Though used interchangeably, green business practices and sustainable business practices refer to different ways of doing business in an environmentally-conscious way. Green business is about using methods that reduce harm to the environment or employ recycled or reused materials during the process. Green products are made of environmentally friendly materials and can even be fully made of recycled materials.
Sustainable business practices are about making changes at the management and organizational level to convert the business into one that includes the health of the environment as a business goal. Sustainability affects every level of the business from manufacturing, production, distribution, and workforce.
It can be in something as seemingly insignificant as choosing the right service to handle the business garbage bins and collection system to something as important as only choosing business partners who have proven green business practices.
Embrace Sustainability as a Business Goal
Train your employees to recognize sustainable ways of doing business. Emphasize the importance of choosing environmentally-conscious vendors and manufacturers to provide materials.
Include the necessity of converting the business to being fully sustainable as a clear business goal and provide incentives and guidance to achieve this goal.
Collect Employee Suggestions and Implement Their Ideas
Your employees are your best resource for finding out how to convert business practices into sustainable forms. They are the hands-on workers and will be able to tell you where to focus on changing out machinery or equipment, which ones can be kept but utilized better, and how to help them become more efficient workers.
Pay attention to their suggestions and invite their input and recommendations when considering how to improve business practices and productivity. This will give you an insight into improving productivity that only the people who are doing the work every day can provide.
Reduce Energy Wastage and Costs
You can reduce energy wastage and costs by replacing your current lighting with an LED lighting system. LED lights are simple to install, utilize power better, and require little maintenance. They convert almost all the energy they receive into the light and can be dimmed or increased as necessary from a wall-installed smart device.
LED lights also come on to their full brightness as soon as they are switched on and can be programmed to turn on at a specific time. This can be very useful inside a factory or manufacturing plant and can reduce mental fatigue from poor lighting among your workers.
Change and Improve Your Packaging
When you evaluate your packaging, you may be surprised to discover how much waste you may be generating. Even if your workers have managed to make the process efficient and reduced waste, you still have to evaluate how much of the packaging you are sending to your customers will result in it becoming garbage.
It can be much more cost-effective to change the way you package your product to a green solution. Whether this means using recycled materials or reducing the amount of color and decals on the package, it will save on supply costs. Your customers will also appreciate that you are trying to provide them with better packaging and help them generate less garbage.
Look into Tax Breaks and Green incentive Schemes
Most states offer tax breaks and incentives to businesses that embrace green processes and sustainability in their business practices. Looking into this will not only help you find ways to fund converting your business to be more sustainable, but it will also help guide you in which areas to apply green practices.
If you are mainly a manufacturing plant, it might not be possible to convert most of your power usage to be from solar panels installed on the roof. Instead, you can work with the state authorities to help you find and negotiate for manufacturing materials that are green-approved.
Improve Brand Awareness and Appeal
As more people are learning about sustainability and embracing conservationism, becoming a business known for utilizing green processes will be a huge boost to your brand image.
Simply knowing that your company is dedicated to sustainability will attract interest and attention from many people who could turn out to become potential customers.
Becoming a company that is dedicated to sustainability will not only reduce waste, reduce costs, and improve your brand image; it has also been shown to improve employee morale and dedication. A business that values the environment also values its workers and recognizes how essential they are in achieving business goals. This will lead to employees working in environments that are more conducive to productivity while also being a place they feel valued and able to contribute more energy and effort.