ESG – or environmental, social, and corporate governance – refers to the three central factors in measuring a company’s sustainability and societal impact. In recent years, companies have made remarkable strides in conserving an ecological balance and revamping production patterns.
Regrettably, however, the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide shut-down have disrupted mainly the health of our global environment, setting back much of the progress. There has been a substantial increase in biomedical waste generation and worsening environmental pollution. One of, if not the most significant adversities of the COVID-19 pandemic: plastic waste.
The burden of untreated wastes continuously endangering the environment is sparking nearly every company’s attention, from small-business to corporations. It seems that, with the swift implementation of sustainable practices, the threat to our environment will change. Continue reading to learn three small ways to implement sustainability, making your business environmentally friendly!
We are in a time when mindful packaging is no longer an option but a necessity. Not only because it gives you a competitive edge, but because our environment is facing such a dire time of pollution and depends on our actions.
Plastic is everywhere. From consumer goods to food manufacturing to packaging, plastic’s relatively cheap cost appeals to mass-producers and commercial businesses. Yet, large corporations are beginning to turn the corner, adjusting their focus, not on margins but sustainability.
Plastic negative refers to when a company works to eliminate and reduce more plastic than it uses.
To illustrate, say a plastic-negative company was to produce more than 500 lbs. of plastic throughout the year. The company would then center its attention on eliminating more than 500 lbs. of the plastic from the environment. As a result, it’s as if the company never even produced the 500 lbs. of plastic in the beginning!
Moreover, living plastic-negative entails offsetting your plastic waste – or carbon footprint – with financial, timely, or personnel contributions to anti-plastic efforts.
Did you know the top two plastic waste sources for businesses come from their packaging and shipping materials? Regardless if you are receiving or sending a package, the shipping materials are often such that you cannot recycle.
Some of the most common types of shipping materials include but are not limited to packing peanuts, tape, plastic bags, bubble wrap, padding bags, foam, and more. Nonetheless, using biodegradable materials like recycled air pillows, recycled cardboard, and even mushroom packaging is one small way to be a more sustainable company.
A second way sustainable companies can make their business more environmentally friendly is by sourcing quality ingredients. The concept of sustainable sourcing, also known as green purchasing or social sourcing, impacts nearly every corporate business area and its behavior.
Sustainable sourcing integrates social, ethical, and environmental performance factors into selecting certain supplies and ingredients. Sourcing quality ingredients includes, but is not limited to, purchasing sustainable products and services, practicing regenerative farming, and supporting local businesses.
Regeneration is about improving and enhancing a system so all aspects of it and what it supports can thrive. One of the main ideas of regenerative farming – or agriculture – is to leave more in the soil than you remove through the land’s farming.
This farming method also naturally sequesters carbon back into the soils, one piece of the climate puzzle. Regenerative agriculture is a kind of agriculture that ensures the soil we grow our food in maintains its fertility for generations to come.
Supporting local business is another way companies can be more sustainable. Buying locally significantly reduces the environmental impacts of doing business. Purchasing goods from sources further away means more resources need to be used for the same supplies.
Additionally, shopping locally nurtures community resilience and local businesses’ well-being – providing jobs and allowing for a thriving livelihood. And generally speaking, local shops can offer better customer service.
To counterbalance the environmental pollution levels the pandemic has caused, companies can look to integrate sustainable practices both internally and externally. Aside from implementing sustainable practices into their business strategy, companies can also show efforts by supporting other sustainable causes with impact partnerships, in-house energy audits, and biodegradable materials.
Supporting other sustainable causes with impact partners is a great way to make strides in decreasing your companies’ carbon footprint. An impact partner is a company, organization, or person you collaborate with and may fund to help remove more plastic waste from the environment than you create.
For example, Mana Botanics is partners with Taka Taka and rePurpose Global, an organization dedicated to reducing plastic waste worldwide.
Additionally, sustainable companies can conduct and implement an in-house energy audit to become more “green.” Running an in-house energy audit individually and prioritizing its energy efficiency will show where your business uses the most energy.
The next step is finding energy-efficient ways to cut down on energy, be it LED lights, an upgraded HVAC system, or added insulation, to name a few. In-house energy audits are an excellent way to offset the carbon footprint of your company’s operations.
Lastly, sustainable companies can support the health of our environment by converting to all outsourced biodegradable materials. The use of biodegradable materials will contribute to sustainability and reduce the environmental impact associated with the disposal of oil-based polymers like plastic. Using only biodegradable materials, such as bioplastics, cardboard, and other recyclable materials, is a first step in joining the eco-friendly movement.