Planet and Profit: Sustainable Practices for Startups

These days, consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious. The increased awareness of environmental issues has prompted many consumers to turn to sustainable products and services offered by eco-friendly brands. For this reason, many startups are looking for ways to amp up their sustainable practices to contribute to the global effort of saving the environment and drawing in more customers simultaneously.

Many wonder if it is possible to balance these goals: saving some profit and the planet. The answer lies in your commitment to strike a balance between these targets. If you are committed to your sustainability effort, you will likely gain the patronage of many customers today, allowing you to earn more profits.

We have prepared a helpful guide for you to help you identify and apply sustainable practices in your startup.

Consider Work-from-Home Setup

Startups can cut their costs by allowing their employees to work remotely or only requiring them to come to the office a couple of times a week. This way, you won’t have to spend money on energy for a physical office space.

You may encourage your clients to do online transactions rather than visiting your office in person. Many industries have transitioned to digital processes. For instance, you can now avail of financial products like auto loans, mortgages, and debt consolidation loan online, allowing you to apply and receive approval remotely.

More than this, your employees won’t have to commute, decreasing carbon emissions and resource consumption. The most effective strategy to remain efficient and productive in this setup is to invest in digital collaboration tools and cultivate eco-friendly values among team members.

Save Energy

The simplest sustainable practice for startups is committing to saving energy. This involves reducing lighting and energy-draining power use. This will result in decreased utility costs and environmental impact on your business. Some basic power-saving methods you can use include reducing the brightness of computer screens and adjusting your computers’ “sleep” settings.

You can also commit to using smart plugs and energy-efficient office appliances, minimizing unnecessary business trips, enforcing part-time telecommuting, and driving fuel-efficient company vehicles.

Measure Your Carbon Footprint

As an upstart, you should start early in measuring your carbon footprint. As you scale, your carbon footprint will likely increase, so measuring it in the earliest phase of your business is recommended to monitor the increase along the way. This way, you can offset your environmental impact by making smart choices like supporting environmental projects that align with your values.

Go Paperless

With many businesses transitioning from paper to online marketing, it’s possible for startups nowadays to go paperless. Besides contributing to the global effort to save the earth, you can also save money from this practice.

Instead of coming up with designs for fliers and brochures, you can focus on designing an engaging website and appealing social media pages. Remember that eco-conscious buyers will ignore or hate your brand if you still distribute paper-made advertising materials today.

Consider partnering with servers fuelled by green energy when setting up your website. Yes, websites also have an environmental impact, as many servers use fossil fuels to operate. You can mitigate this by ensuring you have hired a server that uses renewable resources in their operations.

Avoid Animal Products

Avoid animal-based products as much as possible. Switch to plant-based materials since they use fewer resources like land and water. Consider the massive amount of resources used in feeding and growing animals that can translate into pollution, land devastation, water contamination, and climate change on a large scale.

You might be considering using plastic as a cheaper alternative to animal-based materials. However, producing plastic-based materials requires burning fossil fuels, which is also detrimental to our environment.

Use Sustainable Packaging

Many businesses use single-use packaging for convenience. However, this could largely contribute to environmental pollution. As a startup, you can employ sustainable packaging using recyclable or compostable materials.

You may also copy the strategies employed by large companies, like giving customers incentives when they bring their own containers. You can also consider other sustainable solutions like packaging made of recycled materials or providing customers with returnable packaging and containers.

Source Raw Materials Locally

As a startup, it is essential to ensure a transparent food chain by sourcing materials locally to supplement your no chemical-heavy processes and fairtrade products and factories. When you source raw materials locally, there will be no need for air freight and transport, increasing your carbon footprint.

If you have to source your materials from afar, looking into the sea or train travel availability is recommended. You may also offset your carbon footprint through sustainability efforts like tree planting.

Final Thoughts

With the rapid advancement of technology, many businesses saw an increase in their carbon footprint. That’s why it is important to keep track of your carbon footprint so you can enforce sustainability efforts to minimize carbon footprint. More than that, many sustainability practices can also lower your costs, which translates to better returns. Above all else, modern consumers will patronize your brand, allowing you to upscale quickly.

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