In a modern-day world, people are looking for innovative and more impactful solutions to their problems. Instead of conventional models, Businesses are also focusing on new practical solutions. One of the trustworthy answers to their daily organizational question is the implementation of sustainability in their businesses. Sustainability allows them to have social benefits and reduce environmental hazards.
In addition to the environmental and social benefits, corporations that integrate sustainability into their decision-making practices can gain substantial financial advantages in reducing waste, costs, and energy utilization, which eventually attract more attention from investors, which is a key to long-term success.
- Sustainability in Business
- What are Sustainable business practices?
- Sustainable Business travel strategies:
- Ford Motor Company
Sustainability in Business
In the business world, sustainability is seen as a manner of the triple-bottom-line reporting system in which a business enterprise corresponds to its investors on its:
- Economic (income) performance
- Environmental (planet) performance
- Social (community) performance
Sustainability in business suggests the impact that companies have on the environment or Society. A sustainable business strategy aims to positively impact one or both areas, thus helping address some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change and income inequality.
Now the next question arises, “How to achieve sustainability?”
How to achieve sustainability in businesses?
Sustainability in businesses could be achieved by following sustainable business values. Sustainable business practices are “environmentally friendly practices introduced by a company or organization for the only goal of becoming a more sustainable organization.”
It should be well understood that there is no thumb rule for these practices. Sustainable business practices vary among industries and depend on the company’s particular type and the product or service it manufactures. For instance, some companies could bring in specific environmental considerations for doing business, whereas others show their loyalty by moving towards a paperless billing process
What are Sustainable business practices?
There are three major ways a business can practice sustainability by using sustainable materials and methods, manufacturing and processing their products on the guidelines of sustainability, and supporting sustainable business travel strategies.
Sustainable Materials and Methods
Use of biodegradable materials
Before using biodegradable materials as a sustainable practice in businesses, one should know what biodegradable materials are? “Biodegradable” means the ability to decompose by the action of micro-organisms with or without oxygen while getting absorbed into the natural environment. It should be noted that there isn’t any ecological harm during the process.
Biodegradable materials have minimal effect on the environment. They don’t contain any ozone-depleting or toxic substances in them. Therefore, biodegradable materials could widely be used in business practices. Cardboard and papers, corn starch, degradable bubble wrap, etc. are examples of them.
Reduce Paper Waste:
I’m going to ask you a straightforward question. Which is the most environmentally friendly paper one can buy? Take your time.
The answer would be buying no paper at all. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the world produces 300 million tons of paper every year. In simple words, 65 billion sheets of paper are used daily. Cost aside, that’s a lot of trees. Therefore, moving towards online billing is a win-win situation for everyone. The use of technology not only significantly cut down on paper waste, but it also massively increases the physical storage space.
However, 100% paperless workspace is an honest effort, but it isn’t always practical. You’re going to need a piece of paper. But you can still save numerous trees by solely providing your office with sustainably obtained recycled paper.
Better Water Management plans:
It is becoming evident to the business community that there isn’t any unlimited supply of clean, usable water. Thus, water issues are gradually working their way up to business sustainability plans and emerging as a core business issue. Many companies are reducing their need for water use.
A large number of multinationals are actively engaged in water management issues. These companies believe that water is something where all businesses can participate in reducing the opportunities for wasting this valuable resource. For instance, converting to energy-efficient taps, toilets, and lighting can be a great way to save water and energy.
Manufacturing and Processing the products on the guidelines of sustainability:
Recycle, recycle, and more recycle:
Companies will always be going to produce waste in some capacity. But there’s a lot of room for them to reduce the amount of waste. Recycling is one of them. It’s an efficient way of reducing waste. Do you know? It is believed that as much as 60% of the waste that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
Biodegradable packaging for the products:
According to the statistics, “containers and packaging alone contribute to over 23% of the material reaching landfills”. To significantly reduce this, businesses should change the way of packaging their products. For this, companies should use biodegradable packaging for their products.
Biodegradable packaging has a lot of benefits. Along with no toxins and allergens, Biodegradable packaging requires fewer resources, lower production cost, and convenient disposal for the consumers.
Sustainable Storage for the products:
One way to get sustainability in businesses is the sustainable Storage of the products. We know that products are usually stored for a short time before being sold. Whether it’s freezers for the food or a warehouse for the goods, the environmental effects of keeping can add up over the months and years.
Now the question arises on how to get sustainable Storage?
There are many ways to achieve this. One way is to use renewable energy for climate control, such as solar panels. The use of green containers instead of traditional plastic could also be an option. One might also consider donating products despite throwing them, which are no longer in need.
Strategies based on green deliveries:
To have a sustainable business, one should look into green delivery strategies. As green deliveries are cost-effective, progress the public relations, promote a healthy workforce, and have increased consumer demands, business strategies and plans should be made according to green deliveries.
Sustainable Business travel strategies:
Sustainable business travel strategies are the ones that are used to limit the negative impacts of business travel on the planet. It includes:
Strategies based on the use of green transport as an alternative for air travel:
Incentives should be given to the employees to use conventional trains or electric trains (if available) to avoid CO2 emissions from air travel as it accounts for 10 to 25% of the total CO2 emissions from the air.
Use of modern ways to schedule and hosting conferences:
Another practice of sustainable business travel is the utilization of video conferences. Through video conferences, we might achieve a triple-bottom-line system of sustainability. That is efficiency in the work-life balance, fewer CO2 emissions, more significant profit (by deduction of travel costs, and better time management).
Investments in Green Projects:
Investments in green projects by companies benefit the environment, but it also helps the companies. The setting, Society, and the profits are in the ever-revolving circle. One benefits the other in the same way as its detriments the other.
Companies that use sustainable business models:
There are hundreds of companies worldwide whose business model revolves around sustainability. But here we are going to mention only three companies from which everyone is familiar with.
PepsiCo is one of the pioneers who modify their business model to sustainable business. They have been presenting sustainability goals and annual reports since 2005.
What is their sustainable business model?
Their sustainable business model depends upon three different aspects
- Human-based sustainability: In this type of sustainability, PepsiCo encourages healthy food and drinks
- Talent based sustainability: Here, the brand underlines how to attract top talents and create a distinct company culture.
- Environmental-based sustainability: in environmental sustainability, the company focuses on minimizing its adverse effect on the environment and operates to protect resources.
By 2025, PepsiCo plans to cut added sugar and fat in their products, aiming to design 100% of their packaging to be recyclable. Also, PepsiCo persists in developing a distinct workforce and improve respect for human rights.
Nike incorporates sustainable design across its products. In 2013, they were the ones who created the Making app, revealing the sustainability index of their materials to the public, and encouraging other manufacturers to create a more sustainable design, too.
Nike recognizes its environmental impact by reducing its footprint. They prefer working with like-minded suppliers, taking part in climate change summits, organizing a circular economy, and always taking steps to build a global community of responsible people to create a more sustainable future.
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is one of the leading companies that invest millions of dollars in making electrified vehicles and promotes diversity. Recently, Ford Motor Company has increased its usage of renewable materials in vehicles. By doing this, they’ve reduced their global waste by 5.5% in 2018 and got a rapid reduction in water use since 2010. It is estimated that they limit their water use up to 14.5%. The 100% renewable energy for all manufacturing plants globally by 2035 is in its plants.
We know that there are many hurdles in our way of moving towards sustainability in business. The World Business Council emphasis heavily on Sustainable Development. They weight more towards large corporations to implement sustainable practices in the industry. The task to sustain the environment is indeed tremendous, but if each of our organizations, doesn’t matter large or small, does its part, we can all succeed in preserving this wonderful planet that we call home.