Want To Run An Eco-Friendly Business? Avoid These Mistakes
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Fortunately, most businesses are becoming more conscious of how their activities affect the environment and are incorporating sustainability into their daily operations. However, around 40% of small businesses in the UK don’t have a sustainability plan yet. If you’re looking to reformat your sustainability credentials, here are some mistakes to avoid.
- Not having a goal for your brand
One essential step towards making your business a more sustainable one is to have clear-cut goals to guide you in your activities. What’s your purpose for wanting to develop new ways of doing business? How will it affect your brand, and who are the relevant stakeholders you need to involve? A great way to understand your brand better is to identify which of the brand archetypes your business falls under, so you can bring your business’ personality to life. Doing this will also enable you to take a more personalised approach in your business.
- Developing an approach that doesn’t require total commitment
Usually, businesses that want to do things in a more environmentally friendly way tend to carry out about one or two activities in the year without having plans for the long term. However, not going all the way with your intention to be a sustainable business could cause your eco-conscious efforts to fizzle out and you might be accused of greenwashing. Running a sustainable business requires commitment, consistency, and a focus on the bigger picture.
- Forgetting to orient your employees on your new business culture
Your employees can play a vital role in the success of your sustainability plan. As such, you need to train them or inform them of your efforts to go green, so they’re correctly aligned. Making your business more sustainable can make you more attractive to potential hires and convince your staff that your business isn’t only about making profits. It’s crucial to remember that you need to set the pace for your company’s sustainability goals by walking the talk so your employees can follow.
- Include employees in the decision making process
Your employees should understand why it’s essential to be eco-conscious and the impact of your business on the environment. This way, they’ll have a positive mindset towards your sustainability goals and help make it a reality. You can start by letting your employees know about your sustainability goals before hiring them and make it easy to practice these objectives by encouraging habits such as using recycled bottles to drink water. You can also allow your staff to be a part of the process by making suggestions. Doing this will make them feel heard and an integral part of your business. It will also boost innovation, and you can reward the most impactful suggestions to give it a fun twist. You can also appoint sustainability champions to help hold everyone accountable.
- Overlooking your business premises
Where your business operates is a significant part of your sustainability effort. For instance, does your building use vast amounts of energy, or is it so old that you may need to replace some essential features? To reduce your carbon footprint, you can consider moving to a smaller building or using one floor for your operations. You can also try a location closer to public transport, to make it easier for your employees to commute to work without having to drive a long distance. There are some great examples of sustainable buildings you can draw inspiration from for your long-term business goals and give you ideas.
- Ignoring your local surroundings
An excellent way to be a sustainable business is to give back to society, especially in the local area where your business is located. There are many impactful ways to do this. For instance, if there’s an unfortunate event like a flood, you can volunteer to help by offering some essentials such as food, or even in extreme cases providing a part of your premises as a temporary shelter. You can also build up young people in your area by organising mentoring sessions to give them opportunities to work with your brand, depending on the nature of your business, etc.
- Leaving your customers out
One mistake businesses make is forgetting to inform their clients about their new way of business. You can engage them using your social media platforms and keep them updated on your progress and activities using your website as well. You can also allow them to participate in your initiatives by encouraging their feedback, donating towards an initiative they’re passionate about, etc. You can also provide them with tips by which they can also improve their lifestyle to help protect the environment. One essential step you also need to consider is being transparent with your customers by regularly publishing sustainability reports that are detailed and easy to understand. Doing this will help them relate better to your brand and make your business more personal to them.
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