With all that the world has been through over the past year, sustainability and social responsibility now have more takers today than there were ever before.
With all that the world has been through over the past year, sustainability and social responsibility now have more takers today than there were ever before. Owing to it, businesses and their leaders have also begun exploring these topics through new perspectives.
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They are coming to terms with the fact that integrating sustainable and socially responsible practices into their organization is the way forward. It doesn’t merely align with environmental initiatives. It also improves workplace culture and the health of the business itself. At the same time, the pandemic has made consumers environmentally aware and health-conscious. They are increasingly opting for products and services that are more eco-friendly.
That being said, some business leaders are quick to conclude that sustainability comes with a major overhaul of existing processes. However, companies can take a few simple steps to ensure they are on the right track without overwhelming themselves.
Processes that minimize waste
Firstly, companies should set their focus on efficiency in terms of their processes. This could bring wastage to a bare minimum. It also reduces energy consumption and lowers the output of hazardous byproducts. An efficient process could have wide-ranging benefits for the company including financial ones. Sustainable practices ideally address key sources of inefficiencies such as excess inventory, waste management, delays, and overproduction alongside others.
Use sustainable materials
A business must incorporate sustainable methods wherever possible and not merely limit the scope to a ‘sustainable production line’. True sustainability can be achieved by using eco-friendly products or services in the office. For instance, a study indicates that the yearly plastic waste from packaging can encircle the earth four times. It also needs to be noted that around 50 percent of plastic is meant for single use. With so much plastic being used in offices and cafeterias, there are ways that companies could replace them with other sustainable alternatives.
For instance, there are certain innovative companies that produce paper and molded packaging products that are made from bagasse. Bagasse is the fiber that gets left over after the sugarcane juice is extracted. The products made from bagasse are eco-friendly and decomposable. Replacing food trays, paper, and packaging with such products could contribute to a healthy environment while keeping your business aligned with environmental regulations. Also, it could strengthen your brand image as consumers increasingly prefer businesses having a holistic approach towards nature. This might seem rudimentary, however, a little goes a long way. The smallest steps towards sustainability can have a positive impact on your business.
Establish a clear social mission
The most impactful way to create a socially conscious business is to create a mission. Companies should avoid establishing vague initiatives. Otherwise, it will be hard to build a strategy and explain to the team what needs to be done, why, and how. Thus, companies should look for resources that can benefit the broader ecosystem while promoting transparency with a realistic social mission.
Building a socially responsible business cannot be done single-handedly. Company leaders will need to enlist their entire team to see it through. Thus, employees need to be informed and involved throughout the process. They will need to be looped in on what issues the company is addressing as well as why and how the relevant goals need to be achieved.
Last, but not least, self-reliance should be one of the primary objectives. A business that is less dependent on external resources is a survivor. For instance, certain companies that produce eco-friendly products have led the way to sustainability by successfully generating their own electricity. What’s more? They even recycle and reuse all the chemicals that are used in the process. A few companies also equip themselves with their own water purification systems to minimize the wastage of water. In other words, such businesses use fewer resources, operating in a self-sustainable eco-friendly manner.
In conclusion, a socially responsible and sustainable business makes the world a better place. And, all it takes is a conscious effort and a clear vision to create one.
The author, Sumant Pai, is CEO - Moulded Products at, Yash Pakka Ltd. The views expressed are personal
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