Green Tips for a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Business
As a sustainable company, you understand that your decisions about waste, energy, and water make a notable impact on consumer perception of your organization and vital savings to your bottom line. Many companies go green these days, from a single office paper recycling plan to smart building technologies, sophisticated solar, and geothermal power co-generation.
But where to begin? Read on for a few minutes to create a green, eco-friendly business.
There are a lot of terms of being environmentally friendly and you might feel a little confused with using them. Green, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly, etc.; The careless practice of using these terms casually and synonymously, particularly by marketers, has created a bit of difficulty.
All of these names do point to awareness, environmental, and social responsibility, so they can technically be used interchangeably. But there are little differences in definition.
To clear up this confusion, here is a brief guideline for those who are interested in the many hues of green:
What is the Difference Between Green, Sustainable and Eco-Friendly?
- Green: The definition of the word “Green” has long outgrown the color. It’s now commonly used in a casual speech to refer to almost everything related to profiting the environment, from the action to fashion and architecture.
- Sustainable: Sustainable is the most precisely specified term here and describes the wide range of activities and issues that, according to the United Nations, “do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
Sustainability focuses on the future. It means the action or item is generating environmental, economic, and social benefits, while not causing pollution or using up too many resources. Yes, all these meanings are hidden under this one word.
- Eco-Friendly: Eco-friendly isn’t actually so broad. It means that something doesn’t hurt or harm the planet.
Compared to eco-friendly and green, sustainability has much higher standards. Sustainability includes green products and eco-friendly activities, but green doesn’t necessarily mean sustainable. For example, a product created from renewable resources is considered green, yet if a life-cycle review shows that it needed a lot of energy to manufacture and export to you, and if there isn’t a decent way to dispose of the product, then it’s not sustainable.
How to Make your Business more Sustainable?
“Sustainable business, or a green business, is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy”
Developing your company more sustainably can help you decrease costs, control risk, promote your reputation, and generate new business opportunities. For instance, you might reduce your use of raw material or energy, use renewable alternatives, and make the best of new markets for better performing or innovative products. As well as helping the society and environment, becoming more sustainable directly benefits the financial performance of your company.
The good news is we can kick off our sustainability program by trying these simple tricks:
1- Radical resource productivity
We can stretch natural resources by enhancing productivity for a given number of a resource by factor of 10 or even 100. We should try to eliminate dependencies on energy and materials for resources dug from the earth’s rind. This commitment can solve the issues of harvesting and depletion of natural resources.
2- Investment in natural resources
We need to restore, maintain, and expand ecosystems to sustain society and our business needs. A sustainable business looks for ways to reduce the use of fossil fuels by using natural or alternative fuels.
We can also encourage our employees to use alternate transportation such as biking or public transport.
3- Ecological redesign
We can use a closed-loop production system in which production waste and. End-of-life disposal is employed as a resource and reused, rather than transferred to a landfill! We can’t throw things away, because there no such thing as “away”! instead, we should practice eliminating the man-made toxic and chemicals from our production processes.
4- Service and flow economy
We can replace our products with services, or lease products and their solutions instead of selling them. When the product is out-of-date or is unable to produce its service, we can take it back and recycle or remanufacture the returned product.
5- Responsible consumption
Although it sounds like an oxymoron, responsible use decreases the need for stuff and its correlated waste and pollution, as graphically described in The Story of Stuff. We should encourage responsible consumption by educating customers so they can make more informed decisions about their shopping based on products’ location of origin, the labor conditions under which they were produced, their ingredients, their packaging, their life-cycle environmental footprints, and other sustainability-related criteria. New forms of company ownership and profit-sharing guarantee company success is more equitably shared between employees and other stakeholders. We have to avoid any inattentive interference with people’s ability to meet their basic needs.
The sustainable borrow-use-return standard enables us to perform as represented by William Donough and Michael Braungart in Cradle to Cradle.
- “Buildings that, like trees, produce more energy than they consume and purify their own waste water.
- “Factories that produce effluents that are drinking water.
- “Products that, when their useful life is over, do not become useless waste but can be tossed onto the ground to decompose and become food for plants and animals and nutrients for the soil; or, alternately, they can return to industrial cycles to supply high-quality raw materials for new products.
- “Billions, even trillions, of dollars’ worth of materials accrued for human and natural purposes each year.
- “Transportation that improve the quality of life while delivering goods and services.
- “A world of abundance, not one of limits, pollution, and waste.”
Sustainable improvement cannot be achieved by a single person or enterprise. Everyone must engage. You will prove your leadership and commitment to a healthy, safe future by joining the ranks of business managers who make sustainable choices.
 Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things