It’s common knowledge that large corporations are responsible for much of the harmful environmental impacts we see today. Fortunately, many of these companies are taking significant steps toward more sustainable operations. But there’s a lot more work to be done as we face unprecedented pollution, climate change, and other issues.
If you’re thinking about starting a small business, you might be surprised by the impact you can have on the environment, and you can choose whether it’s a negative or positive impact. Besides the fact that sustainable business practices benefit the planet and its inhabitants, green businesses also attract customers. More and more consumers are opting to support eco-conscious brands, meaning you can capitalize on financial opportunities while contributing to a better world for future generations!
Below, renewablesphere.com shares some practical insight into how you can create a sustainable business that succeeds!
Form the Right Structure
No matter what type of eco-friendly business you’re starting, you’ll need to have the right legal structure in place. Consider establishing an LLC, which offers personal liability protection, manageable paperwork, more flexibility, and various tax advantages.
If you are unsure how to form an LLC or want to save time and stress, work with an online formation service. That way, you can make sure your LLC is compliant with state regulations and focus on the other responsibilities of running a company.
Check Your Packaging
If you plan to sell products through your business, start researching your options for packaging. This is an area where many companies are improving regarding environmental impact.
Opt for biodegradable packaging, such as substituting single-use containers for cornstarch, wood pulp, seaweed, and other materials that break down quickly. Also, make sure your packaging is made of a single material; a combination of materials can make a box or bag unrecyclable.
And, of course, use branded packaging that is functional. When consumers receive products in a box or bag that can be reused for other purposes, they are less likely to throw them away, reducing waste and benefiting the environment.
Evaluate Your Product Sources
If you want to run an eco-conscious company, you must make sure your suppliers abide by the same environmental, social, and ethical standards you hope to uphold. For example, are your products coming from fair trade sources? Are they produced with biodegradable, renewable, or recyclable materials? Using such materials will reduce your company’s impact on the environment and keep your mission going strong.
Strategize Your Delivery and Shipping Methods
Similar to packaging, your green business will need to evaluate its shipping materials. These days, there are plenty of environmentally friendly materials to use for shipping products to your customers. Compostable bags, recycled cardboard, and biodegradable mailing pouches and fillers are a few examples. Furthermore, be sure to avoid using plastic wrap, styrofoam, or standard mailing pouches, as these are hard to recycle and can clutter up landfills.
You’ll also want to consider how much space your products consume in delivery vehicles. For example, if you pack a small jewelry item in a box three times its size, it will take up more room in the carrier, meaning more trips and emissions. Plus, using appropriately sized packages will cut costs. You can also encourage your customers to purchase in bulk (offering discounts for a specific number of orders can help) to consolidate more of your orders.
While there are more eco-conscious paper options than there used to be, the best approach is to eliminate your paper usage altogether (or significantly reduce it). It takes a lot of trees to produce the paper that U.S. businesses and consumers use.
These days, it’s easy to utilize online paperwork and billing to minimize paper waste. Plus, it leaves you with more physical storage space! With that said, if going 100% paperless is not realistic for your company, look for sustainably sourced recycled paper from a local vendor. And reuse the paper as much as possible.
Embrace Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods for promoting a green business. It’s critical to communicate and advertise the steps your company is taking towards sustainability that benefits the ecosystem.
Unless you have ample experience in marketing, you might benefit from working with a digital marketing agency that can help you plan and execute impactful campaigns. Look to online job platforms to connect with influencer marketing agencies.
Green Your Workspace
If you are operating a physical store, shop, or office, learn how to make the space as green as possible. There are many practical steps you can take to minimize your workspace’s environmental impact.
For example, you could choose a space that has lots of natural light flowing in and use LED bulbs where additional lighting is needed. Also, opt for a traditional coffee maker instead of single-use coffee makers to reduce waste.
Moreover, invest in a smart thermostat to boost energy efficiency during summer and winter. And if there is a local green cleaning service, consider hiring them on retainer!
Get Your Team on Board
As a business owner, you might have the final say on implementing green practices, but if you hope to succeed, you’ll need your employees to be involved as well. Consider any knowledge-based jobs you can allow team members to perform from home in order to cut down on transportation and pollution.
Also, think of how you can encourage and reward your employees to maintain eco-conscious habits. Schedule meetings where your entire team can brainstorm ideas and ensure everyone feels welcome to share their opinions. You might be surprised how quickly you can come up with realistic, impactful changes to benefit your organization and community.
There really aren’t any disadvantages to reducing your company’s waste because it will benefit the environment and your finances. Opt-out of sending direct mail to customers and, instead, promote your brand and discounts on social media and through other digital channels.
Also, if your business gets lots of junk mail, be sure to remove yourself from any and all unnecessary subscriptions and mailing lists. If you plan to sell merchandise or promotional items, make sure they’re sustainable. A branded reusable water bottle and an ethically sourced t-shirt can go a long way toward building brand recognition, and consumers will get more use out of them instead of throwing them straight into the trash.
Connect With Other Local Organizations
Finally, look for other organizations in your community that share your environmental convictions. Consider how you can partner with businesses and charities to push forward your agenda for a healthier planet, and look for opportunities to support organizations, such as arranging fundraisers and donating to environmental initiatives. Remember that you can make a bigger impact when you team up with other earth-lovers!
If you want to positively contribute to a better world for current and future generations, you can do so without compromising your passion for business. Starting a sustainable company will allow you to use your entrepreneurial talents for good, as long as you take the time to prepare and strategize your steps. Consider the tips above to get off to a strong start, and keep researching what’s involved in becoming a successful ecopreneur!
Would you like to learn more about how you can contribute to a healthier planet and society? Visit renewablesphere.com today!