We think that making things sustainable is challenging in business. Thanks to the legacy of the 20th century, entrepreneurs see it as a kind of optional extra – the cherry on top.
But it turns out that modern technology is actually making the creation of sustainable businesses much easier than it ever was in the past. In fact, it’s becoming so straightforward, anyone can do it.
The issue of sustainability is often more psychological than it is real for company leaders and founders. They worry that if they invest in sustainable alternatives, they’ll lower their margins and disappoint their customers. But, strangely, the opposite is often true. The more you go down the sustainable route, the more efficient your organisation becomes.
The data bear this out. If you compare sustainable companies to non-sustainable companies, you find that the former tend to outperform the latter in terms of both margins and profits. And it’s not just because they have more money to throw at the problem. Going green and choosing to work with nature tends to benefit companies overall, even if there are some minor setup costs associated with it.
So what can you do to make your business more sustainable?
Choose Better People To Represent Your Company
If you want to become a more sustainable company, the first thing you need to do is choose better people to represent your enterprise. Your executive team should be people who understand the deeper reasons for why you need to become more sustainable. By investing in the proper human capital, you can radically expand your organization’s potential.
Build More Revenue Channels
The next step is to use your sustainability drive to generate more revenue channels for your enterprise. This way, you’re not just investing in cost-savings or brand value, but actually improving your free cash flow.
ChooseSolar is a good example of this concept in practice. The company provides solar panels to entire communities, allowing individuals to sell their power to the grid. Net providers can actually generate positive cash flows, even after accounting for their own energy requirements. So, in this way, sustainability can diversify revenue streams and reduce market risk.
Get People Engaged With Your Sustainability Agenda
You also want to make sure that all the members on your team feel personally engaged with the sustainability challenges that your company faces. Get them to see the value that it brings the brand, the community and the environment in which they live.
Make It A Part Of Your Value Proposition
Consumer’s love the concept of sustainability – especially millennials. And they’re often willing to pay a premium to get it.
Think about it: when was the last time that you talked about sustainability in your marketing messages? If it was a while back, then you’re missing an opportunity. Always talk about the things that you do to help the environment. And include references to your efforts on your packaging. Doing this will help to differentiate you from the competition and give customers another reason to choose your brand.