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Top 5 Sustainability Practices for Organizations

How can you establish sustainability practices within your organizations? Here are 5 top practices and 4 implementation tips.
sustainability practices

Beyond investing in sustainability, what can a company do to decrease its carbon footprint? This article provides 5 top sustainability practices you can implement within your organization to meet your sustainability initiatives.

Establishing sustainability practices in various industries is becoming increasingly important as society transitions to a more sustainable future. Companies must consider the impacts of their production and supply chain on both the environment and communities when developing their sustainability programs.

What does this look like?

Natural materials, plant-based alternatives, recycled plastics, and other innovations are incorporated into traditional supply chains. This will reduce environmental damage while still delivering a quality finished product or service. Companies that embrace sustainability practices are also likely to save money due to the decreasing costs of energy-efficient operations.

Furthermore, customers are increasingly looking for companies that employ responsible stewardship of natural resources and operate with social responsibility in mind—making sustainability an important part of a company’s brand identity. Additionally, many governments are introducing incentives for companies to adopt more sustainable practices such as tax credits and subsidies for renewable energy sources.

Top 5 Sustainability Practices

Everyone is discussing sustainability mainly due to the widespread environmental impacts of climate change and global warming. However, most people are unaware of sustainability’s true meaning of sustainability and embrace sustainability principles and practices. By taking these steps towards establishing sustainable practices, businesses can prepare themselves for long-term success while also helping protect our planet’s resources for future generations.

Concisely, sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Balancing economic, social, and environmental factors ensure that natural resources are used and maintained over the long term.

With millions of people now aware of the negative effects of pollution and changes in climatic conditions, customers are shifting from conventional businesses to green businesses. They gravitate towards eco-friendly brands.

One way to scale your business to its full potential is by embracing sustainability practices. Here are the top 5 sustainability initiatives you can implement in your brand to stay ahead of the competition.

1. Work on Making Processes More Efficient

Efficiency is the key to business growth, reducing carbon emissions, and reducing waste. Start by embracing green technologies that minimize the amount of greenhouse gases and waste you release into the environment.

Efficiency will save you thousands of dollars on water and energy bills. It will also qualify your brand for various grants and financial support offered by governments and non-governmental organizations that embrace green technologies.

Concisely, the sustainable practices you embrace in your business should encompass the primary sources of waste, such as over-production, excessive processing, excess inventory, and transportation.

2. Use Sustainable Materials

The majority of sustainable materials are recyclable. Apart from making your processes more efficient, it would be best to consider shifting from conventional materials harmful to the environment to recyclable materials. An example of this is bamboo eating utensils.

Recyclable materials will curb pollution and save the forest and water catchment areas. In addition, using the materials in manufacturing will strengthen your brand and give you an edge in the market, as customers now prefer environmentally friendly products.

3. Sustainable Packing

Apart from using recyclable materials for product production, you should adopt sustainable packaging technologies and methods. One sure way to achieve this goal is by transitioning from non-recyclable packing materials to recyclable green packing materials. Such a move may seem insignificant, but it has a major positive impact on the environment.

4. Lower Your Brand’s Impact on the Environment

Manufacturing companies are the leading causes of global water, air, and soil pollution. Thanks to advancements in green technologies, it’s possible to invest in clean manufacturing processes that don’t pollute the environment.

To reduce air pollution, go the extra mile and invest in green equipment, such as Thermal Oxidizers. They have been tested and proven effective in reducing carbon emissions and other pollutant gases. They are your best bet for complying with your industry’s environmental regulations.

5. Eco-Friendly Shipping Processes

Most of the CO2 released into the atmosphere emanates from the transport sector. Shipping vehicles and ships pose a danger to the environment as they release hazardous gases into the atmosphere. They also exploit natural resources unsustainably.

Make a difference in your niche by making your shipping and supply chain processes eco-friendly. For instance, you can lower fuel consumption and the cost of transporting raw materials from the farms to your industry by partnering with local companies and suppliers.

4 Ways to Establish Sustainability Practices

Let’s shift gears and look at ways of establishing sustainability practices without breaking the bank.

1. Align Sustainability Goals with the Overall Brand Strategy

To successfully implement the above sustainable practices, you must ensure that the sustainability goals resonate with your overall brand strategy. Gaps between the two weaken sustainability efforts and make it more expensive to implement sustainability practices.

The success of Unilever’s Planet Positive Initiative is a perfect business case example of merging sustainability goals with the brand strategy. Today, the company has more than enough land to grow crops whose produce is used to manufacture different products. One of the primary goals of Unilever’s sustainability efforts is to regenerate 1.5 million hectares of oceans, forests, and land by 2030.

2. First Focus on Compliance, Not Competitive Advantage

Becoming eco-friendly and embracing sustainable practices will give your brand a competitive advantage. However, competitive advantage should be something other than your primary goal at first. It would help if you focused on compliance first to enable you to create a truly eco-friendly brand.

Pay attention to waste management regulations, energy efficiency requirements, pollution regulations, labor responsibility, and human rights. Adhering to these regulations will make your brand sustainable and place you miles ahead of the competition. Sustainability and being environmentally conscious will also attract more institutional investors.

3. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

If you are to succeed in establishing a successful business, you need to be proactive and not reactive. Successful businesses that are known for having sustainable processes have mastered the art of responding to crises proactively and not reactively. They include Nestle, Telenor, Nike, IKEA, and Coca-Cola.

Shell, an oil giant, is one of the companies that recently faced adversity after it was reported to have purchased cheap crude oil from Russia. The purchase was made shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. The company quickly halted all Russian operations, but their actions resulted in a $5 million loss.

4. Engage Your Ecosystem

One of the dire mistakes you can make when planning to implement sustainable practices is failing to involve your brand’s ecosystem. This includes not only the board members but also employees and investors.

According to recent data from MIT/BCG, 67% of business executives consider sustainability practices, such as energy efficiency plans, as one of the facets leaders should work in tandem to achieve the intended long-term goals and objectives.

Final Thoughts

Sustainable business practices such as using renewable raw materials and eco-friendly shipping processes will set your brand apart from the crowd and save you thousands of dollars. Involve all stakeholders and monitor the ESG programs‘ results to identify areas that need tweaking. Embracing environmentally sustainable processes and monitoring them will help you move in the right direction and enable you to set realistic plans for the future.

March 13, 2023

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