As a business owner and entrepreneur, you have the power to change the world. And as a business owner who's invested in sustainability, you have the unique ability to not only impact your local community, but also empower people around the globe.
But what does it mean to be a sustainable company, and why should you invest in this type of business model? In this guide, we'll talk about the importance of sustainable business practices, how those practices can benefit your business and five tips for making your business more sustainable.
April is Earth Month
Each year, April 22 marks World Earth Day, a landmark global event that encourages all of us to pause and reflect on our impact on the planet. For many of us in the beauty industry, it’s a chance to take a look at how we can make our operations, services, and products more sustainable.
We recognize that the beauty industry is a big contributor to the problem of plastic waste. Every year, it produces 120 billion units of packaging —which is enough to fill Yankee Stadium four times! It usually ends up in landfills or the ocean. It’s clear that we have a lot of work left to do. But I know that together, we can help change this industry for the better.
Why Is Sustainability Important in Business?
- Consumers are Demanding It
In recent years, sustainability has grown in importance as a way of doing good for the environment and society at large while also being profitable. Consumers consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions. Consumers want to buy from businesses that they trust and feel good supporting—and a sustainable business model can go a long way towards building that relationship.
- Businesses’ impact
Businesses use a lot of energy, water, and other resources that can have a big impact on the environment. To be part of the solution, businesses need to reduce emissions and waste and contribute to cultivating a livable planet. A study found that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions—and that's a huge problem. The good news is that businesses can make a major impact and account for 60% of emissions cuts by 2030, as per the Paris Climate Accord.
The Benefits of Sustainability in Business
There are many benefits to having a sustainable business, whether you're just starting out or have been in operation for years. Here, we'll cover the benefits of adopting a sustainable business model—so that you can be sure you're making the best choice for your business' future!
- Reduces Business Costs
“Greening” your business takes an initial investment, but, over time, you’ll save money by prioritizing sustainability. When you make your business more sustainable, you'll save money by decreasing your utility costs and cutting back on waste. These cost savings can be re-invested in your business to help it grow even more.
You can reduce your business costs by going green. For instance, sending invoices electronically instead of printing will save money.
- Improves Business’ Reputation
Sustainability initiatives demonstrate that your company cares about environmental and social issues, which can enhance your brand image and make consumers more likely to buy your products. Sustainability, or environmental responsibility, is a plus for businesses. People want to see a company that offers goods and services in line with their own values.
Going green shows the world you care about more than just making money. You can use this to your advantage when marketing your business and developing your brand identity.
- Provides Competitive Advantage
If you're competing with other businesses in your industry, sustainability can provide you with an advantage that makes your company stand out from the crowd. Customers who have a choice between two brands may choose yours if they know it has stronger environmental and social policies.
How to Make Your Business More Sustainable
We at AW Aesthetics are dedicated to doing our part to help the planet by reducing waste and ensuring our production practices are as eco-friendly as possible. And we want to help you do the same!
Luckily there are multiple paths you can take on your quest for sustainability success, and every step is a step in the right direction.
- Start Recycling at Work
Recycling can help reduce the number of items headed for landfills and incinerators. If your business doesn’t already do so, start recycling. It’s easy for everyone to get lazy and put items in the trash bin when they’re at work. Provide ample recycling bins in your clinic, make sure they’re labeled for the types of items that go in them, and if your city has a composting program, take advantage of it.
- Offer Remote Work Options
Allowing employees to work remotely can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Research indicates that remote workers have the same impact on the environment as planting a forest of trees: they eliminate 3.6 billion tons of greenhouse gases caused by commuting annually. Working remotely also helps people avoid health risks associated with commuting.
- Go Digital
Although digital technology has become widespread, many businesses continue to use paper as their primary tool for communication. Computers, smartphones—can be used to communicate effectively in addition to reducing or eliminating the need for paper.
- Partner with sustainable suppliers
When you’re working with a supplier who is committed to sustainability, it becomes easier for your business to be sustainable as well. Some of the most popular sustainable suppliers include those that are working hard to reduce their carbon footprints and those that make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of waste they produce.
When you find a supplier who is working toward these goals, you make an important step toward making your entire operation more sustainable.
You don't have to do this alone - let us help you make key changes.
AW Advanced Aesthetic Training provides cruelty-free and eco-friendly products from sustainable brands like Fusion and Ekseption. With our business support program, we can help you make the key changes needed to run a sustainable and successful small business.
From basic ideas surrounding marketing and business advice, to more advanced subjects such as access to eco-friendly products and suppliers, our hands on practical guidance will not only help small businesses do things better but also be more sustainable.
We encourage all of you to expand your way of thinking. Let's think ahead and do remarkable things to help secure the future of our planet. Can you share some of the creative, innovative, and critical ways in which you have been contributing to?
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Our content is written by people who have been in your shoes before—we've worked as employees and employers in the spa industry, and we know what it's like to try to meet customers' needs while still keeping costs low. That's why we're here: to help you do both those things.
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