How to establish a sustainable business

How to establish a sustainable business

How to establish a sustainable business

When it comes to going green, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure a workplace becomes more sustainable. While many managers will simply invest in numerous products with green credentials, others will employ a more effective framework that falls in line with a wider sustainability strategy and long-term progression.

Of course, the latter is a more practical way of reducing a commercial carbon footprint.

But how does a business manager go about implementing such a framework? According to Nigel Crunden, business specialist at Office Depot, here is how:

Put controls in place

The first thing to establish is the overall impact that a business currently has on the environment. This involves assessing what type of business it is, which helps to form a baseline from which changes can be made to improve its carbon footprint and green credentials.

Before checks and controls can be put in place though, the overall sustainability strategy and objectives of the business should be checked. It is a good idea to set targets that can be measured to help benchmark success and ensure the business doesn't fall short on progress. Without putting such strategies in place, efforts are more likely to become disjointed.

Challenge suppliers

Next, business managers should examine their supply chain to see the way in which goods and services are procured. This involves putting a plan in place to streamline the number of deliveries being made and reducing the network of suppliers that provide individual product lines.

Not only will this help to improve procurement costs, but using suppliers that can locally source multiple categories of products and services will also significantly drive down environmental impact.

Managers should challenge suppliers about their approach and determine whether or not it is in line with eco-friendly strategies.

Identify key performance indicators

Establishing a sustainable workplace helps to keep businesses one step ahead - crucial in terms of standing out against competitors.

Identifying key performance indicators from the outset means that business managers can better track their carbon emission reductions over time, leading to an accurate outlook on progress.

Perform reviews

If a business is particularly large, it can be difficult to maintain a sustainable supply chain over time. It is important, therefore, to carry out reviews on a regular basis. This ensures that performance is monitored and selected vendors are providing sufficient value to the company.

Transportation methods used by suppliers can often be overlooked, but are a crucial factor to consider when calculating carbon footprint reductions, since different methods emit various rates of greenhouse gas per mile.

In essence, sustainable business practice should not be ignored and implementing change by taking a customised approach will help to reap the rewards.


Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of iStock