In 2023, business leaders will continue to be accountable for following through on sustainable and ethical business practices. This in part is due to a heavy focus on sustainability from younger generations. Although there’s greater access to clean energy, and awareness of business leaders’ sustainability efforts, the effects of climate change continue to worsen. Given the state of the planet, it’s crucial business leaders help lead meaningful change.
Creating a facility that encourages sustainable practices displays consideration for consumers’ expectations and makes a positive impact. Here are four ways your facility can be more sustainable in 2023.
Get Your Goals in Order
To create a better tomorrow, it’s necessary to know where your organization stands today. Start by auditing your current sustainability plan if one exists. Then, map out clear goals and a strategy for how you will accomplish those goals. Work diligently to communicate this plan with your employees and customers. Having a growth mindset, attributed to acknowledging opportunities for improvement, understanding the need for investing in sustainability and being open to change, are key to furthering your business's success.
Paperless is the Future
Going paperless is one way you can limit your environmental impact. This not only can greatly reduce waste but also reduces clutter in your facility. If using paper is non-negotiable, make sure to strongly encourage a recycling program in your facility. Be sure to keep up with local and state recycling requirements. For example, at ABCO, we recycle up to 92% of our waste. We also make sure that any of our manufacturing waste that cannot be recycled is not sent to landfills.
If your facility is in the hospitality space and utilizes menus, opt for QR codes rather than paper menus to reduce your occupants’ paper waste. Other small, yet impactful changes include unplugging electronics when they’re not in use, using laptops instead of desktops since they use less energy, and adding plants to your facility to help emit oxygen and reduce air pollution.
Transport Goods Sustainably
Companies that rely on fossil fuels to transport goods are significant contributors to air pollution and land degradation. Since 2020, transportation, including for commercial use, has accounted for27% of greenhouse gas emissions. Finding sustainable solutions to get your facility’s goods to consumers not only helps the environment but shows the public that your company is making conscious efforts to be more sustainable. Consider partnering with businesses that manufacture products nearby, thus reducing transportation time and distances and your business’s carbon footprint.
ABCO's manufacturing plants are located in Honduras, which provides shorter transportation times to ship our sustainable cleaning tools, compared to other manufacturers that resell goods purchased from Asian based countries. Consider where the businesses you partner with develop their goods, especially if your facility is sustainability conscious.
Switching to sustainable packaging is another way to be more environmentally conscious. This includes switching to bio-degradable or recyclable packaging, limiting the number of labels or extra paper inside the package and creating packaging that can be repurposed. ABCO uses Brik-Pak™ packaging which reduces the amount of cardboard and plastic used to package mops by up to 70% when compared to standard packaging.
If your business plans to improve its sustainable efforts this year, consider ways you can transparently communicate your results with employees, customers and the public. In an age where people have access to endless information, this is an opportunity to build trust with consumers. When business leaders are transparent with customers, it reflects highly on that business. Research found that 85% of Americans are likely to continue supporting a business during a crisis if it has a history of being transparent. Strategies for building a strong and honest relationship with the public include displaying your company’s mission and values upfront.
ABCO works closely with a third-party organization, Green2Sustainable, to audit our business practices and help track how we’re meeting our sustainability goals. Another strategy is to show awareness of areas that need improvement and acting on it. For example, if your company has a history of using a large amount of plastic for packaging, work toward a new sustainable packaging solution and share your change with the public.
New Year, New Ways to Improve
The new year is full of opportunities for growth and development. Becoming more sustainably conscious and making environmentally friendly business choices can be made through big and small efforts. By helping your business to be greener in 2023, you can help increase consumer satisfaction and trust while also helping the planet, which is something to feel good about and worth investing in.