Rotem Eylor, founder and CEO of Republic floor.
There are many reasons for companies to seek sustainability in their operations. For example, studies show that companies committed to sustainability can more easily attract and retain talent, something most companies in today’s job market are eager to do. A McKinsey report also shows that companies that work to reduce environmental impacts make more money, which is something all companies would like to do at any given time.
While these and other factors have motivated many companies to consider environmental awareness as a value, it has proved more difficult to take practical steps that promote environmental awareness. A way to solve this Detach is to weave environmental awareness into your business model.
Here are some steps to achieve this:
1. Assess your company’s environmental impact.
While all businesses have some impact on the environment, some have more than others. For example, transport companies and agricultural companies often have a major impact on the environment.
But even if a high-impact activity isn’t your main activity, it can be part of what you do. A good first step in developing an environmentally friendly business model is to assess your company’s unique impact. For example, you may not be a technology company, but you may rely heavily on technology resources, such as network servers, which use a lot of energy and therefore have a major impact on the environment.
Once you understand your environmental impact, you can narrow your focus and work on ways to adjust your business model to minimize that impact.
2. Set measurable and actionable goals.
Setting measurable and achievable goals is the next step to reducing environmental impact. For example, your business model may stipulate that at least 50% of the materials you use are recycled. It could also promote the use of renewable energy sources or contribute to environmental offsets for the use of non-renewable energy.
These goals should not only be measurable, but also easy to link to the fundamental business operations. It’s important to make them actionable rather than just aspirational. Companies should share and celebrate these goals with employees and other shareholders to provide accountability and communicate expectations.
3. Shift to sustainable practices.
Executing plans is a crucial step. It is also the step where organizations can easily get sidetracked. Organizations that succeed in launching sustainable practices often find it challenging to scale them up challenges.
Proper planning is necessary to bring sustainable practices to life. Business leaders need to understand the business impact of new practices, not just their impact on the environment. They also need to understand the ripple effect that new practices will send throughout the organization. Developing a comprehensive strategy and committing to long-term support is crucial for sustainable practices to succeed.
4. Assess the effectiveness of your practices.
If environmental awareness is truly part of your business plan, the effectiveness of your environmental practices can affect your business success. If so, you can’t “set it and forget it” with sustainability practices. You need to track their implementation, effectiveness and overall impact.
Monitoring your efforts can provide you with the data you need to achieve the greatest business impact, as well as the information needed to hold all departments and staff accountable for executing the plan. Sustainability often takes second place to practices that seem more urgent or important to business productivity. By monitoring sustainability KPIs, companies can ensure they get the attention they need.
5. Listen to the market.
Consumers and investors have played a major role in driving the shift towards sustainability in business. reports show that most investors now see companies with sustainable practices as wise investments, and surveys have found that more than two-thirds of consumers prefer eco-friendly brands.
To ensure business models meet the needs of consumers and investors, companies need to engage in a dialogue that helps them understand market expectations. Feedback on how shareholders perceive a company’s efforts to prioritize environmental awareness can help refine those efforts in a way that maximizes their impact. In addition, this can help companies promote their sustainability efforts to the market.
Companies looking to increase sustainability should also reach out to suppliers and vendors for insight into better practices. Those groups may be able to provide options that can drastically reduce a company’s environmental impact. Changing internal practices to accommodate those options can be an efficient way to reduce a company’s overall environmental impact.
The current market clearly motivates companies to move to sustainable practices. When viewed within the larger framework of the business model, these practices enable companies to combine sustainability with profitability. Being environmentally friendly should not be the end goal, but rather a core tenet of a successful business philosophy and plan.