, but you’re also on the verge of being pressured by consumers and other organizations to step up and lessen your environmental footprint.

With climate change proving to be an urgent issue that requires immediate action, companies and establishments, regardless of size and industry, are expected to put their best foot forward and turn on the green switch.

There’s often a misconception that being a sustainable brand means shelling out more operational costs, among other expenses. That may be true initially, but if you look at the bigger picture, you’ll realize that switching to an eco-friendly approach can benefit the organization in the long run.

The starting capital you need to fund the journey should be considered an investment and not an added expense for your company.

Jump-Starting Your Sustainability Journey

You’re probably at a point where you’re starting to question yourself if the enterprise is ready to start a sustainability journey. The short answer is: you’ll never be fully prepared. If you ask other corporations and businesses that have transitioned to become green companies, they’ll tell you the same.

There’s no better time to do it than as soon as you can. The being ready part will come along as you embrace the journey and work toward the sustainability of your business.

The decision isn’t an easy one to make. Doing your research will go a long way in ensuring you’re on the right track and you’re well aware of its pros and cons. For some ideas and steps you can take to jump-start your way to being a sustainable business, the list below might be able to help you out:

1. Prepare Your Budget

Before you do anything, you need to ensure there’s enough budget to fuel your sustainability journey. Regardless of whether the plan is to start from the simplest upgrade or some of the most complex ones, funding is necessary to make it happen.

As you prepare the budget, you also need to determine a rough estimate of what the project will financially require. For example, if you plan on tapping into renewable energy sources, ask around for providers and contractors so you can get an idea of how much you’ll need to raise for that endeavor.

If you’re considering installing solar panels for the building, you can check out: and other solar power companies in your area. The same goes if you want to learn more about other power sources such as geothermal, wind, biomass, and hydropower.

Of course, you should also include in your financial plan the different components that can help make your sustainable journey possible. Examples would be training and supplies for employees so they can better understand what being an environmentally conscious brand is all about.

2. Make Remote Work An Option

Another step that can reduce your carbon footprint is to offer remote work to your employees. That way, they won’t have to take their cars to work, consume water to take a bath and prepare, and use electricity at the office. This method won’t only be advantageous to your sustainability journey but can also reduce the operational costs of the business in the long run.

To add, working remotely can help keep your employees healthy as it’ll allow them to steer clear of harmful gases they might come in contact with when commuting. They get to have more flexibility when it comes to their work schedule as well. As a result, they’re happier and more motivated to work, thereby increasing their productivity and efficiency.

3. Say Goodbye To Single-Use Items

Disposable or single-use items make up a multitude of the plastic waste that accumulates in the world each year. Suppose you’re in the food and beverage industry or any other nature of business that involves using those plastic goods. In that case, you can consider reducing or completely eliminating them from your daily operations. To make this possible, you can replace them with recyclable or compostable cutlery, plates, and cups.

Comparably, if you own a retail business, you may substitute reusable bags and containers for plastic ones. There’s also the option to utilize eco-friendly packaging for your products. These methods may seem simple at first glance, but if you’re consistent and determined to reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll eventually make a difference in reducing plastic waste.

4. Work With Other Sustainable Businesses

At some point, your business will rely on services, supplies, and products from other companies. You can think of this as another opportunity to remain firm in your advocacy as a sustainable brand. You can partner and work with businesses that have the same sustainable approach as you do.

Look for companies that offer sustainable products and materials. This means that their items are environment-friendly as well as sourced and manufactured using the most sustainable practices available. Doing so won’t only benefit your company as a sustainable brand. More importantly, you’ll be able to support other businesses so they may continue to thrive as eco-friendly enterprises.

It might be a good idea to look for businesses that specialize in refurbished equipment. Instead of disposing of used computers, choose the smarter and more sustainable option of selling.

5. Look Into Energy-Saving Upgrades

Aside from utilizing a renewable power source, you can think of other ways that can help reduce your energy consumption and costs. Your building, in particular, might have multiple lighting fixtures and appliances that could use a much-needed upgrade. Replace your incandescent lighting fixtures with LED bulbs that can last longer and lower your energy consumption.

If you have appliances such as refrigerators, chillers, TV sets, and air conditioners in the workplace, consider replacing them with energy-efficient ones. You may need to shell out money for the purchase, but you can save more on electricity bills over time if you switch to energy-efficient appliances.

Final Words on your Sustainability Journey

Apart from implementing or trying the steps mentioned above, you should take the time to include your employees in your sustainability journey. Keep them in the loop so they know how to align their practices with the company’s mission and vision. If necessary, provide training and educational seminars for your team so they can learn more about sustainability and how it can benefit your business and the environment as a whole.

The journey won’t be easy, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll get better with time. There’ll be constant struggles, especially when you’re just starting out. However, think about how the transition can help save the planet. That should be more than enough motivation for you to prioritize and achieve sustainability.

Sustainability journey article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on November 19, 2021.