3 things to know about running a sustainable business

Maybe you’re a new start up, or perhaps you’ve been in business for a while now. You’ve heard time and again about this sustainability thing, and after some research, you’ve decided that this is the way you want to go with your business. Exciting!

To get you off on the right foot, here are Rain and Wild’s top tips to keep in mind to gain that eco-friendly edge.

1. Understand the impact of your business

First things first is to know your business inside out. It’d be impossible to figure out how you can run things more sustainably if you don’t even know what your current impact is. 

From your raw materials right up to that package arriving on a doorstep, you need to pick your business processes apart, in order to build them up again.

When I began researching candle making, one environmental issue I had was the choice of wax. Paraffin was out due to it being non-renewable, and a rainforest friendly soy wax was impossible to find. I finally settled on a rapeseed coconut blend, which didn’t impact on rainforests, and ensured the people farming the crops were getting both education in managing their farms sustainably, and a fair deal. 

This took lots of back and forth with suppliers, which can be frustrating, but in the end, going the extra mile is worth the hassle. 

2. Learn from everyone

Reach out and learn from people who are on sustainable journeys – you don’t exist in a green bubble! Hordes of businesses are going for sustainable setups these days, so why not leverage their knowledge? 

You might be surprised with what information they will share with you – a new supplier, a better packaging option, or an innovative technique to combat waste. People in the green community are all about sharing, because our efforts are amplified when other people copy what we’re doing. 

3. Set goals for your business

Setting goals is an important way to keep on track, and show people how you’re tipping away at changing things. Maybe you want to decrease your carbon footprint, or cut your plastic waste by 50 percent within a year. Write it down, pin it to a noticeboard, and put these goals on your website. Keep your followers updated with posts or videos on social media. This is much appreciated, and allows people to better connect with your efforts.

By doing this, you can also see how far you’ve come. It can sometimes feel like you’re never doing enough, so being able to look back and understand what changes and improvements you’ve made is a great boost for your morale.

The take away message

Running a sustainable business can involve a sharp learning curve, with lots of new information being thrown at you from every direction. It’s important to take the time to understand your businesses impact, and then think about what you want to achieve in the long term. Even small step by step changes will go a long way towards helping you realise those sustainable business goals. 

Make sure to check out more of our blogs on our website.

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