Sustainable Business Development
A sustainable business is one whose vision and goals are grounded in financial, environmental and social concerns, and their actions speak for it.
- Create long-term financial worth.
- Know how their actions may adversely affect the environment and actively work to reduce their carbon footprints.
- Care about their employees, clients, customers, and communities
- Take strides towards making positive social changes
- Understand these aspects are closely connected to each other.
Sustainable business development is the goal for many organizations, but for many, reaching that goal is far from reach. Listed in this article are some ways that will enable businesses to shape a more sustainable future for the company and achieve small business sustainability.
1. Engage Industry Leaders and NGO Partners
An effective partnership is key to fast-tracking small business sustainability across an industry. In order to better improve their environmental and social impacts within the community, companies can employ strategies aligning the actions of suppliers, distributors, and environmental organizations to reduce their negative impacts and potentially bring about new products and processes.
Share best practices and solve mutual sustainability problems. This is one of the ways you can advance the sustainability agenda.
2. Create Awareness on Responsible Consumption
If consumers are unwilling to buy or pay more for environmentally responsible products, then your sustainable business development movement will only stagnate. Many people buy products based on the price – not on whether the materials are fair-trade, or whether the product packaging can be recycled after use.
Create awareness about sustainable products so that your customers can make informed decisions about responsible consumption. Engage your customers in sustainable dialogues.
Use all the resources you can to kindle your customer’s commitment to recycling, sustainable living, and responsible consumption.
3. Communicate Sustainability Goals
Make your employees and everyone associated with your organization aware of your sustainability goals. Communicate your sustainability goals throughout your organization. Be warned – building sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives into an organization is no walk on the park. One of your key challenges would be to effectively communicate your vision of sustainability. You must make sure that everyone, regardless of their part, understands and embraces your sustainability vision and aligns their actions with it. If you need help, you can hire a business development consultant.
4. Support Sustainability – Related Innovations
Many business leaders see sustainability-related innovation as risky. They don’t justify investments in creative pursuits and long-term projects that are supposed to be risky as they have unguaranteed returns. Support innovations that support sustainability, even if they seem risky. In an era of cut-throat competition, thin margins and nick-of-time manufacturing, making a move like this might seem baseless. However, make a calculated move.
Look for upcoming trends in developing economies, look for trends in unrelated industries to fill gaps, initiate partnerships with educational institutions, and implement employee engagement programs that reward employees for suggesting ideas that are sustainable like saving energy, reducing carbon footprint and improving products. Taking these steps drive innovation.
5. Focus on Smart Sourcing, Packaging, and Distribution
Use environmentally friendly packaging for your products. Use, recycle, repeat. Reduce the amount of packaging without compromising on the quality of your product – if possible, it is well worth it to do so.
Manufacture and source locally as much as possible to reduce your carbon footprint. Source your raw materials in a sustainable manner – from people who practice sustainability themselves. Ensure your supply chain is sustainable as well. How you distribute your products impacts your company’s sustainability goals as well. Try to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.
6. Track Your Sustainability
Track your sustainability achievements. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and go paperless. Eliminate useless packaging and hazardous substances. Reduce the amount of water and energy your organization consumes. Reduce the amount of waste your company produces. Attract customers and employees who are strongly invested in sustainability.
While it may seem easy written on paper, none of the above are necessarily “easy.” Take measured, conscious steps to engage in sustainable business development.
Keep in mind that just dabbling in sustainability halfheartedly may have an adverse effect – an article in the Strategic Management Journal showed that such companies perform much worse financially than companies that do nothing at all. Also, companies that invest heavily in sustainability have a high return on assets. Corporate social performance and corporate financial performance are intricately linked.
Companies can reduce their impact on the environment and bring about social dialogues with an emphasis on sustainability. Re-imagine your business models. Disrupt your processes and policies. The road to sustainability is a long and rewarding one. Start one step at a time, today to drive innovation. You can’t implement sustainable practices all at once. Start with small measured steps and once you master them, start identifying opportunities where you can bring about sustainable development.
Ourbusinessladder is a business development consulting company, specializing in market research and business advisory. With our 360-degree approach, we help businesses – be it a startup or an established enterprise – achieve their business goals. As a business development consultant, we guide businesses to grow through market research, business advisory, branding, and gamification strategies. We are one of the leading Market Research Companies in Mumbai.