People are starting to notice the negative effects they have on the world. The changes are subtle, but it is starting to affect how they treat their environment. That is why green businesses are becoming more popular by the day. But to go down that route, one needs to understand the three principles of sustainability.
The three principles are social aspects, economy, and environment. A business needs to maintain an acceptable level of harmony between these three aspects to become a green business.
Many business owners fail to grasp the essence of the idea in its entirety. They sometimes focus on one principle too much and end up losing out. That usually happens because they have a shallow understanding of the delicate balance between the three principles. I’ll discuss how businesses looking to go green can effectively use these principles.
What Is A Sustainable Business?
A sustainable business harmonizes efficiency with environmental safety. It aims to decrease the negative effect on the environment and society while keeping a reasonable profit margin. You may think of it as a business model that sets doing good as its primary aim, rather than profit.
As you can imagine, industrial models have not been sustainable for a long time. Even the standard laws and regulations regarding environmental policies are not enough to turn the situation around. A sustainable or green business needs to go above and beyond the standard requirements to incorporate environmental policies.
The environment is only the first of the three pillars of a sustainable business. Most people also tend to think of it as the defining one. But being socially accepted is also crucial. Businesses’ that hide from public awareness won’t generally fall into the category of sustainable.
After all that, your business needs to earn a respectable amount of profit. It’s a business, not a charity project. It won’t count as “sustainable” if you need to spend extra money just to keep it running.
Benefits Of Going Green
The primary function of a sustainable business is to fight against global problems. That in itself should be enough reason for going green. But you and I both know that alone is not enough for most people. No established business would overhaul its business model solely for that reason. At best, only startups would be enticed by the idea.
But there’s also a practical reason why you should consider going green. The world is changing. People these days pay a lot more attention to the environment and societal problems. They are more aware of the harmful effects of non-sustainable resources. That’s why many investors greatly appreciate a more sustainable approach.
Investors are paying more and more attention to things like carbon footprint and recycling. From this, you can see that many people are actively trying to fight back against the threat of global warming. Sustainable business ventures are a great way to get on this bandwagon.
Other than that, it gives you an edge over your competitors. Sustainable businesses look very good on paper. It has an exceptional public image, so marketing becomes many times easier. That is not something for aspiring companies alone. Many old companies turned to environmental awareness campaigns to increase sales.
Sustainable businesses are also lucrative because of the production-to-cost ratio. A successful green business implements multiple measures against resource wastage. That, in turn, lowers the overall production cost.
The Three Principles Of Sustainability
By now, you should have a rudimentary understanding of a sustainable business. Now, let us delve deeper into its core structure. Namely, the intricate balance between society, environment, and economy.
Notice how the three things complement each other. Society and economy are both dependent on each other, and the environment is the cradle that holds them. Improvement of any of them will positively affect the other.
1. The Environmental Impact
If we take a look at the big picture, then the positive environmental impact is the most distinguishable principle of sustainable growth. It is the mascot of sustainable development. Reducing our carbon footprint is not a luxury anymore; it is a necessity.
The very rational fear for our future is the fuel that drives this idea forward. The best part is that going green has an all-around positive impact. There should be no reason to reject this sort of development because green guides are very easy to follow.
2. The Social Impact
The social principle of sustainable development is a bit harder to grasp. You see, most people don’t understand this concept properly. It is not enough to run a secluded business in an environmentally friendly way. You need the employees on board with the whole going-green scheme.
The businesses’ activities need to be socially accepted. In a community, people should feel a certain level of mutual bond through the business. Think of a mining town, except the mining job paid well, was safe for the employees, and did not cause pollution. It needs to have some level of social integration with its surrounding community.
3. Economic Impact
Now, I want you to picture the previous two principles. You will likely notice that those effects on a community and the environment should also help fortify the economy. A happy community is a prosperous community. That is an ironclad rule of development. That is the only surefire way to move a community towards economic prosperity in the current era.
Sustainable businesses have exceedingly well management systems. It helps with collective improvement and has multiple risk management options. That helps nurture a competent workforce, which then increases productivity.
The other useful thing is that sustainable business is all for reducing carbon footprints. It encourages you to reduce wastage. This kind of structure eventually reduces the overall cost of running the business. Sure, you probably need to invest in newer machinery, but that is ultimately more efficient.
Ways To Make A Business Sustainable
Making an existing business turn green is a gradual process. On the other hand, a new business can get a green structure from the get-go. But the process mainly involves recycling, energy conservation, and alternate energy usage.
The most impactful step towards sustainability is using solar energy. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuel and plastic is the most impactful way to wipe our carbon footprints. There are plenty of ways to implement solar energy with the current technology.
It does not need to replace the conventional power source. Even using it as a supplementary source is a step in the right direction. Next up is recycling. Reusing plastic is a good way to reduce plastic waste. Being truly sustainable takes a bit of creativity – only 9% of plastics that you put in the blue bin actually get recycled. There are other sustainable destinations for non-recyclable plastics – here at Arqlite, we recycle 100% of the plastics we receive and turn them into new materials for the built environment.
Farm-related businesses already practice nutrient cycling. It’s a good way to reduce water consumption. Using plants to liven the work environment is also a feasible option. The key to recycling is replacing, instead of diminishing. Sustainable businesses aim to reuse all possible resources.
There you have it, the three principles of sustainability and how to use them. Managing the Environmental and economical sides are the only ones you need to worry about. Social integration will happen automatically as long as you treat your employees well.
In our opinion, the only pitfall in this type of venture is rushing the development process. Society is still adjusting to this sort of change, so you need to have some patience. You don’t need to restructure the entirety of your business in one go. Start with baby steps.
Find out more about how Arqlite is building a sustainable business from the ground up and how we can help you go green!