Small businesses are a cornerstone of our nation’s economy, employing almost half of all US employees. The number of small businesses has increased to over 33.2 million in the US, a growth of over 12% in less than six years. More and more entrepreneurs have begun paving their own professional paths, driven both by their individual ambitions and by their visions for how their growing businesses can affect the world.
One way that small and large businesses alike can positively affect the world is by embracing what it means to be a sustainable enterprise. Sustainability is a worthy cause that benefits clients, employees, and our local and global communities, a goal in which even small, local enterprises can have global impact. Small companies can set themselves on a path towards meeting sustainability goals by starting with small adjustments to business practices.
Use Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Packaging
For shipping, parcels, and packaging, environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging is an alternative that warrants consideration. Independent studies of various shipping and retail companies have aggregated that 81% of customers are steadily favoring more customers and brands that have shown a commitment to environmental sustainability, with 64% showing that they are more likely to make a purchase from a retailer that offers compostable packaging options.
Take Steps Towards Energy Efficiency
For small businesses, even small improvements in energy efficiency can have tangible results, whether it comes in the form of smart thermostats, automated light sensors, or fully transitioning to LED lighting. Additionally, providing your staff with laptops not only uses 20% to 50% less power than desktop computers but also cuts down on e‑waste.
Offer Remote Work
Remote work has several benefits related to sustainability. Allowing employees the option to work remotely reduces time spent commuting. Environmentally, this results in fewer cars on the road that are idling in traffic, equating to lower emissions and reducing the business’s carbon footprint. With fewer people occupying office space, companies may also realize further savings on lighting, heating, and stocking the workplace.
Embrace Public Transit
For employees that absolutely must be in the office, small business owners may consider benefits and incentives for public transportation, including subsidized passes, tax credits, grants, and financing assistance options that may be available to their businesses.
Innovation is the lifeblood of small business, and often it is a team effort. Gather employee input to bring sustainable policy ideas forward. Not only will this improve rapport between business owners and their employee teams, but owners may also discover that their companies house a bevy of talented, passionate individuals who can identify sustainable practices that dovetail well with the company’s unique circumstances.
When it comes to sustainable solutions driven by innovative ideas, Pride Resource Partners has featured sustainability as a core tenet of our company policies since our inception in 2015. We also do our part as a sustainable small business by inspiring and empowering others to take the steps necessary to herald a greener, more sustainable future— including our employees, the small and diverse companies we mentor, and the large companies and organizations we serve as clients.
Follow Pride’s blog to learn more about our commitment to sustainability as well as ways we manifest our other core values. Our blog will be sharing ideas about entrepreneurial best practices, technologies, and innovations plus trends around workforce engagement, client satisfaction, project management, and much more!