In this day and age, businesses can no longer get away with bypassing ethical practices. Consumers now hold brands accountable for their actions, such as the way they treat the problem that is climate change.
Sustainability, however, should not be seen as a strategy to appeal to customers. It is not a fad or a buzzword—consumers are smart and can tell whether a business is actually sustainable or is just in it because it is trendy among the younger generation.
So, how do you get started on building a sustainable business? Here are a few points to consider:
Why Is There a Need to Build a Sustainable Business?
The push for more sustainable business practices has been felt around the world. Nowadays, a sustainable business is not a nice-to-have. It should be a must, as much as possible.
Here are some reasons why it is downright necessary to be a sustainable brand, speaking as a brand development specialist in Thailand:
It Matters to the Current Generation
Every business owner wants their company to have a good reputation. Sustainability plays a big factor in building that reputation among many millennials and Gen Zs. If you want to have them on your side, it would be smart to switch to more environmentally friendly activities.
It Is a Rising Market
With the growing demand for sustainability comes increased business opportunities. If you are interested in starting a green business, you can sell upcycled furniture, make personal care products using organic ingredients, and the like.
It Helps the Environment
By making sustainability a major driving force of your business, you are, of course, playing a role in reducing carbon emissions and allowing the world to be enjoyed by future generations. It is your way of giving back to the planet.
How to Make Your Brand a Sustainable One
You need to follow a different approach when building a sustainable business compared to the usual businesses out there.
Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when you want to make the shift to sustainability:
You want to become sustainable, but how will you do it? You need to consider what specific goals you want to achieve. Think about them carefully. At the end of the day, you want to make the best decisions not just for your company but also for the environment.
Lower Your Energy Consumption
To reduce your energy consumption (and save money while at it), first you need to know how much energy your business is using. That way, you can determine the places where you need to take action.
If you have an office, lights and other electrical appliances are probably the ones that use the most energy. You can save energy by leaving the windows open during certain hours of the day, replacing old lights with their more energy-efficient cousins, and unplugging appliances when not in use.
You may also want to switch to laptops instead of desktop computers since the latter uses up more power.
No matter how small or big your company is, it is not exempt from producing waste. However, you can control the amount of waste you make.
If you are in an office setting, you can recycle all the paper you have used up or buy recycled paper, which is made using less water and energy than its non-recycled counterpart.
You may also want to be mindful of your old electronics. Waste from computers is toxic and can harm the environment, so either donate the electronics you no longer use to local organizations or find out where you can properly recycle your tech.
Use Sustainable Materials
If you sell products, switch to sustainable packaging if you haven’t already. Stay far away from plastic. You can use cardboard, cornstarch packaging, recycled paper, or organic fabrics instead.
Whatever option you go for, be as minimal as possible with your packaging. Do not go over the top if the items are small and non-breakable. Most people just end up throwing packaging away.
You should support local businesses for a variety of reasons.
One of the main benefits of using local suppliers is its effect on your environmental impact. Since the supplies you need are nearer, you can lower carbon emissions. Your business can also gain a good reputation. It also does not hurt to support the community you are part of.
Businesses have a responsibility to reduce the effects of climate change.
Now the road to being a completely sustainable business is a long and challenging one, but small actions such as recycling, reducing waste, and patronizing local suppliers can already make a big difference. Start doing your part and protect what we have!
If you need tips on where to find sustainable packaging or which local businesses can supply you with the materials you are looking for, feel free to consult a startup expert like Ande Aditya. As a business consultant Thailand, he can provide you with helpful advice.
Visit Startup in Thailand to schedule your consultation with Ande.
Please read more about Ande’s thought leadership on Future Businesses and the top 10 technologies that would prevail in our future times.