BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS
If you haven’t already integrated sustainability into your business strategy, it’s time to get started. Do good to do well. But sustainability means different things to different businesses. The trick is to figure out what it means to your business.
WHAT DOES “SUSTAINABILITY” MEAN FOR BUSINESSES?
The goal of a sustainable business strategy is typically to make a positive impact on either the environment, society or both. This type of corporate responsibility is not only on point with a trending shift in the way successful businesses conduct themselves, but it’s also necessary to become a success in most cases.
Research shows that more than 33% of consumers prefer brands with clear sustainability credentials over those without. That’s a big chunk of the market that’s actively seeking businesses with sustainable products and practices. All you have to do is figure out the best way for your brand to get on board with a goal that means something to you… Simple, right?
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS STRATEGY
Don’t let the idea of sustainability overwhelm you. Start small, and work your way through these steps to create a plan that you can feel good about.
Determine the Problem & Define the Goal
The very first step is to figure out what sustainability means to your business. Your team, your industry and your clients all come into play in making this determination. Ask yourself questions such as what impact your company has on the local community, if your product or service is designed to help a certain audience, and how much waste you produce. Think in terms of specific and measurable goals to establish your business’s sustainability objectives.
State Your Purpose
Establishing a mission statement will help keep your team focused and your goals aligned. Whether it’s to support a specific community or the planet, your mission should reflect whatever is most important and relevant to your business and address your sustainability objectives. As with all of your marketing and company goals, it should be inline with your brand’s image as well as your customers’ values.
Create an Action Plan
Put that mission into action! Here are just a few ideas to get you started on ways you can give back to the community and the planet:
- Donate a portion of proceeds to an organization that supports your mission
- Plant a tree for every order
- Donate a product for each product purchased
- Reduce your company’s carbon footprint through
- Sustainable materials
- Chemical-free ingredients
- Energy-saving processes
- Recycling and reusing materials
- Waste reduction
- Buying local
- Conserving resources
MERGE YOUR SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS & MARKETING STRATEGIES
Once your plan is in place, you want to shout it from the rooftops to let people know this is what you’re doing. Consumers crave a cause… promote your sustainable business plan to make the most of it. More than one in five people will actively choose brands with clear sustainability practices on their packaging and in their marketing. Don’t miss out on that opportunity to sway opinion.
Promote your sustainable business plan the same way you would promote your brand. Choose items that speak to your mission such as this reusable, eco-friendly bento lunch box or this stylish computer bag made from recycled water bottles. These items will help demonstrate your commitment to the cause and reinforce your sustainability goals while promoting the plan itself.
When you market your sustainable business strategy, you can create profits and even more business opportunities. Some customers will actually pay more for products and services produced using sustainable practices. Explore partnerships that will lend you credibility and trust to help achieve your goal as well.
Giving back – whether it’s to the environment or the community – is a critical piece of the puzzle now more than ever. When research shows it benefits your bottom line, there is no excuse not to have a sustainable business plan in place… And promote the heck out of it! Do well by doing good.
For more ideas on how to promote your brand and sustainability initiatives, get in touch today!