Creating a workplace that prioritizes a balance between the environment, employees, and profit is a practice that many businesses are adapting to in today's time.
As environmental issues continue to plague our planet, sustainability practices are becoming essential - not only for the earth but also for us humans. Climate change alone has recently prompted the United Nations to issue a "code red for humanity," with research stating that our temperature will break its limit in the next few years.
Social issues also continue to permeate the civilized world. Human and gender rights, income inequality, racial injustice are a few issues that continue to be a challenge globally.
Fortunately, there are well-known corporations globally that are taking notice and a proactive stance. These corporations provide hope for humanity that making a profit doesn't have to impact the environment or society negatively. These corporations are giving other businesses a model of what a sustainable business is.
Creating a Sustainable Business
The concept of creating a sustainable business means doing business without leaving a negative impact on the environment and society as a whole. This is just the minimum standard of what a sustainable business should be. Considering our environment and society's situation today, it's more viable that a business adopts as many sustainable practices as possible to have a positive impact.
There are many sustainable practices that businesses can adapt to according to their needs. There are standard practices such as limiting water and electricity consumption to more complex methods such as switching to sustainable materials.
While many detractors claim that sustainability practices negatively affect business profit, much more research claims otherwise. A few benefits to sustainable businesses related to gain are increased productivity and competitive advantage.
Effective Sustainable Business Practices
With the uncertainty about the link between practicing sustainability and loss of profit settled, here are a few practices your business can adopt to create a sustainable business.
Invest in educating your employees about the importance of environment and social sustainability. As the foundation of businesses, employees that are knowledgeable and sincere about sustaining the environment and society will make it easier for your business to have effective sustainable practices.
Cultivate a work environment where employees are free to share their ideas about other sustainable practices your business can adapt to.
Though simple, partnering with your employees in adopting sustainable practices has many benefits. It increases employee’s morale and productivity since employees feel validated that their employers care about them as humans and the environment.
Reducing Water and Electricity Costs
Encourage your employees to conserve the amount of water and electricity they use both at work and in their homes. Simple actions such as not using too much faucet water and turning off lights that aren't in use will ensure that these viable resources are not being wasted.
By conserving water, your business saves this resource for other communities without proper access to clean water. Moreover, your business is contributing to lessening water waste which contaminates and destroys aquatic wildlife.
On the other hand, by conserving electricity, your business helps lower the carbon dioxide being emitted into our atmosphere, which is the primary source of climate change.
Alternatively, your business can adapt to sustainable office equipment. This will make sure that your business is reducing water and electricity use and increase your conservation efforts. Simple office equipment that conserve on energy are led powered lights, smart sockets, and eco chargers. For saving water, your office can opt for no-flush urinals and water saving sinks.
Reducing consumption of water and electricity does not only benefit the environment but your business as well. It will unite everyone in your business to a significant cause while also lowering your long-term expenditures on water and electricity.
Using Sustainable Office Materials
Harmless as they seem, materials in the office such as paper, toners, and anything made out of plastic contribute to climate change and pollution.
Manufacturing, packaging, transporting, and disposing of office materials contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere. Eventually, global warming occurs when too much heat is trapped, which leads to ozone depletion, acid rain, and smog pollution.
Opting for eco-friendly office materials will help ensure that your business isn't contributing to climate change. You can also encourage your employees to recycle and reuse office materials to reduce unnecessary disposal.
If your business can afford the extra cost, setting up an eco-friendly themed office environment will further solidify your cause. Opting for office tables that aren't manufactured, such as reclaimed wood, will cultivate a workplace for your employees and visitors where the environment is valued.
Going green not only benefits the environment but also improves your business image. By letting the public know that your business cares about positively impacting the environment, you are strengthening your ties with your internal and external stakeholders. New connections will also open up as more companies are embracing sustainability practices.
Adopting Work From Home Schedules
The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on humanity cannot be offset, but the work from home set up normalized for many businesses significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. With millions of employees working from home, the need to use public transportation and cars has reduced, major sources of greenhouse gasses.
By continuing to embrace a work-from-home setup or allotting certain days where your employees can work from home, your business can help maintain the reduction in greenhouse gasses and oil use. This will also benefit your employees as it gives them a more sustainable work-life balance.
Do make sure that your employees maintain productivity while working from home. Investing in their office equipment at home, such as ergonomic chairs, ensures that their health is maintained while boosting their productivity.
Our environment and society today are facing unprecedented challenges more than ever. Valuable resources such as water and electricity are being overused to an extent that they are emitting harmful chemicals to our environment leading to calamities such as climate change.
Adopting sustainable practices within your business helps alleviate these problems to create a better place for us to live in. Simple practices such as conserving our natural resources help reduce harming our environment further.
Fortunately, as business owners, it is possible to balance profit for your business and practice sustainability.