Moving to more sustainable practices will not only benefit the environment but can benefit your business for good too. But changing the way a business runs can be difficult, and will often run into many challenges. Here are the top 3 challenges businesses face when increasing sustainable practices, and what can be done about it.
1. See more risks than opportunities
When businesses look to implement sustainable changes into their business, without the correct knowledge, expertise and strategy, it is difficult to measure the benefits and the value of sustainable actions that are beyond improving environmental issues, which in turn, leaves the investment appearing too high for the business to consider.
It is important that companies fully understand the concept and value of a sustainable economy. Maximum profit has always been at the forefront of what creates value for a business, which is the lens that businesses are still looking through when trying to consider sustainability. With a shift in perspective and knowledge, sustainable action can create more value. For example, it was reported that there is an excess of 400 billion USD lost every year due to the disposal of plastic, which is currently a major loss for businesses, and bad for the environment.
There are also many other benefits and opportunities to implement sustainable practices, for example, to improve your warehouse efficiency, you can create more space and save a significant amount on costs. Sustainable practices can support both the environment and your business. Consider reviewing the materials, energy and water you use to create your product and how this process can be optimised, the durability of materials used, the enablement of products to be repaired/maintained, and so on, to assist in closing the loop to single-use materials while maximising business profits and opportunities.
2. Lack of resources
Making significant changes in your business means you will inevitably run into barriers, one of these being a lack of resources. Sustainability needs to become an important part of the entire business strategy and operation, with full support from top-level management and a full understanding of sustainability, its impact and progression. Without this, your business will hit barriers.
There are constantly new tools being created specifically for businesses, that enable you to manage the process fully, from strategy to suppliers, to gather data on sustainability management, analysis of material flow, performance monitoring, and more. These tools have been created to assist your business in breaking down strategy into actionable steps, to ensure capacity and resources.
3. Change in regulations
In some cases, regulations are being developed that will help governments meet local and national goals to save money, reduce waste and cut down their carbon footprint. Businesses will be targeted, as they are a large source of plastic use, food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and electricity.
As a business you must be compliant with any regulations, to ensure your survival. Consider what regulations are going to come into effect, and take the lead in areas you can make changes, giving your business sufficient time to plan and prepare. This can also benefit your business greatly by boosting your profile, staying competitive, and pleasing customers. Many businesses are innovative and create cutting edge solutions, even in areas they are not compelled to do so because they have recognised the significant benefits of doing so.
Sustainable practices can benefit the business, as well as the environment. Knowledge, support and strategy are key.
Photography by Ceyda Ciftci