Source: Forbes (February 26, 2020) – With eco-consciousness on the rise, a growing number of businesses are adapting their practices to become more environmentally friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to being good for the environment, this kind of eco-conscious approach can help attract new customers who are equally interested in being “green.”
Building sustainable practices isn’t something that happens overnight or by accident. It needs a plan of action and a detailed methodology about how the business intends to achieve its goals. While smaller businesses may find it easier to adjust their policies to the new realities, larger corporations typically require more time and funds to follow suit. But the wider public acceptance that comes with sustainable practices makes it worth the effort.
Below, 13 members of Forbes Coaches Council explore how businesses can work toward and attain the goal of implementing sustainable, “green” policies top to bottom.
1. Engage Stakeholders And Activate Collective Wisdom
Companies hold a lot of collective intelligence within their stakeholders. Engage people around you, clients, co-workers and suppliers and ask them for ideas to become greener and more eco-conscious. – Katharina Schmidt, Inspiration & Discipline
2. Get Your Team Involved
As a company, you may not always be able to produce eco-conscious products, but you can help support organizations that are doing just that. Have your teams get involved with helping nonprofits with the goal of creating eco-conscious behavior. This is a start and a great way to create a joint effort with your team, creating camaraderie and an authentic approach to helping make the world better. – Adriana Rosales, Adriana & Company™ LLC
3. Create Change Through Micro-Steps
Create greener practices by implementing small, meaningful changes. Install water filters instead of using bottled water for events, eliminate plastic in the corporate cafeteria by asking employees to bring in their own reusable utensils and straws. Create standard operating procedures to minimize paper use, printing and recycling. Educate employees about the benefits of these changes to get buy-in. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
4. Start With An Energy Audit
Start by looking for ways to reduce costs and increase your sustainability. An energy audit is an excellent first step because it appeals to your eco-conscious staff and your budget-conscious ones. An energy audit typically results in recommendations for lighting efficiencies that also deliver cost savings over the long term. Let clients know about your sustainability efforts too—it’s great PR! – Antonia Bowring, ABstrategies LLC
5. Choose Best Practices Specific To Your Organization
Europe appears to be further ahead and has been developing “green” practices for decades. Many have recycling bins on the streets, malls and airports, making it easier to be intentional about waste disposal. Instead of going through trial-and-error phases, find out what is working eco-consciously in other states or countries. Then implement the best eco-friendly practices for your organization. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
6. Teach Stewardship
Business leaders and CEOs should see themselves as stewards and not owners of the business. When a leader sees themselves as a steward they will make decisions thinking of future generations. When an entire company focuses on stewardship, then long-term decisions will be evaluated over short-term thinking. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
7. Have A ‘Lights Off’ Policy
This is “old school” science, but it’s wise to remember. The evidence shows that when a business lights areas only when they need illumination, the power savings not only collectively reduce demand for energy and significantly reduce their carbon footprint, but they will also increase their bottom line.
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