According to the post, Why It’s Time to Kick Your Green Initiatives Up a Notch, “results of the second-annual Sustainability & Innovation Survey of global corporate leaders by MIT’s Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group suggest that green practices are taking firm root in the business world. Nearly 60 percent of the 3,000 businesses surveyed said they are increasing their investment in sustainability. Perhaps the most interesting revelation is why they’re doing it. About half of businesses surveyed said the biggest reason was brand reputation and conveying a green image to customers.”
Unfortunately, however, “the survey results notes that small companies are lagging behind their larger competitors when it comes to sustainability: Only 9 percent of companies surveyed with fewer than 1,000 employees were classified as “embracers” of sustainable business practices, compared to 34 percent of companies with more than 10,000 employees.”
As is noted in the post, 12 Step Guide to Green Your Small Business, small business owners falsely subscribe to misconceptions of business sustainability as hard, resource intense, exclusive to larger organizations and confusing. On the contrary, integrating sustainability concepts into core business functions makes companies more nimble in this fast-changing world. It makes brands more attractive to consumers and retailers, and its management more respected by employees and the financial markets. In short, the drivers for improved business sustainability equate to improved performance. All of which small businesses are inherently designed to benefit.
Taking a small businesses green initiatives up a notch can be as easy as selecting an area of the business, a department, a business unit, or some select test area to start a business sustainability strategy and test the waters.
• Establish a baseline for benchmarking efforts.
• Create a policy addressing the areas of focus.
• Use benchmarked information to identify areas of improvement.
• Implement behavior and usage modifications.
• Measure and monitor your progress.
• Communicate your success, areas for improvement, and action steps.
• Apply your success and learning’s to other areas of the business.
Areas to consider: energy, water, transportation, and procurement/ supplier relationships.
Simply put, the close proximity of small business to its stakeholders offers numerous opportunities to increase sales, build new revenue streams, and create brand loyalty. Sustainable business strategies of waste reduction, energy efficiency, and other operational efficiency measures reduce costs and enable competitiveness. It’s time for small business to get turn up the green volume.