4 Ways Corporations Can Adopt a Sustainable Business Model
Corporations have a responsibility both to their consumers and to the planet to strive to be as sustainable as possible. Because at the end of the day, the truth is, sustainability is a responsibility for all of us.
There are plenty of reasons and benefits for a corporation to become more sustainable. By adopting an eco-friendly business model, businesses can increase profits while making employees and shareholders happy. Here are the top four ways corporations can adopt a sustainable business model:
A very simple but effective way that corporations can reduce their energy use is by changing their light bulbs to LED or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Even though most LED and CFL lights are more expensive upfront, they last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs while also using less energy, making them cost-effective for corporations in the long run. This can save a company money and energy.
Green web hosting is an option available to corporations that often costs the same or less than traditional servers ran on fossil fuels. By using renewable energies and carbon offsets, green hosting companies are able to lower the overall deficit to the environment by providing 100 percent renewable energy a corporation’s servers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
Running a corporation solely on renewable energy may sound ambitious, but it’s possible. By actively seeking alternatively produced power like solar, wind, or hydropower, a company remains sustainable without sacrificing anything. Installation of rooftop solar panels ranges in price but always pays for itself. Most solar consumers in the United States have a solar power purchase agreement, meaning a corporation may not actually have to pay for the solar panels, only the power they produce.
Focus on Philanthropy
Corporations should focus on volunteering as well as implementing environmentally sustainable policies. A company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) is just as important as their environmental responsibility. These days consumers are looking for businesses who have a dedicated CSR plan, and companies are choosing to weave their “do good” into their marketing campaign.
Focusing on philanthropy allows corporations to connect and give back to their community. Applying for a B Corp certification shows that a for-profit company meets meticulous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. There are many ways that corporations can give back to their community, as well as many reasons why they should.
Reduce Overall Waste
The best way for a corporation to reduce waste is to simply generate less. By replacing all disposable kitchen products with reusable utensils, bowls, plates, and cups, a corporation can not only help reduce the overall waste output their company has, but also save money in the long run.
If a corporation must use paper, they can cut their waste (and cost) by at least 50 percent just by printing documents double-sided. Businesses win when they purchase post-consumer waste (PCW) paper made from 100 percent recycled and renewed products. Some PCW is made with a combination of recycled and non-recycled product. Companies should familiarize themselves with eco-friendly product labeling tactics when buying recycled products to be sure of what they are really getting.
Recycling is not only good for the environment, but it also helps reduce a corporation’s overall waste output. A site called Recycle Where? can be used by to find out where to recycle items that aren’t typically picked up by the trash or recycling company. It can help an organization figure out what to do with those old batteries, packing peanuts, or even computers.
Toilets tend to be the biggest source of water loss in an office workplace, using on average 5 gallons of water per flush. Corporations can focus their efforts on reducing water waste by replacing toilets with low-flow options. By installing faucet aerators to sinks a corporation can easily control the flow of water from a faucet, reducing the overall water waste.
Landscapes account for a significant amount of water loss. Upkeep of green lawns require hundreds of gallons of water a week to keep it looking fresh. By replacing corporate landscaping with native plants or less water-dependent plants, a corporation gains curb appeal while saving water waste.
A corporation wins when they adopt a sustainable business model. By appealing to eco-friendly and social causes, a company can both reduce their carbon footprint and set themselves apart from their competition.