Today’s customers want to support businesses that care about sustainability. For many people, sustainability is a priority. Thankfully, it’s not hard to create a sustainable business. No matter what products and services you provide, you can find sustainable companies at every stage in the supply chain.
When it’s time to make your brand sustainable, get started with these 5 strategies.
1. Source sustainable packaging.
Consumers know when brands are serious about sustainability because they don’t make exceptions for their packaging. For example, you won’t find plastic packaging connected to a brand with a serious commitment to the environment.
You don’t have to look far to find sustainable packaging. For example, Burd and Fletcher is a popular go-to company for food packaging and they’re certifiably sustainable. They participate in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
Even the most sustainable products require sustainable packaging. Unless your products sit on the shelf uncontained, start looking for eco-friendly packaging.
2. Research brands you do business with and report your findings.
To be considered sustainable, you also need to be transparent with your customers. When researching the brands you do business with, make sure to report your findings to your customers.
For instance, say you get product parts from Company A in Wisconsin. Find out how sustainable Company A is, and if they meet your sustainability standards, make sure to tell your customers. You can write a simple blog post about Company A’s practices.
If you find any companies that don’t meet your sustainability standards, look for a replacement company as soon as possible. Eventually, your customers will find out if you’re doing business with companies that harm the environment, and they will demand answers.
3. Cover all bases before proclaiming you’re sustainable.
Consumers expect businesses to be truthful with their claims. Avoid making claims of sustainability while you’re in the process of transforming your business into a sustainable operation.
While you’re still working on becoming sustainable, tell your customers about your brand’s transformation. You’ll get plenty of support this way. Just don’t announce that you’re sustainable until 100% of your business partnerships and practices are sustainable.
4. Plan your roadmap to sustainability.
To become fully sustainable, you need a roadmap with goals and milestones along the way. In addition to working toward sustainable packaging and product parts, start planning ways to make your entire operation sustainable, including:
- Your physical office. For instance, coffee pods are extremely wasteful, even though some are recyclable. Use fresh ground coffee and reusable pods instead.
- Your Employee benefits. Try to find some benefits that support sustainability. For example, provide time off for volunteer work, match donations, or provide your teams with a special sustainability budget to explore new ideas to solve environmental problems.
You’ll reach your sustainability goals much faster when they’re organized and in writing.
5. Copy what other businesses are doing.
Normally, being a copycat isn’t a good idea. However, sustainability efforts are fair game. Do some research to find out what other sustainable businesses are doing and follow suit.
For instance, many businesses eliminate the need to travel to and from a physical office. They’re allowing employees to work from home and hosting virtual meetings on Zoom.
To get some ideas, here’s a list of some popular companies that take sustainability seriously:
- Patagonia. For more than two decades, Patagonia has been committed to sustainability. They donate a portion of profits to various environmental organizations and teach people how to repair their clothing. They’ll even repair a customer’s clothing whether or not it’s the Patagonia brand. Repairing clothing is one of the most sustainable things a person can do, and Patagonia is reviving this lost, important skill.
- Tony’s Chocolonely. This company is committed to making the cocoa industry fair trade and slave-free.
- Triodos Bank. This bank invests their customers’ money in sustainable companies, like those focused on renewable energy.
- Too Good To Go. This is a brilliant app that helps people find restaurants giving away food at the end of the night for 50% off. Company policies and health department regulations prohibit restaurants from donating leftover food, so this is a great way to reduce food waste.
These are just some ideas to get you started. If you search for sustainable companies, you’ll find all kinds of creative ideas to incorporate into your sustainability plan.
Sustainability drives profits
At the end of the day, sustainability will drive your profits. People are picky about who they do business with, and today’s consumers won’t settle for less than full sustainability.