How Do Your Sustainability Strategies Compare to the Competition?
Business sustainability strategies are becoming a more popular topic in the world’s leading organizations.
If the most prominent players across various industries are taking a serious look at sustainability, it’s a good idea for any size company. The reason for this isn’t just because of the positive impact it has on the environment – though that’s a big part of it.
Sustainability strategies are just as beneficial to businesses as they are to the environment. From retailers to travel businesses to countless other types of companies, professional organizations are seeing one thing clearly – customers want sustainability.
Businesses should want it, too. Not only does it help them cut costs, but it also helps them find clear direction on how to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
3 Steps to Develop Sustainability Strategies
Sustainability can be defined as the process of meeting the present needs of an organization while preparing for the future. This means giving customers what they want now while leaving a smaller carbon footprint for the coming generations to manage.
Here are some steps to developing the sustainability strategies that help both businesses and the environment simultaneously.
1. See How the Company Currently Approaches Environmentalism
The first step in building sustainability strategies that carry the company to a competitive advantage is to know what’s already in place.
If steps have already been taken and measures put in place, make sure those are considered as baseline strengths that can be expanded on. It’s also good to consider how the company feels about sustainability – do they find it to be a buzzword, a core value of the organization, or something in between?
Consider whether you have green vendors, a focus on recycling, or any long-term goals in place that focus on reducing the organization’s carbon footprint.
2. Identify Key Areas for Improvement
Every organization can approach sustainability differently. While the end goal of reducing the burden on the planet is the same, there are many ways to get there.
For example, companies that take their business on the road may consider a refined approach to logistics that allows them to spend less time out and thus create fewer emissions. Companies that rely on oil-powered or gas-powered machines may want to look into alternative power sources, or at the very least, they should consider components that reduce the potency of emissions.
Whether it’s how they do business or the type of waste they produce, every business can find ways to tighten things up when it comes to sustainability. Don’t forget the small stuff – even using multifunction devices so you rely on one piece of hardware instead of three can help cut down on energy use.
3. Track and Assess Resource Consumption
The best way to reduce energy usage effectively is to know where you stand. Just like you should know how your company views sustainability and what you can do to improve things, you need a clear picture of your data.
Use calculators like CarbonFund to help you calculate your energy usage in various categories. You may also want to invest in devices that can report their energy and resource consumption. Examples include electric outlets and power systems that show consumption rates per device, or hardware like printers that report ink consumption per job.
Once you have the data, you’ll see which areas you can improve and set realistic, trackable goals. This will give you metrics to go off that will help you understand how to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
Maintaining Your Competitive Advantage
Developing sustainability strategies isn’t enough – companies must work hard to maintain them. The best way to do this is to play to their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
After companies find out what they have going for them and areas they can improve then combine these with accurate tracking data, they can more easily pursue the ends that help them.
For example, a company may be able to handle their print operations for a fraction of the cost of their competition thanks to a smart approach to managing their print fleet.
The things a company can do better for less are the areas they should pursue to gain a competitive advantage. It’s a way to increase profits, gain a lead in their industry, and do it all while leaving a smaller carbon footprint.
With over 25 years of experience, Office Technologies is here to provide top-notch printers and copiers from the field’s leading names. Our work has earned us numerous awards and plenty of satisfied customers, and we’re here to provide you with the resources you need to run a sustainable, efficient, industry-leading business.