The current study situation shows that company concepts with sustainable measures are becoming an increasingly important prerequisite for competitiveness.
Author: House of Eden
The change in our society towards more sustainability is also noticeable in companies. But how do you design a sustainable organization? This requires a functioning sustainability concept that acts as a roadmap for sustainable measures within the company. Here are some tips on how to make companies more sustainable and bring a sustainability concept into life.
Why sustainability is so important in companies
A change within the company in the direction of sustainability can bring a variety of positive aspects. Anyone who sets sustainability as a corporate goal not only protects the environment, but will soon register positive changes in costs, customer satisfaction and employee motivation.
1. Environmental protection:
Sustainable companies ensure a reduction in environmental impact. Energy saving and the reduction of CO2 emissions offer opportunities for this. This ensures the protection of nature and our planet will remain viable in the long term.
2. Sustainable management:
Sustainability measures can have a positive impact on the company's economy. Using resources more efficiently also reduces the company's operating costs.
3. Customer Satisfaction:
Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important to the public. According to Statista, 36% of respondents in Germany are of the opinion that companies bear a great deal of responsibility with regard to global environmental problems. This means that customers today tend to prefer organizations that act in an environmentally responsible manner.
4. Employee motivation
Employees can also benefit from the sustainability of their company. Employees in green companies feel more comfortable, more motivated and proud to work for this company. High job satisfaction is also associated with better employee performance.
What distinguishes sustainable companies?
But how do sustainable companies define themselves? In a sustainable company, ecological, social and economic aspects are always balanced. Sustainable business models aim to make a positive contribution to the environment and society. Sustainable action comprises three central aspects.
The three pillars of sustainability
If a company wants to actively deal with the plan to become more sustainable, a sustainability concept is developed.
Sustainable development can only be made possible if economic growth, ecological compatibility and social security are given equal priority. This balance is understood as the three pillars of sustainability:
- Ecological sustainability companies: In order to enable ecological sustainability, the focus is on the protection and preservation of the natural environment. This is done by using renewable raw materials and renewable energies.
- Economic sustainability companies: A sustainable company is not exclusively profit-oriented like traditional, conventional companies. They always work under the condition that future generations will also be able to enjoy quality of life. Thus, long-term goals are set in order to operate in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner.
- Social sustainability companies: Sustainable action is also defined by humane working conditions throughout the supply chain. The aim is to fight poverty at national and international level. In addition, there is an active appreciation of employees, equal opportunities and consideration of mental and physical health. Because satisfied employees work particularly effectively in the long term.
With a sustainability strategy step by step to a founding company
Before you initiate active sustainability within a company, you first need a sustainability strategy in the company. This is laid down in a sustainability concept.
There are three stages involved in developing a concept. As part of this, sustainability goals are set, implemented and monitored. Not every measure can be perfect from the start. You learn from mistakes and only a step-by-step approach can make companies really more sustainable.
- The analytical level: In the analytical level, careful research is first carried out with regard to the facts. What is the current status of the company in terms of sustainability? What problems keep coming up? How can the company be made even more sustainable?
- The strategic stage: Here, the problems that have been worked out are linked to specific sustainability goals. It is important to think about how these are implemented, which reference groups are involved, who is responsible for the respective goals and which messages and topics are to be conveyed.
- The operative stage: In the operative stage, the schedule for the sustainability concept is then laid down and variables are determined that enable the success of the concept to be monitored. In addition, budgeting is adjusted and regular performance reviews are introduced.
7 Concrete measures and ideas for sustainable companies
Now the question arises as to which concrete measures can be used to implement sustainability in the company. Here are some ideas on which specific viewpoints to focus on to become a greener business:
Idea #1 - Improve energy efficiency:
A sustainable company uses energy-efficient lighting systems, devices and machines within the office, so that new purchases of these devices can be avoided and resources can be saved. Companies can promote renewable energies by also relying on sustainably produced green electricity from the electricity provider.
Idea #2 - Sustainable Procurement:
When selecting suppliers, sustainable companies rely on environmentally friendly production, fair working conditions and social responsibility. In addition, when buying products, they pay attention to organic food or certified goods.
Idea #3 - Sustainable production:
In a sustainable company, production processes are designed as efficiently as possible in order to minimize resource consumption and the associated waste. Paying attention to the use of recycled and biodegradable materials also leads to a positive promotion of the circular economy.
Idea No. 4 - Sustainable logistics:
Companies make a further contribution to sustainability if they optimize their transport routes and thus reduce fuel consumption. The use of alternative means of transport such as trains or electric vehicles is also a good way to save additional emissions.
Idea No. 5 - Employee measures:
Special training courses are suitable for new impulses in order to sensitize the employees to act in an environmentally friendly manner. In this way, everyone is on the same level of knowledge and can decide for themselves which measures they can implement for themselves and which not.
Idea #6 - Sustainable Marketing:
To ensure that customers are also convinced of their sustainability strategy, it is important to pass these claims on to customers and stakeholders in a transparent and authentic manner. In addition, you can use digital channels and technologies to work as paperless as possible. Recycling materials and supporting sustainable campaigns are ideal for advertising purposes.
Idea No. 7 - Implement sustainability projects creatively
Of course, not every company can accomplish each of these points. External transparency plays a major role here in order to avoid so-called "greenwashing". Each company should consider its specific needs and resources and develop creative strategies that fit its industry and corporate culture.
What does a sustainable company look like?
A company is classified as sustainable if it balances economic, ecological and social aspects for the well-being of current and future generations.
Why is sustainability important for companies?
Sustainable companies ensure economic success in the future, protect the environment, increase employee motivation and bind customers more closely to the company.
How is sustainability implemented in companies?
By ecological, social and economic aspects will be highlighted in sustainable companies. Sustainable companies also focus on long-term goals and think beyond short-term profits.