The question of ‘what is a sustainable business?’ has been the topic of much discussion recently.
That’s because we all know the climate is in trouble. Yet, outlining what we need to do to solve the problem isn’t so easy to figure out – especially as businesses.
Regardless of whether your industry involves building software applications or building houses – every business needs to consider its environmental impact. Working together is how we can solve these huge generational issues, and the climate emergency is no exception.
So in today’s post, we wanted to start with the basics of becoming a more sustainable business, so that you can implement meaningful changes without delay.
Why Is Defining Sustainability In Business So Problematic?
Firstly, there’s no rulebook when it comes to improving your business’s green credentials.
But this is where the problem lies in defining sustainability, because not only is the term open to interpretation but also misuse.
The YouTube channel Grow Ensemble recently raised fears that companies with the largest budgets are looking to define what actually is a ‘sustainable business’, in a bid to avoid accountability for their own wasteful and polluting actions.
This means it could be the case that some businesses seem they are making an impact, but actually they are not – aka they are greenwashing their customers.
In a recent podcast episode, we also discovered 42% of websites are guilty of greenwashing, so this is actually a big problem.
In combination, all of this leads to mixed messaging and a lack of real impact. We’re on a mission to change this not just within this post, but within all of the work we’re doing with EcoSend.
We want to achieve clearer messaging by reporting the good happening, so that your business can follow suit.
You may also be interested in: What Is Climate Quitting?
Sustainable Business Model
What is a sustainable business model?
We personally think that for a business to be considered sustainable, it needs to operate in a way that has a minimal negative impact on both the environment and society as a whole.
Considering the entire lifecycle of a product or service, that business should be able to operate without depleting natural resources wherever possible. All while avoiding generating any unnecessary waste or carbon emissions.
So in a nutshell – a sustainable business puts sustainable practices before profit and even convenience.
Sustainable Growth Strategy
Naturally, every business owner wants to grow and expand. There’s no reason why sustainability should be a barrier to success – in fact, being more sustainable can be an achievement in itself. Sustainability is also becoming ever more attractive to consumers and investors alike.
The reality is there are always ways businesses can get ‘cheap wins’ through wasteful tactics, with the fast fashion industry being one of the best examples here. Clothes are made in large quantities, often through unsustainable materials and production methods. The clothing is of poor quality, as it’s designed to only last a season, and of course, has a cheap price point.
In sharp contrast, in order to have a sustainable growth strategy, a business must be able to expand without a negative impact on the climate as a result. Once again, it doesn’t matter which industry you’re in – this same ethos applies.
Sustainable Digital Marketing
Did you know that sending a weekly newsletter to 10,000 people for a year can have the same impact as burning 3,452 pounds of coal?
The simple fact is that most businesses don’t realise their digital marketing has a climate footprint. Instead, most of the attention on becoming more sustainable is on the actual products and services that businesses make. While this is still great in many ways, ignoring the impact of marketing is also letting at least some the problem slip through the net.
So do you have to stop sending emails or newsletters? – no!
But switching to a marketing platform that’s climate-conscious can instantly cut these emissions from your business activity.
(More about this as you scroll down).
Examples Of Sustainable Businesses
It’s always useful to have some businesses to look up to, especially when you want to emulate their excellent work.
Here are just a handful of sustainable businesses we’ve found on our travels.
If you have some others to suggest to us, feel free to tweet us.
How often do you buy furniture, and it’s either really flimsy (i.e. not built to last), or is designed to only be ‘on trend’ for a short while?
Avocado is looking to break the mould, by creating furniture pieces that are not only timeless but are made from completely sustainable materials. The pieces are built with longevity in mind, which is not only better for your wallet but for the planet too.
While Avocado makes some stunning pieces, one of their most surprising creations is a fully sustainable mattress. Similar to digital marketing, nobody thinks about how wasteful mattresses can be. In the United States alone, 16.8 million mattresses are sold every year, and they are hardly the easiest things to not only make but recycle.
Avocado has a mission to become the world’s first zero-waste certified mattress factory. We think the brand could inspire huge change for manufacturers all over the world, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them!
It would be impossible for us to mention some sustainable businesses without mentioning our own.
EcoSend is our new email marketing tool here at GoSquared.
How we want to help businesses lower their carbon emissions, is to provide them with a climate-conscious email marketing tool. Given the stats we shared above about how much carbon digital marketing generates, we felt this was badly needed.
In essence, EcoSend gives you all the tools you need to send beautiful, intelligent email marketing campaigns. The clever twist is that our systems run on renewable energy, and we plant trees on your behalf just for using us.
We’re also re-investing some of our profits into climate-related causes. This is just the start of our commitment to clean up the email marketing space, and we’re really excited for what’s to come.
My Zero Waste Store
On a chance walk through Pasadena, we came across the Zero Waste Store.
A common issue we all experience is the need to buy stuff, especially around the home. Just think how many shampoo bottles there are in one supermarket, and then multiply this around the world over an entire lifetime. It honestly is difficult to even quantify – and that’s just one type of product!
Pasadena’s Zero Waste store sells everything from beauty products to homeware, laundry essentials to pet supplies. They’ve pretty much thought of all the plastic in our homes and looked for solutions that require less natural resources instead.
We hope this brand has great success, especially as the company is leading in areas where many of the retail giants aren’t even yet acknowledging.
EcoSend – Make The Switch To Sustainable Marketing Today
Are you feeling inspired and are wanting to become a more sustainable business?
While the above is only scratching the surface of sustainability in business, one easy switch your business can make today is to move your email marketing to EcoSend.
As noted above, our contribution to the climate emergency is to reduce the carbon emissions associated with your campaigns.
Our prices are competitive, and we’re offering you a free trial of EcoSend which you can sign up for today.