Ecowiser

Powerful Sustainable Business Practices for Eco-Efficiency

sustainable business practices

Businesses are one of the major sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change and its negative impacts on the environment and society. This means that they have a huge responsibility and opportunity to make a positive difference for the planet and its people. 

But how can they become more sustainable without sacrificing their profitability and competitiveness? 

In this blogpost, we will explore some of the best sustainable business practices that can help them reduce their environmental impact, improve their social responsibility, and increase their bottom line. 

Whether you are a business owner, manager, employee, or customer, you will find some useful tips and examples on how to make your business more sustainable and successful.

Understanding the Reticence of Businesses in Implementing Sustainable Business Practices

Sustainable practices meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. They aim to balance environmental, economic and social aspects of development. 

However, many businesses face various problems in adopting sustainable practices, which are-

High costs of transitioning to renewable energy sources, changing infrastructure, and reducing waste. These costs may deter businesses from investing in sustainability initiatives that have long-term benefits but short-term losses.

Unemployment in some areas that depend on fossil fuels or other unsustainable industries. These industries may resist change or lobby against policies that promote sustainability for fear of losing their market share or profits.

Fragile commitment or awareness of the importance of sustainability for their long-term success. Some businesses may lack the vision, leadership, or culture to embrace sustainability as a core value or strategy. 

More requirements and regulations from governments or customers who demand more transparency and accountability for their environmental impact. These requirements may pose challenges for businesses that do not have adequate systems or standards to measure and report their sustainability performance.

Challenges of climate change, such as extreme weather events, water scarcity, and biodiversity loss. These challenges can affect the productivity, profitability, and reputation of businesses that depend on natural resources or operate in vulnerable regions.

What Should You Do as an Entrepreneur to Create a Sustainable Business Model?

To create a sustainable business model, you need to analyze how your current business model affects your stakeholders, society, and the environment. You can use a tool like the Business Canvas Model to map out your value proposition, customer segments, channels, revenue streams, cost structure, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and customer relationships. 

Expand this canvas by adding two more dimensions: environmental value creation and social value creation. They capture how your business model contributes to solving global challenges such as climate change, poverty, inequality, biodiversity loss, etc. 

Next, you can innovate for a resilient business model by exploring different ways to create value for all stakeholders. You can use sustainable business model patterns as inspiration for designing new solutions that balance economic viability with environmental and social responsibility. 

You can link your sustainable business model innovation to drivers of value and competitive advantage, such as cost reduction, risk mitigation, customer loyalty, brand reputation, innovation potential etc.

How Do Sustainable Business Practices Generate the Age of Eco-Efficiency?

Eco efficiency is a management strategy that aims to create more value with less environmental impact. It delivers goods and services that satisfy human needs and improve quality of life while using fewer resources and generating less waste and pollution. 

Eco efficiency helps businesses reduce their costs, enhance their competitiveness, and contribute to sustainable development.

It measures the ratio between the value added by a product or service and its environmental impact throughout its life cycle. The higher the ratio, the more eco efficient the product or service is.

Some examples of eco efficient and sustainable business practices are:

  • Using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydro power
  • Designing products that are durable, recyclable, or biodegradable
  • Implementing waste reduction, reuse, or recycling programs
  • Optimizing production processes to minimize resource use and emissions
  • Adopting green procurement policies that favor eco friendly suppliers
  • Engaging customers and stakeholders in environmental awareness and education

What are Some Well-Known Sustainable Business Practices Adopted by Companies?

Sustainable business ideas create value for customers, society, and the environment. They often address social or environmental problems by offering innovative solutions that meet the needs and preferences of consumers who care about sustainability. Some examples of sustainable business ideas that are currently in vogue are-

Green Financial Planning

This concept is about giving financial guidance and support to clients who want to put their money in businesses or projects that are good for the society and the environment. It also helps clients lower their impact on the climate and save money by following green practices such as using less energy, switching to clean energy sources, and reducing waste.

Consignment Store for Luxury Goods

This idea involves selling pre-owned luxury items such as clothing, accessories, jewelry, and art that are still in good condition. It helps reduce waste and pollution by extending the life cycle of these items and giving them a second chance.

Using Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Eco-packaging entails creating packaging materials that are recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable. It aids in lowering waste production and greenhouse gas emissions from conventional packaging materials, which frequently end up in landfills or the ocean. We have also explored this dimension in detail in our update on sustainable packaging solutions here.

Organic spa or salon

This involves offering beauty and wellness services that use organic, natural, or vegan products that are free of harmful chemicals or animal testing. It helps promote health and well-being for both customers and employees by avoiding exposure to toxins or allergens.

Green Landscaping

Green gardening involves creating gardens or landscapes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, and beautiful. It helps conserve water, energy, soil quality, biodiversity by using native plants drought-tolerant plants rain barrels drip irrigation composting mulching etc.

Want to read more like this?

Get similar stories and a free sustainability checklist delivered to your inbox.

Layer 1 1

Like our content?

Get similar stories and a free sustainability checklist delivered to your inbox.

