Go Green—And Make Some Green
Updated: Apr 30, 2021
Earth Day is an annual event that aims to promote the importance of environmental protection while encouraging communities to act in its favor. According to EarthDay.org, over 190 countries and one billion individuals participate annually.
Over the last several years, environmentalism has become a relevant and widespread topic as wildfires and other natural disasters wreak havoc on communities globally. Many businesses have taken it upon themselves to take steps toward sustainability. A business’s impact on the environment and society, including its carbon footprint and water usage, is becoming a major factor that has the ability to impact consumers’ willingness to purchase its products.
Businesses that invest in environmentally focused corporate social responsibility campaigns and strive for environmental consciousness are able to better gain the trust of consumers. According to an article published by Harvard Business School Online, there is a shared value opportunity between making money and doing good, meaning that your business can profit off of sustainable practices.
Here’s how you can make your business more sustainable.
Assess your business’s environmental impact. Take into account the day-to-day operations of the business. Are you creating tangible goods for consumers, and, if so, are you using sustainable materials?
Design a sustainability-focused vision for your business. What small changes is your business willing and able to make to lessen its environmental impact? Set short-term and long-term goals and objectives for your business.
Offer incentives for employees who commit to environmentally friendly practices. Encouraging employees to recycle, limit water usage, reduce pollution and practice other sustainable habits will reinforce sustainable business practices as well as promote more efficient work.
Make small (and large) commitments to sustainability. Depending on the size of your business, you can make changes to your daily business operations. Swap printed materials for digital, and recycle any unused materials. Research ways to cut down on plastic. If you create tangible products for consumers, try transitioning to compostable or recyclable packaging materials. Switch to electric cars if your business requires company vehicles. Investing in environmentally friendly energy can be more cost-effective in the long run.
Partner with other businesses with sustainable practices. Creating an employee volunteer program dedicated to serving your community can be a great move for your business. Partner with organizations with similar goals in mind, and your business can accomplish so much more.
A remarkable example of sustainability in practice is the Minnesota Twins baseball stadium. The Pohlad family, who owns the MLB team, had sustainability in mind when their new stadium project was approved in 2006, according to an article from the University of Northern Iowa.
Since it opened in 2010, Target Field uses steam from the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery Center to power its air conditioning system. The stadium also reuses around two million gallons of water annually through its water filtration and recycling system created by Pentair. Additionally, they even installed LED lights throughout the stadium and offer biodegradable utensils and plates for food items.
After each event, leftover food is donated to local food shelters, amassing a total of 53 tons of food donations as of December 2019. The sustainability efforts of the team and its stadium has kept nearly 11,000 tons of waste from ending up in landfills over the last 10 years.
In an age where a business’s stance on social issues can greatly influence its consumer base, unsustainable business practices are not worth the convenience they may provide. With just a bit more effort, your business can positively impact the Earth and provide much more to your local community.