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Make Your Business More Sustainable with These 3 Best Practices

Sunday, July 02, 2017 | Comments (0)

For many business owners and managers, sustainability can sound like a big word that can only mean one thing: spending more money.

Before anything else, let’s define what sustainability means. 

What is a Sustainable Company?

In the context of business practices, sustainability refers to approaches and attitudes that have a minimal negative effect on society, the local community, the economy, and the environment. Oftentimes, sustainable companies have progressive views and policies on the environment and human rights.

Does this mean your business should spend additional resources to be more sustainable? Not necessarily. In fact, sustainable business practices may even improve your bottom line. Below are a few examples of simple best practices for your organisation to be more sustainable. 

  1. 1. Connect Sustainable Practices with Your Customers

According to the 2016 edition of the United Nations Global Compact-Accenture Strategy CEO Study, 55 percent of CEOs “see consumers as a key influencer [of sustainable business practices], the highest of any stakeholder.”

The report suggests that implementing environmentally friendly practices throughout your organisation is one way to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. If you’re not sure where to start, think of how your customers view your company to find ways to make small sustainable changes. For retail brands, it can be as simple as implementing a “no plastic bag” policy and offering reusable shopping bags instead. 

  1. 2. Make Sustainability Part of Your Core Beliefs

 Sustainability isn’t something you can pay lip service to because it’s a hot new trend. Your customers will be quick to catch on that you’re only making a show of being a “green” company.

 Go back to your organisation’s core mission and vision, and find ways to add sustainable practices that actually align with your values and goals. The more consistent your sustainable policies and brand principles are, the easier it will be to drive value with sustainability.

 For example, if you are a print and design company, you can shift to using recyclable paper and environmentally friendly soy-based inks. In this example, the sustainable change is actually relevant to your niche and product. 

  1. 3. Work with the Local Community

 You may have heard of the business adage, “Think globally, act locally.” The phrase was first used to refer to environmental challenges, and it’s more relevant than ever for any business looking to embrace sustainable business practices.

 The takeaway here is simple. Although any business will naturally gravitate towards expansion, it should always think of the local community and customers it serves. Consumers respect brands that get their local communities involved, whether it’s by incorporating them into their corporate social responsibility programs or patronizing their business (e.g. buying local raw materials to serve global customers). 

Let’s say your business is a bakery. Rather than importing produce, you can source your ingredients from local farmers instead. This not only sends customers the message that you care about the community, it also shows you’re aware of the environmental impact of transporting food items into the country.

While this guide is by no means exhaustive, these best practices should lay the foundation for your organisation to adopt sustainable business practices.

For more insights on sustainable business practices, be sure to follow this blog. If you have more questions about reusable shopping bags, don’t hesitate to contact the Smartbag team! We are Australia’s leading provider of custom printed bags and logo bags. Visit our contact page to get in touch with the Smartbag team.

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