Layer 1 1

5 Companies That Are Making a Mark with Sustainable Business Practices

Many businesses have adopted sustainable practices to reduce their environmental impact, improve their social responsibility, and increase their competitive advantage. We have listed down 5 of such illustrious businesses that have taken the sustainable turn for the better-

Patagonia

Patagonia values responsible

Established by rock climber Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia is now owned by the Patagonia Purpose Trust. The founder’s commitment to disassociate himself from murky, greenwashed capitalism is admirable. Chouinard also signed off 98 percent of the company’s shares to Holdfast Collective, an organization committed to combat climate change. This outdoor brand is an established B-Corp and makes 87% of its products with recycled materials only. The brand also received the UN Champion of the Earth Award for its vision in 2019.

Visit Patagonia


Allbirds

Allbirds

Allbirds is a famous shoemaker brand that is establishing serious goals for other businesses to look up to. The company’s aggressive pursuit of sustainability and carbon reduction milestones is worth appreciating- it has been carbon neutral since 2019. While this B-Corp company has been scrutinized for its uncomfortable silence on labour practices, Allbirds is considered to be an improving pioneer in the sustainable footwear space.

Visit Allbirds


MUD Jeans

MUD Jeans

These different pieces of denim emerge from a circular business model that eliminates waste and creates positive social benefits. The brand’s “Lease a Jeans” program allows customers to rent a pair of jeans and return them after use for recycling. It also uses organic and recycled cotton for its products.

Visit MUD Jeans


Vestas Wind Systems

Vestas Wind Systems

It manufactures wind turbines, which are a clean and renewable source of energy. It has reduced its carbon emissions by 1.7 billion metric tons over the last four decades with its partners. It also aims to achieve carbon neutrality for its internal operations and electricity production by 2030 without using carbon offsets.

Visit Vestas


New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing produces craft beer with environmental stewardship in mind. It uses solar panels, wastewater treatment, heat recovery, and LEED certification to reduce its greenhouse emissions. It also supports biking as a low-carbon mode of transportation and advocates for climate action.

Visit New Belgium Brewing


Reporting Sustainability Performance: The New Age Business Practice Every Entrepreneur Should Follow

To measure and report your sustainability performance, you need to follow some steps. 

First, you need to set your goals and objectives for sustainability. What do you want to achieve? How do you align with global standards and frameworks? 

Second, you need to identify issues and choose indicators that reflect your impact and progress. You can use quantitative or qualitative data, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, employee engagement, etc. 

Third, you need to collect data from various sources, such as internal systems, surveys, audits, etc. You may face challenges in data quality, availability, or comparability. 

Fourth, you need to analyze the data critically and identify trends, gaps, risks, and opportunities. You can use tools such as dashboards, benchmarks, or ratings to compare your performance with others. 

Fifth, you need to state key observations and recommendations based on your analysis. You should highlight your achievements, challenges, and areas for improvement. 

Sixth, you need to communicate your findings in a way that people will listen and act upon them. You can use different formats such as reports, presentations, or infographics to reach different audiences such as investors, customers, or employees.

Read more about how to measure and report your sustainability performance here.

Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a Sustainable Business Practice

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a way of doing business that considers its impact on society and the environment. 

It means that companies act responsibly toward their stakeholders, such as customers, employees, investors, suppliers, communities, and regulators. CSR involves going beyond legal compliance and voluntary actions that benefit society or address social issues. CSR can take different forms depending on the company’s goals, values, and resources.

Some prominent examples of CSR activities are:

  • Supporting professional service volunteering or pro bono programs
  • Developing community projects or partnerships with local organizations
  • Donating money or goods to non-profit organizations for public benefit
  • Adopting ethical business practices such as fair trade, anti-corruption, or human rights
  • Implementing environmental initiatives such as reducing emissions, waste, or water use
  • Promoting diversity, inclusion, or well-being among employees

CSR helps companies enhance their reputation, attract talent, increase customer loyalty, improve innovation, and reduce risks.

The Eco Wiser Take on Sustainable Business Practices

Sustainable business practices can benefit both the environment and the economy. These practices promote an era of eco-efficiency that helps companies optimize their resource footprint and reduce their respective costs.

Several companies are currently integrating these practices into their respective visions and ethos. Such trends reflect a positive change in how businesses are choosing to operate and challenge the view that corporates are necessarily exploitative and monstrous creations of capitalism.

Measuring and reporting sustainability performance and adherence to ESG standards is becoming a priority for businesses today. Coupled with holistic CSR objectives, we can say that businesses are buzzing with the potential to pioneer change and planet-positivity.

We think that sustainable business practices are an important avenue of value generation and optimization for new-age businesses. We at Eco Wiser believe in sensitizing upcoming changemakers with these valuable insights so that we can become true assets for the planet at large. Check out our other eco-echoes to know more about how the corporate sector can achieve climate security targets.

Want to read more like this?

Get similar stories and a free sustainability checklist delivered to your inbox.

Layer 1 1

Like our content?

Get similar stories and a free sustainability checklist delivered to your inbox.