The Small Business Guide to Sustainable Business Practices
Could you use some help in implementing sustainable business practices for your company?
If you’re like most busy professionals, the answer is yes!
Sustainability is a vast – and rapidly evolving – field. Fortunately, there are best practices that have emerged that can help you so that you don’t have to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
This Small Business Guide to Sustainable Business Practices provides you with practical guidance to bring to your organization.
Each chapter contains links to articles that will help you to learn about sustainability and the triple bottom line, engage employees, conserve resources, and more.
Using this guide: The chapters to the right are organized sequentially so that one builds on the other, but you can of course dive right in to the topic that is of most interest to you. The chapters are organized sequentially so that one builds on the other, but you can of course dive right in to the topic that is of most interest to you.
Table of Contents
Understanding Sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line
Sustainability has burst onto the business scene in recent years, but for many people it remains an unfamiliar term. These posts will cover the concepts of sustainability and the triple bottom line to provide you with a solid understanding of both so that you can then implement appropriate practices for your business.
Learn about one of the most important principles of business sustainability and why it’s something that every business should be paying attention to.
Getting Started with Sustainability
Now that you know about sustainability and the triple bottom line, it’s time to think about how they apply to your business. These articles will provide you with a starting point so that you can use a framework to avoid ad hoc efforts, follow three proven steps for sustainability, and overcome common challenges.
Whether you are just getting started with creating or maintaining a business sustainability program, these three proven steps will help you to build a robust sustainability program.
You’ll face many challenges when working on small business sustainability. This article outlines common challenges and how to overcome them.
Engaging Employees in Sustainability
Many businesses run into challenges with engaging employees in their sustainability efforts, but there are proven strategies that you can use to get people involved.
A green team is an important way to engage employees in sustainability. Learn how to start a green team at your business and download a free worksheet to help you get started.
Learn about 8 great ways to increase employee engagement in sustainability from the CEO of one of the companies leading in sustainability.
Videos can be a good way to educate and engage your employees. This curated list covers topics including climate change, the business case for sustainability, and B Corps.
Ways to Conserve Resources & Reduce Pollution
Conserving resources and reducing pollution are key to operating more sustainably and minimizing your environmental impact as a business. You’ll need to evaluate your operations across a range of areas, from energy efficiency to cleaning chemicals.
Make good paper purchasing decisions by understanding the difference between recycled paper and post-consumer waste and SFI and FSC certifications.
Toilets have a significant impact on your water usage at work. Learn about the need for water conservation and how to identify whether or not your toilet is low-flow.
Learn how to evaluate your cleaning products so that you can select the ones that are best for the health of your employees, visitors, and custodial staff.
Doing Well by Doing Good
Reducing the negative environmental impacts of your business is just one part of sustainability. Social sustainability is equally important: what is your business doing to have a positive impact on the people that it touches?
Learn about the benefits of a community service policy for your business, how it can help you with B Corp certification, and download a free template.
Examples of Sustainability
Sustainability can be an abstract concept until you look closely at what businesses are doing day in and day out to operate in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner. These profiles of real businesses will hopefully give you both ideas and inspiration as your embark upon your own sustainability journey.
Anasa Yoga features bamboo floors, low VOC paints, and LED lights while also supporting local vendors and contractors and making yoga accessible to all.
I Song Orthodontics shares its story about how it has been a green business for 10 years and the environmental features included in its green building.
SchoolFoodies, a Certified Green Business that offers healthy school lunches to schools, day cares, and summer camps, explains how they operate sustainably.
Learn about how Surplus Service has focused on reusing rather than recycling electronic waste, diverting materials and toxins from the landfill.
By tackling the waste of plastic and wire hangers ending up in the landfill, Ditto Hangers is showing that every industry needs to be reinvented with sustainability in mind.