There is a trend towards businesses that seek to be more sustainable. These firms seek to have a minimal negative impact on the global and local environment, the economy, society and the communities in which they operate.
Sustainable businesses are focused on the long term. They seek to make a positive impact through doing their bit about climate change, recycling, human rights, ethical supply chain management and so on. This is fine if you are a global firm with thousands of employees and vast resources, but how do you create a sustainable small or medium sized business?
Small and medium sized business owners are starting to recognise that consumers and customers respond favourably to companies that place value on people and the planet, as well as profits. For example, millennials won’t just buy anything. Studies show they seek to buy products and services that come from businesses that are seen as authentic, that make a meaningful and positive impact and that are linked to important causes.
Small and medium sized businesses can tap into this by getting involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR), charity work, buying from fair-trade or ethical suppliers, hiring a more diverse workforce and so forth.
For example, if your business uses lots of packaging then you can start to make a positive impact by only using recycled / recyclable packaging. You can promote this fact in your marketing materials, corporate communications, website and so forth so that people know that you are making a positive impact.