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Combating climate change is of paramount importance. Over the next decade, sustainability efforts will take center stage. Improving the earth’s situation does not fall solely to governments, however.

Businesses both large and small have a role to play. It is pivotal, as they are often major contributors to society’s carbon footprint.

Unfortunately, many businesses fail to see how their operations impact the environment. Others feel that making any effort to change would be financially untenable. These assumptions are far from reality, though. If you’re employed at such a business, you can have a direct impact on changing the minds of those in charge.

Making the Case for Sustainability

The case for sustainability should not be a difficult one to make. For starters, climate change may disrupt the bottom line for businesses worldwide.

Some businesses understand this fact. Still, they balk at the idea of making any sustainability overhauls. Partly, this is due to a fear that the resources required would be too great. Thus, advocating for sustainability in your workplace should start with showing that it’s affordable.

Lead by pointing out that sustainability is not something your business has to go all-in on. It’s much more manageable to start small. Afterward, you can take increasing steps to hit sustainability targets.

For example, you can propose a simple change that few would notice. Switching to green cleaning products might be one example. From there, start exploring other impacts your business has on the environment. You can then start mitigating them with incremental measures. This allows you to enact change without totally disrupting your workplace.

Not every big sustainable change will make sense for your business model. Bolster your suggestions by explaining how sustainability measures factor into the bottom line. If your organization relies heavily on transportation and/or the supply chain, you can calculate its carbon footprint. This will provide evidence and make proposed changes harder to argue against. First, because you’ll demonstrate how they align with overall business goals. Secondly, because you can show how they provide an edge over your competitors.

There’s a final point in making the case for sustainable practices. You must also stress transparency and avoid committing some common errors. Next, we’ll look at some of the pitfalls you should stay aware of.

Avoid These Sustainability Pitfalls

Under no circumstances should you deliberately miscommunicate changes in sustainability practices to customers. Transparency is paramount in becoming more sustainable. Dishonesty, on the other hand, will lead to problems.

Commonly known as greenwashing, this is a frowned-upon practice. It occurs when an organization deceives the public into thinking they’re making environmentally preferable changes. It’s a surefire way to destroy your credibility. It will also stop real sustainable changes at your workplace in their tracks. It’s best to avoid this whenever possible.

Similarly, you’ll want to avoid falling for greenwashing yourself. For example, let’s say you switch to a product because it’s “environmentally sound.” Later, you find that those claims of sustainability were fraudulent. How might this affect your organization? The most probable outcome is that it will hamper your push toward change.

Consider the following. A diligent parent would investigate products meant for their child. Similarly, you’ll want to treat your workplace as a proverbial “baby.” Perform thorough research on any potential sustainability changes. This way, you can understand and relay their authenticity.

There’s no universal approach to evaluating claimed sustainable impacts. You can, however, use these criteria to evaluate the eco-friendliness of accommodations:

  • Does the organization have ties to your community? If so, it’s more likely to be eco-friendly.
  • What materials do they use? Are they safe for the environment? An emphasis on sustainable materials denotes sincerity.
  • Does the organization in question use sustainable practices in its business processes?
  • What about sustainability standards? Do they adhere to any in particular?

Before you recommend a sustainable product or practice, evaluate its merits. You want to ensure that it won’t be a waste of time.

Wrapping Up

Entrepreneurship and social good can coexist without harming your business’ bottom line.

To advocate for sustainability practices at your workplace, start slow. Stress the fact that you can achieve progress gradually, then escalate.

Follow up by emphasizing how making change works toward the bottom line. With this strategy, you’ll have minimal trouble rallying the like-minded to your side.