Updated: Aug 19, 2022
Businesses are growing more concerned about their environmental impact. They understand that they are the driving force behind positive environmental change. In order to make an impact, a business must look at the impact it has on society. There are tangible steps a business can take to reduce its carbon footprint and practice accountability. Some of these steps will include components of a business such as a business' suppliers and business operations.
What is The Importance of Sustainable Initiatives?
Sustainability generally looks at the effect a business has on the environment and the effect a business has on society. Sustainability can drive business success. A lot of investors use environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards to analyze an organization’s ethical impact as well as sustainability practices. Investors examine factors such as a company’s carbon footprint, water usage, community development efforts, and board diversity.
Sustainability initiatives help to improve the financial performance of an organization while also fostering public support. Sustainable business operations can save organizations money while also leading towards corporate social responsibility. A survey report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2010, shows that companies with a strong sustainability program have: 55% better morale, 43% more efficient business processes, and a 43% stronger public image.
Ways to Incorporate Sustainability into Your Business Practices:
Having a remote team is an excellent way for firms to practice sustainability in their business operations as working from home reduces our carbon footprint. Employers shifting to a remote workforce and enabling their employees to work from home leads to positive effects on a business, its employees’ lives, and the planet. With employees having the flexibility to work from home, companies pave the way for saved money and time, for business operations to reduce their expenses, and for the business world to lower their carbon footprint and make progress on more sustainable business models.
2. Using Second-Hand Office Furniture
Buying and using Second-hand office furniture is a way for an organization to practice sustainable business practices. It is an easily achievable way for businesses to have a positive environmental impact. As a quick overview, most of the furniture we buy contains a variety of wood, from solid oak to chipboard. As a leading cause of unsustainable forestry, the furniture industry is responsible for 30% of illegal timber traded worldwide. The consequences include conflict, the disappearance of animals, plants, and climate change. In connection, nearly two-thirds of consumers across six international markets believe they “have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society”. A business that buys and uses secondhand furniture is showing to their customers that they practice accountability and this transparency leads to more customer loyalty.
Alternatively, sustainable furniture companies can be an option if looking to buy new. These Canadian eco-friendly office furniture companies prioritize making products with a circular economy in mind through green practices such as responsible sourcing of raw materials, working with FSC-certified manufacturers, and repurposing existing parts to create new products.
3. Working with a Sustainable Courier Service
Reducing the carbon footprint of delivery services is a crucial and pressing environmental challenge businesses face today. As customers demand environmentally friendly operations, companies should take the initiative to explore even more creative ways to make their deliveries eco-friendly. A sustainable courier service can look like using eco-friendly vehicles, shipping from local stores rather than regional warehouses, or planning greener delivery routes with a reduction in the time in between stops.
Click here for a list of eco-friendly delivery and logistics companies across Canada.
Good Earth Gifting
Good Earth Gifting is a sustainable corporate gifting company that is intentional about its business practices. The company has a fully remote team that helps cut emissions from commuting and energy consumption from powering a large building. To encourage a circular economy, Good Earth Gifting avoids buying new furniture. As an example, over 80% of the company’s office furniture was purchased secondhand. To deliver packages within certain Toronto neighbourhoods, Good Earth Gifting works with a local courier service, Good Foot, which employs neuro-diverse individuals who deliver its packages via public transit or on foot. The company also prioritizes giving back to Planet Earth and the community through their Pay It Forward Program - where proceeds from every sale are donated to a non-profit organization. Browse their eco-friendly corporate gifts via their shop here.