5 Innovation Ideas for Businesses to Make Sustainability Second Nature

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The notion that climate change is mainly a direct result of human activity has been widely accepted. Consumers have since sought ways to reduce their carbon footprints, increasing pressure on companies to adopt business sustainability practices simultaneously.

Investors have also leaned into sustainability when expanding their portfolios. According to a 2022 IBM Institute for Business Value report, 64% of personal investors agree that a company’s climate risk is also a financial one.

Businesses have recognized the importance of eco-friendliness for their bottom line — many genuinely want to make a difference for the planet. However, making sustainability second nature is no easy feat or a straightforward one-size-fits-all venture.

Regardless, businesses can take these five suggestions to heart when taking responsibility for their environmental impact.

1. Create Sustainability Targets

Business sustainability is conducive to the environment and long-term operations because becoming sustainable is all about having a growth mindset. Creating green targets sets a goal for the company to work toward collectively over time. As any leader will agree, becoming eco-friendly doesn’t occur overnight.

Setting measurable outcomes promotes a broad effort across leadership, labor, the supply chain, and stakeholders, carving a path forward to achieve annual targets and beyond. Goals also ensure every facet of a company knows its role and function in attaining timely sustainable results.

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2. Commit to Sustainable Operations

Setting targets is essential — committing to overhauling sustainable operations is a sign your business is serious about reaching them. Companies worldwide have optimized their production and manufacturing processes to account for environmental impacts.

For example, industrial gas and engineering company Linde has avoided 696,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) by improving energy efficiency.

Ford Motor Co. has also committed to carbon neutrality with a 76% reduction of scope 1 and 2 operational emissions and a 50% decrease of scope 3 emissions by 2035. Scope 1 and 2 emissions derive from Ford directly and indirectly, while scope 3 represents those from its supply chain.

3. Work With Green Vendors

Reducing supply chain emissions will require Ford to work with green vendors or encourage current suppliers to adopt business sustainability themselves. The most effective way to create greener industries is for top companies to promote corporate responsibility for the environment.

Businesses from all industries can make sustainability second nature. Companies should list their criteria for working with green suppliers for a smoother transition.

Some of the values and standards companies should uphold with their supply chain include procurement from local vendors. They should also work with suppliers with green operations, businesses that provide community support, and vendors with official energy, recycling, and waste management plans.

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4. Weave Business Sustainability Into Company Ethos

Business sustainability is a companywide effort, so weaving sustainability into its ethos is the best foot forward. Employees are more likely to want to get involved with reaching company targets when an enterprise’s mission and vision align with building corporate sustainability.

Of course, making sustainability part of the company initiative isn’t something you drop into your mission statement and modify your goals in one sweep. You’ll need to weave sustainability into your everyday business strategy for more straightforward implementation.

Consider how sustainability may affect your workers, investors, and consumers in various ways. Connecting the company’s purpose to improving the environment sounds good on paper, but it must become a part of the business culture — and that takes time.

5. Invest in the Community

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Giving back to the community is crucial for companies interested in making sustainability second nature. A business plays a critical role in economic development, so maintaining a positive relationship with residents and meeting their needs is vital.

Providing jobs and livable wages is one way businesses help the community. Donating to local organizations that serve underprivileged individuals with affordable housing and food is another way companies can make a difference. Organizations might also hone in on environmental initiatives, such as city beautification and conservation.

Sustainability and Business Go Together

Achieving sustainability is necessary in today’s corporate world if businesses want to stay afloat. Consumers and stakeholders have made it clear you can’t have a successful operation if you’ve turned your back on the planet. Companies are bound to face scrutiny as they misstep throughout their efforts, but they’ll reap the rewards by keeping steadfast on their journey toward going green.

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About Bella Greenwood 80 Articles
Eco Warrior by day, Eco Blogger by night trying to get the eco balance right.

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