Any business looking to profit while transitioning to sustainable development has a longer time-horizon and a broader set of goals than traditional companies. Typically, such businesses are dissatisfied with the status quo and want o operate in the most social responsible manner possible while protecting the environment. They place emphasis on the well being of the society, culture, future generations and their employees. While it would be foolhardy for them to ignore short-term cash flow, they have a more sophisticated definition of success.
This broad vision of success required new business tool, relationships and practices. Here are the best practices to sustainability that such businesses follow:
Energy efficiency and conservation
Most greenhouse gases are emitted during energy generating processes. Thus strategies aimed at conserving energy and using it efficiently in both community and agency operations go a long way in reducing these emissions. Additionally, measures geared towards energy efficiency and conservation save both money and natural resources.
Green buildings are designed to reduce energy consumption, put water to more efficient use and use materials with recycled content, resulting in significant savings in both money and the natural resources related to gas emissions.
Water and waste water systems
For a number of reasons, water and waste water systems play an important role in sustainability. First, energy is expended in pumping, distributing, treating and heating water. Thus, saving water reduces energy consumption. Secondly, it is widely agreed that the long-term effects of climate change will result in a reduction in the availability of water. This means that since water conservation measures save energy, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions thus securing future availability of water resources.
Using less paper
Close to 35 percent of our waste stream is made up of paper. This is surprising considering that is one of the easiest materials to recycle. Business can help reduce this waste by minimizing paper use. A great way to reduce paper use while getting documents signed quickly is embracing the use of electronic signatures. Today, software suites such as Adobe Acrobat make it easy for professionals to create PDF documents with signature fields for other to sign and sign them digitally. Reducing paper use conserves green cover and helps maintain a healthy balance of gases in the atmosphere.
Embrace efficient transportation
Transportation is one for the largest generators of greenhouse gas emissions. Implementing efficient transportation systems such as encouraging alternatives to single occupancy vehicles and reducing the miles that vehicles travel will reduce these emissions, improve air quality, cut fuel costs, conserve fuel, reduce congestion and make the streets safe for cyclists, and pedestrians.
There will always be ways to make businesses more sustainable, and the best way to make progress is to set sustainable goals and implement them. Businesses should keep up with environmental news and green business trends to identify key areas to improve on.