When it comes to sustainability in small and mid-sized businesses, online guides are the new black. But when you’re ready to turn talk into action, here are 10 concrete steps you can take to make your company more sustainable.
Step 1: Define your vision, mission, and values
Create a strong foundation for your sustainability efforts. A sustainability statement is a supplement to your existing mission – it communicates what your company will do to protect the natural world. By articulating your vision, mission, and values when it comes to sustainability, your team will be better equipped to make decisions with sustainability in mind.
Step 2: Create a sustainability committee
With nobody at the wheel, it’ll be easy for the Good Ship Sustainability to veer off course. An enthusiastic sustainability committee will keep your efforts top of mind – as well as holding employees and management to account.
Step 3: Assess your current practice
It’s impossible to set clear goals without a clear understanding of where you’re at. Carbon Positive Australia makes it easy to calculate your business carbon footprint. Use our quick business carbon calculator to estimate your carbon footprint based on Australian averages. And if you want to get an accurate carbon footprint across all business areas, our comprehensive carbon calculator makes it easy.
Step 4: Engage your employees
When it comes to sustainability initiatives, employee engagement is critical. But studies show that a large percentage of sustainability initiatives are actually created in response to demand from team members! If this the case in your business, ensure directors and shareholders understand (and support) the culture of sustainability within the business.
Step 5: Set goals and prioritise sustainability activities
It’s easy to get swept up in the initial enthusiasm for sustainability projects. But if you’re company is in it for the long haul, you’ll need to identify priorities across the organisation and link them to clear goals. This way, it’ll be easier to monitor whether you’re making consistent progress.
Step 6: Establish and communicate new company practices
Clear communication is at the heart of any sustainability project. When it comes to introducing new practices, be sure to include relevant team members in the decision making process. To keep everyone on the same page, be sure to clearly communicate any changes to employees and other stakeholders.
Step 7: Track your progress
You know the old saying: what gets measured gets done. Tracking progress on your sustainability goals is the best way to hold the whole team accountable for your collective goals.
Step 8: Analyse your results against your goals
With sustainability firmly entrenched in your strategic goals (as well as your company culture) you’ll have a consistent reminder to revisit it. Regularly analysing your progress is the best way to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Not only that, it helps to ensure the organisation is consistently moving in the right direction when it comes to sustainability.
Step 9: Celebrate!
When we’re super focused on outcomes, it can be tricky to remember to celebrate once in a while. But regularly celebrating milestones and successes is a great way to maintain momentum for sustainability projects. Not only that, celebrating is FUN – it creates a positive culture around sustainability and rewards the team for a job well done.
Step 10: Keep on trucking
Growing a sustainable business is a marathon, not a sprint. Whether your goal is to get B Corp certified or to consistently make more sustainable choices on a smaller scale, Carbon Positive Australia is here to help. Get started by calculating your business carbon footprint or find out more about our tree planting and restoration projects. If our values align, we’d love to partner with you as you embark on your sustainability journey.