The dynamics of business has undergone a great change in the past two decades. Not only has the work culture changed globally, but also the ways in which a business affects nature and people around has become one of the central goals in conducting businesses. The awareness that any business activity is a part of the natural ecosystem and has a potential to either disrupt or enhance the quality of life has gained considerable momentum. Billionaires getting involved in philanthropy, social organizations creating environmental awareness among corporates and individuals alike etc. are all a part of this movement.
The goal is simple!
Today business is not just about money generated for a product or service rendered, neither is it the desire to make it good; today business is more about responsibility. Every business, either enforced or voluntarily, understands that the nature around us is highly affected by how we conduct business. Issues like wellbeing of employees, fair trade, green initiatives, community programs for outreach and ethics, etc. are all added to today’s business practices to ensure that the environment and people benefit from it in the long run. The ‘intention’ to help facilitate a thriving and scalable working environment for both business and nature is taken seriously today.
Organizations are appealing to youngsters to embrace sustainable business practices. One study states that 76% of millennials are genuinely concerned about the degrading climate. The Climate Foundation started by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is working on issues like Food Security, Eco-system survival, and Carbon Sequestration through different projects and research conducted by multidisciplinary teams of professors, engineers, scientists and interns from across the world.
The awareness based on such studies has brought climate change to the forefront and employees of all age groups are beginning to show interest for the cause. Sustainable practices like using a sustainable mode of transportation instead of individual vehicles, reduction of air fuel cost by means of digitization within organization, efficient usage of consumables, using renewable energy sources, etc. are some of the practices that organizations emphasize for their employees to follow.
The changes on the global frontier
Let’s go into some depth and understand the organizational practices that can help your company to help and save the environment. Not only does these practices bring in desirable changes, they are also beneficial from the point of investment and their returns in future. We have provided many examples of organizations that have taken innovative initiatives to foster a better tomorrow.
- Giving considerable prominence to renewable energy, IKEA has invested in green house initiatives creating a green business model. They have nearly 700,000 solar panels that power their stores. 50% of the wood used in their business comes from sustainable foresters. Not only did this green model reduce carbon footprint, it also garnered attention from many corners on the world for their green initiative increasing their product value and brand recognition.
- Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, makes products from natural rubber and recycled bottles. However, their unique marketing campaign inspires their target audience NOT to purchase their products to encourage ‘reduce and reuse’ before buying. This has garnered huge attention from like-minded people who not only support the brand but has become loyal consumers too.
- Google runs their efficient data centers on renewable energy, creating sustainable workplaces and the company has taken a whole-hearted step to lead their business into a greener future.
- Nike has come up with sustainable footwear made from recycled polyester and made has made it mandatory for 650 of its suppliers to follow and implement their own policies that protect the environment.
- When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, Hewlett Packard (HP) is one of the first companies to report and release detailed plans to reduce them. By employing recycling schemes and eliminating toxic substances in its manufacturing processes, they have taken responsibility to address the impact of businesses on environment.
Now you don’t have to go to great measures, especially if you are a startup, to bring in a change to the environment. Baby steps counts. Follow these steps and even you can leave a giant saving footprint on the ecosystem.
Provision for water filters
The motto – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; beverages and other bottled products add a lot of plastic waste to the environment. Assigning reusable cups or containers often reduces addition to this pile. Providing filtered water to employees is a great way to reduce plastic waste and also maintain health.
Reducing paper waste
Going paperless is ideal; however, working without paper documentation is impossible for companies. Creating awareness about reducing paper use and printing and using only required documents and conducting other businesses electronically is one way to reduce paper waste.
Use LED lighting
LED reduces electric consumption compared to other types of bulbs. They are clean, efficient and even come mandated by governments in some countries given their ability to conserve energy, reduce bills and protect environment.
Telecommuting has tremendous benefits for both the environment and employees. Revising HR practices and allowing work from home, flexible working hours, etc. can greatly reduce consumption of resources, save money, expense on travel as well as reduce the complete carbon footprint. For employees who commute, pick and drop facilities is a great way to reduce fuel emissions.
Improve air quality indoors
Open plan offices are the rage today; not only does it provide ample natural lighting, they can incorporate plants that can be grown indoors to improve air quality.
Switching off electronics after use
Laptops and computers needs to be switched off after use. This saves energy as well as other effects such as radiation from electronic devices.
Placing recycling bins in common work and meeting areas sends the message to employees and visitors about environmental responsibility.
All we are saying is….
There are initiatives like Earth Day and other movements but if you think of it, we do not need them I order to understand the significance of nature. The increase in floods, uneven rains, rising heat every year, melting of ice caps, increasing sea levels, ozone depletion, etc. are visible around us and we do not need a prop to prove it.
Everything boils down to the citizen of the world to take care of the habitat in which we live in, and businesses and organization are a part of this environment. Hence, it is the duty of everyone, business or otherwise, to actively reduce superfluous use of resources and rely on renewable sources combined with sustainable business practices. After all, this is the place that we are going to leave behind for coming generations. Let us make an active contribution so that they get to live a better future alongside a holistic environment.