Using Employees to “Do” Sustainability
Sustainability and Your Bottom Line
Sustainability is a grand idea and often involves a grand plan. The question remains- how do you do it? How do you enact sustainability in your business on a daily basis so that you can hit your goals and collect your data? The same way you get all of your other work done. Hint: your employees.
Assign tasks, encourage feedback and sharing goals and results are all part of engaging employees in your small business. Check out the Playbook if you’re a restaurant owner. It’s chock full of ways to engage employees.
Part 2: What To Do With Sustainability Data
Revenues-expenses= net income. We think of sustainability as cutting expenses to increase the bottom line. That is true. However, sustainability can also help increase your revenues! Let’s talk about how it can work on both expenses and revenues. When I say “sustainability,” I mean completing tasks that improve the environmental or social impact of your business. Attacking expenses and revenues gives you more financial freedom, while offering a real benefit to stakeholders.
Part 1: Collecting & Storing Sustainability Data
Data is a big buzzword for a lot of businesses. For good reason! Having data is so important to your business for countless reasons. As they say, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This applies to sustainability data. See Part 1 for how to collect data. You now have collected sustainability data that includes units, dollars, and ideas. What can you do with this collected data? I hope you try a combination of the below suggestions.
Need Help Reducing Single-Use Plastics?
We’re all about data here at Green Buoy. Data is how we prove sustainability works and keep businesses in check. It’s how we show businesses the value of their efforts and show them the good they are doing. Think about sustainability data you hear, “10,000 cups kept from landfills!” “Energy Reduced by 11%!” These data points tell a specific story.
Which sounds better to you? “We started recycling last year!” or “ We have kept 45,000 pounds of aluminum out of landfills.” The second one, right? Read on for the first part of how to do this yourself.
Sustainability and Customer Engagement
Single-Use Plastics are a significant source of waste in our economy and in your personal life. Single use plastics include anything that you use and throw away within a single use. Think of all plastic containers you encounter today: salad bowls, takeout containers, plastic bags, plastic produce bags and iced coffee cups. Now multiply that by how many times a year you use something like that. And multiply THAT number by 9 billion people on the planet.
How Can Business Engage with Government?
A growing number of consumers are excited about sustainability and care about it in their own lives. These customers want to see businesses engaging in sustainability.
According to research from Cone Communications, 87% of Americans will purchase a company’s product if they advocate for a cause they care about. There are two main ways to use customer engagement to enhance your sustainability strategy. First, explain your actions to customers and second, ask for their input. Think of engagement as a two-way street, both sharing your information and asking them for their ideas and input.
How Do You Define Sustainability?
Let’s talk about what’s on everyone’s minds, politics! Should businesses be political? Decorum dictates that political opinions are private. However, the 2016 election changed that for many people. And research is backing up the new era. 78% of consumers want companies to take a stand on social justice issues.
Like personal political engagement, business engagement benefits both government and the business. The government’s reach into daily life is an acknowledged fact. In addition to environmental law, government provides infrastructure, capital, health departments and innumerable other services. The midterm elections remind us that all politics are local.
Sustainability can be an intimidating prospect for a company. The fact that it’s difficult to define, it can put people off. The idea seems gargantuan, analogue and unattainable. It includes the environment and the future and how we need to fix it and what the opportunities are and how we’re failing and on and on. Creating a definition of sustainability for yourself is one of the first steps in a sustainability strategy. Knowing what sustainability means to your business will keep you focused and help guide you as you begin with strategies.