How to Make a Sustainability Plan for your Small Business
If you’re a budding or a thriving entrepreneur, you probably have something unique to offer to the world; you’re playing your part in adding value to people’s lives – you’re focused on doing something great. But, as Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” As a business owner, you’re responsible not only for the quality of products or services that you make available for others but also for the impact of your business on the entire ecosystem. Every detail of how you run your business affects the environment and the species living therein – you’re either contributing towards its betterment or annihilation.
The notion of not being able to run a profitable green business has to be disregarded if you wish to do your part in saving the world. Corporate Knights’ Global 100 list presents the most sustainable top 100 businesses whose yearly revenue is up to $1 billion based on sustainable products. Today’s consumers are also very well-aware of the importance of sustainable businesses and are passionate about supporting green brands.
What is a Sustainability Plan for your Business?
Simply put, it’s the fulfillment of your responsibility in making your business have a potentially positive impact on the environment, economy, and society, altogether. It comes with the benefits of reducing the business’s operational costs and energy consumption, improves the overall health standards, and ultimately improves your brand reputation as well. For instance, if a business like Carpet Cleaning Dartford stands for sustainability, people will see it as a responsible brand that cares about the greater good.
The steps to make a sustainability plan for your small business are as follows:
1. Educate yourself about Sustainability and Relate it to your Business
It’s easier to adopt something when you’re more informed about what it entails, its benefits, and the consequences that come as a result of it. Equip yourself with the sustainability mindset by learning about it and how it can be useful from different resources. Once you’ve addressed your preconceived notions about green brands and internalized the essence of sustainability, you will be in a better position to take further steps.
Map your learnings to your business and find out what is it that you’re doing that’s contrary to this concept.
- Does your workplace incorporate energy-efficient systems such as heating and cooling systems and do you have an eco-friendly system in place to reduce greenhouse emissions?
- How much paper-free your business is?
- How do you manage your water consumption?
- Do you believe in recycling? And does it show in your work practices?
Also learn the local and state environmental laws, related industry standards, compliance laws, and research how you can meet the sustainability requirements for your business.
2. Identify your Target Areas
Now, go further deep and identify what areas of your business you specifically need to address to make your business aligned with the concept of sustainability. This is where your innovative thinking should spark up and you brainstorm ideas that are in the best interest of the environment and the society in connection with your business.
Entrepreneurs suggest having a strong belief that you can make your business sustainable and then committing to this belief. Find ways to comply with the environmental standards by taking things one step at a time. For instance, you can focus on recycling and introducing better work practices that support it like reusable water bottles, LED lighting, non-plastic food packaging, and cutlery, etc. Find out how you can gradually shift your business towards practices that are in coherence with your belief in order to promote your image as a green brand.
3. Set Goals
After identifying the target areas that you decide to work on, the next thing is to plan how to achieve what you want. Without setting goals, chances are that things will go about haphazardly and you may not reach anywhere.
Define a budget for every unit that you have decided to transform into being eco-friendly, dedicate a task force to carry out the responsibilities, and assign responsible members to manage each taskforce. By doing this, you will have set attainable goals that will gradually take you closer to your vision.
4. Implement your Plan
After setting out a work plan, start implementing it! This is where the real work starts. You will communicate your ideas and plan to your team and equip them with the right mindset to carry out the plan successfully. Motivating your team at every step by making them own the sustainability changes and constantly reinforcing the spirit of eco-friendliness will ensure that they stick to the plan.
Whether it’s altering your company’s policies to support your vision of having a truly sustainable business or constantly taking feedback from your team about the challenges they are facing in the process and fixing them, every step you take in the right direction will contribute to a better future. Connect with other businesses and learn from their experiences and efforts.
5. Keep Revisiting and Evolving
Finally, do not be satisfied with your initial plan and the results such that you do not make any further improvements. Good strategies need to be reviewed and updated with time, so keep evaluating your performance and keep upgrading your practices as you move on to other goals. This will keep you engaged in your cause and bring out better, more effective techniques to improve your performance and outcomes.
As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to create a legacy of good practices and set a benchmark for other entrepreneurs by working to create a sustainable business. Put in the effort and rest assured that you’re doing something worth your efforts.
Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Carpet Cleaning Dartford.