Sustainable Business Practices
A hot trend in the business world and across the globe is sustainability in the workplace. SAP is a huge advocate for sustainability in the workplace and incorporating sustainable practices both in business and everyday life. Understanding the responsibility and implementing best practices to contribute to the sustainability efforts has become a business imperative. Statistics are also showing that customers prefer to do business and support companies that promote and practice sustainability (1). With sustainability becoming the way of the future, becoming familiar with how to be more sustainable is the best way to start. In today’s blog, we have compiled a list of business practices that can help achieve more sustainability in the workplace!
- Supply Chain Adjustments: One of the primary business processes that negatively impact the environment is the supply chain. For manufacturing companies that produce and assemble products, a great way to become more sustainable is to rethink the way the supply chain is operating. Two adjustments to consider when trying to operate a supply chain with less harmful impact on the environment are cutting down on carbon emissions by installing smart sensors which automatically shut off when heating, electricity, or cooling are not necessary, and responsibly sourcing raw materials used in manufacturing. Knowing the materials are sustainably sourced and coupling that with sustainable manufacturing is ideal (2).
- Develop a Workplace Recycling Program: Sustainability refers to even the smallest of actions, because every action contributes to the grand scheme of protecting the planet. Creating recycling stations at the workplace where employees can bring their recyclable products or recycle products they use at work, is a great way to encourage employee involvement in becoming a more sustainable company. Instead of trashing old technology products, lightbulbs, and work supplies, the presence of recyclable stations will help to reduce large amounts of unnecessary waste in the long run (3).
- Limiting Travel When Possible: Throughout the pandemic, companies have learned that travel is not essential in every case like conferences, discussing plans, and getting to know partners, employees, and customers. Using a virtual meeting platform to conduct meetings is a great way to cut back on the environmental impacts caused by excess travel. Planes, cars, and trains all contribute to air pollution and now there is a way that can seriously diminish the impact while successfully necessary business meetings. However, travel is still necessary in some cases, but understanding when a virtual meeting is all that is needed to complete the task is a great first step to reduce the waste from business related travel while also reducing travel costs (4).
- Educating Employees on Sustainable Practices: Employees are the people who complete the business tasks and see what waste is being generated first-hand. One of the best ways to gain insight into where there is room for sustainable improvement is to discuss the topic with employees. Educating on what options are available to decrease excessive waste and how to generate less waste in the workplace can have long-lasting positive effects on decreased waste levels. Providing employees with both the knowledge and tools to become more sustainable at work will ultimately make an effective difference in their respective positions to reduce the overall waste the business is generating (2).
Ultimately, it is a team-effort within a company to get situated on the path of sustainability. Making the world a cleaner place for everyone by integrating sustainability into the core principles of a business contributes to the overall human effect on the planet. Reducing waste, understanding where there is room for improvement, and caring about the impact of being made on the environment are wonderful adjustments that will impact employee morale and customer appreciation.
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