Sustainable business means doing things thoughtfully by thinking ahead and looking at how your actions impact the environment and surroundings. There are simple changes all businesses can make and new ideas are cropping up all the time.
Sustainable business is about looking at the products and services used in your business and thinking about their impact on the environment. Many sustainable practices aren’t too different to standard practices, and small changes can make a big difference.
Making your business more sustainable is about looking at what you do, what you’re buying, and how you’re using and disposing of things. It’s also about moving to eco-friendly, local, organic or low-emissions alternatives.
There are many advantages of being an eco-friendly business. Some of these include:
If you’re starting out on your sustainability journey, there are some key concepts that you should know.
Circular economy relates to a product’s life cycle. Instead of a product being made, used and disposed of once, the product is used for as long as possible. Once it can no longer be used, the product is recycled and reused. Reducing waste in your supply chains may lead to cost savings.
An example of this is the ban on single-use plastic bags in New Zealand. Businesses now offer environmentally-friendly alternatives and customers are now encouraged to bring their own reusable bags.
Plastic bag ban (external link) — Ministry for the Environment
This is a way of looking at a business’s bottom line in three ways: financial, social and environmental. Having three ways of valuing a business gives your staff, customers and potential investors a more holistic view of how your business is performing.
Your business and the triple bottom line [PDF, 320KB] (external link) — Ministry for the Environment