In a world where people are becoming increasingly aware of the environment around it, the affect that their actions can have and the fact that things will need to change, businesses are beginning to see the benefits of sustainability.
The younger generations are increasingly looking for companies with a greener ethos. And, as such, this demand for change is being driven by both consumers and companies.
What are the implications of sustainability to small businesses?
No matter what the size of a business, small or large, everyone has a role to play when it comes to sustainability. They must ensure that the role that they play with regards to their operations is as sustainable as possible.
Smaller businesses, however, do face more struggles as a result of the increasingly competitive marketplace. There are new companies opening all the time and those that are going online. This means that adding a measure of sustainability to an already existing business plan can be difficult for these smaller businesses. In fact, a recent study indicates that around 30% of smaller businesses have no plans to improve their sustainability at the moment.
The challenges of sustainability in the small business
Small businesses face a number of challenges. However, there are things that can be done to help make these easier to provide your company with an element of sustainability.
Lack of time
It can be hard to find the time to make significant changes that are sustainable. Focus on just a few small changes at a time. You don’t need to do everything all at once. Accept that introducing a more sustainable long term plan may take months, or even years to implement.
Struggling to get employee engagement
You need to ensure that all of your employees are on board with your new plans. That way, they can help to implement any sustainability initiatives that are put in place. If your employees are not on side, then your sustainability plans will not survive.
Not knowing where to start
All too often smaller businesses think that they need to make significant differences in their operations in order to implement sustainability practices. However this is simply not the case. It can be as simple as making small changes like switching to paperless forms of communication. A simple approach like this could be the best way to start things off.
It is important for small businesses to make sure that they are working with vendors who can help them to make their sustainability operations viable. With this in mind, it is important to select companies who have their own sustainability practices. It’s worth exploring suppliers that provide range of different services that are environmentally friendly.
These initial stumbling blocks may be enough to put smaller companies off from giving sustainability serious consideration. However, they shouldn’t be. The benefits of sustainability are huge and are well worth working towards. If this needs to be done at a smaller pace than the larger companies that are out there, so be it.