6 Steps to a Sustainable Business

The definition of sustainability

A process of change that takes into consideration the preservation of the ecosystem on a local and global system.

Starting your journey to sustainability

1) Define sustainability for your business

Take a step back and evaluate your business. Think about what sustainability means for your business. Look at each department individually and evaluate the benefits and impacts of introducing sustainability objectives. Corporate sustainability is about issues that affect the world as a whole as well as the local community. Your job is bringing together what the business does, how it does it, as well as its impact on the environment.

2) Engage with your stakeholder

Stakeholders are people who have an interest in your business including competitors, employers, customers potentially your local council. Ask them what they think about your business, ask them what matters to them especially when it comes to sustainability. Do their ideas and thoughts match that of the business? If not go back and evaluate your business, figure out how you can align your suitability goal with stakeholders.

3) Research

Gather data, firstly on where your business currently is. Work out your carbon footprint as well as other information that may be relevant to your overall sustainability objective. E.g. if you are looking to reduce waste, obtain figures as to how much waste you currently have. Then find out industry averages and see how you compare.

4) Set your objectives

Using the data you have collected set your objectives, make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have time constraints). An example of a SMART objective would be ‘ Reduce waste by 25% by 1 December 2020’.

5) Start the change

Make sure you communicate your sustainability objective with your stakeholders, especially your team. You need to ensure your whole workforce is on board with the changes you intend to make. Make sure it is clear that there will be new ways of doing things, offer training and make sure you understand that change can set you back at first.

Be patient with your team, if you have introduced new methods and machinery it will take time to adjust.

6) Review

Every month review your statistics. Are you on track to meet your suitability goals? If not think about whether or not your objective is realistic, are your team really able to meet it or are they being set up for failure?

If your objective is realistic though is not being met. Review the changes you have made, are they enough? Are your whole team convicted of making the change?

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