Companies all over the world seem to be talking about one thing and one thing only: sustainability. So, what is “sustainability,” and why is it important in today’s world? If you asked business owners all across the globe, you’d likely get different answers from each one.
Some, for example, will say sustainability is equivalent to corporate social responsibility. Others might relate sustainability to the physical environment, believing the success of the company has to deal with how well they measure up to their competitors. The most common definition of a sustainable business refers to how a company manages their finances, social and environmental risks, and opportunities in relation to global environmental concerns.
Over the years, sustainability has become more than a buzzword — it’s become an integral part of a company’s business plan. That’s because sustainability has real benefits when it comes to keeping a company afloat. There are a number of techniques small businesses can use to help them foster sustainability.
So, what are the advantages of practicing sustainability? Here are three advantages to doing so:
Connect With Vendors Who Share the Same Goal: Integration with other vendors is the one thing that leads to process improvements, which in return, leads to greater sustainability. Organizations who can take advantage of the process can attract more suppliers and vendors as well. This will help cut costs and create sustainable solutions that will keep the company functioning. Remember, it’s not about reducing the number of suppliers; it’s about giving them the power to provide better service. That way, everyone benefits from the integration.
Whenever you join forces with another organization, you need to make sure that you review and rebalance business processes to ensure that both companies are maximizing the benefits. For this to happen, however, both businesses need a sustainable management team that can work both independently and collaboratively.
Define the Company’s Sustainability Brand: Whenever a company creates a sustainable reputation, their brand starts to attract not only leaders, but game changers as well. That’s because leaders of companies are able to implement practices that can help the company embed cultural sustainability within the organization.
Building a company isn’t easy, and maintaining a company is even harder. However, doing both is essential — especially if the economy starts to experience a downward spiral. Stakeholders who invest in companies will always look to see if the organization is able to handle the peaks and valleys in the economy. That being said, having the ability to leverage a sustainable brand can let clients, vendors, bankers, and other investors know that they can trust you. That’s why it’s important to define your image early on.
Reduce Waste: One of the most important things to do in any office is to reduce the amount of waste the company produces. Investments in these areas don’t go unnoticed and, in fact, can help business organizations in the long run. Larger corporations companies like Google, for example, has a sustainable effort called “Google Green.” This is designed to use resources more efficiently and has led to Google using fewer power resources for their data centers. Savings like these, along with other initiatives, can then be redirected to other areas that need attention.
The best part is that you don’t have to be a large company like Google, IBM, or Microsoft to see results like these. Thanks to new workflow automation tools, it’s possible for smaller companies to go completely paperless. How? By automating certain tasks and getting rid of paper-based processes.
Going digital, however, is just a start. Once important information has been stored on a hard drive, these drives then need to be maintained regularly. That’s because hard drives have an average lifespan of four years, with the biggest drops-offs between the third and fourth year. So be sure to keep things up to date, and keep backup copies somewhere safe. These techniques will help your company cut down on unnecessary waste and see a significant increase in efficiency and improvement in the long run.