How to Propel Your Business Toward a Net Zero Future
Expectations of corporate actors have evolved immensely over the past couple years. They have had adapt with the new Generation Z workforce, who places great value on sustainability, especially in business!
What Does Sustainability in Business Look Like?
Sustainability in business focuses on reducing your company’s negative impact on the world in the long term. Many people immediately think of environmental sustainability, but sustainability can have social and economic components as well. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sustainability is the ability to create or sustain conditions where human living and production are in harmony with each other. For a positive sustainability environment, corporate development meets the needs without compromising human life now and in the future.
Best Practices for Corporate Sustainability
- Pollution Prevention:
There are many ways in which your business can prevent pollution. Efforts like limiting the need of employees to travel is a great place to start. With so many people moving their work online, instilling a remote workforce, or even just adding a couple remote days into the week can lower the amount of commuting that employees would have to do, in turn, lowering weekly fossil fuel emissions. The best way to help prevent pollution is to educate your employees. These sustainability practices will be put into practice by employees, so be sure to educate them on what sustainability means and how it impacts your organization.
- Resource Conservation:
Conserving resources will only save your company money in the long run. There are easy changes that be made, like eliminating paper usage, instead, move all work online. This will save your business money on paper and ink, while simultaneously helping your sustainability efforts. Other conservation ideas for businesses could be installing water-efficient faucets and toilets, automatic shutoffs and sensors throughout the building, and energy-efficient light bulbs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Shift from shareholder to stakeholder operations:
Now there is a greater focus on the stakeholders, those who actually have a relationship with the business like the employees, customers, and local communities. In the long run, those who have direct contact with the business will be the ones responsible for keeping it up and running. While the shareholders who have invested their money in the business are important, the shift is moving towards stakeholders.
Why Sustainability is Important
Every step helps, so even if reaching net zero is not in the books for your company in the near future, it can still help make a positive difference. It’s a process. Your company will not be able to achieve zero emissions overnight. There are many different ways in which your business can become more sustainable, and it doesn’t have to cost you money. Making your business more sustainable will help you bottom line. Profits for sustainable companies tend to rise because of a combination of factors, including lower operating expenses, new and more loyal customers, and a better reputation. In the long run, implementing sustainability measures will not only help improve your business, but it will also help improve the world as a whole.