In 2022, environmentalism sits near the top of the agenda for business and government alike. If you’re starting a new business, or revamping an existing one, then optimising your operations for maximum greenness is sure to be worthwhile.
Let’s think about what a green business model might look like, and what sustainability really means in practice.
How to Plan a Green Business Model
What Does it Mean to be a Sustainable Business?
A sustainable business is one whose activities could, in theory, continue indefinitely without any long-term impact on the natural world. If you’re chopping down trees and not replanting them, then you’re not sustainable. If you’re replanting more than you’re chopping down, then you are.
How to put together a Green Business Plan
A business plan with sustainability and environmentalism at its heart should be able to do several things well.
First, it should be concerned with regularly monitoring and reducing the impact of the business. If you’re not paying attention to the impact that your operations have, then that impact might run away from you. Regular environmental audits from disinterested outsiders should tell you where the biggest room for improvement is to be found.
Second, you should focus not just on the impact that your business has directly, but on the entire supply chain. You should look into what your suppliers are doing, and encourage them to make their operations greener. If they can’t, then you might offer them support as they adapt to a greener model. If they won’t, then you should look for alternative suppliers.
Technology and ethical investment should play a key role in your business’s green efforts. You can use data and machine learning to do away with marginal inefficiencies, and keep your energy spending low. You can equip your employees with energy-efficienct equipment. A construction team equipped with high-end Milwaukee tools, for example, will be comparatively greener.
A good green business plan should avoid the use of templates and ready-made solutions. If you stick to a template, then you’ll stand out like a sore thumb when you come to attract investment. Your business plan should be tailored to your business, and it should be regularly updated to reflect your evolving circumstances.
Remember, that if you’ve made environmentalism a core part of your company’s ethos, then you’ll suffer considerable embarassment if it should emerge that you’re not quite as green as you claimed to be. Make sure that you walk the walk as well as talking the talk.
Finally, you can make your net contribution to the environment that little bit more positive by giving to a few appropriate charities. You can save on your tax bill, too. Don’t be shy about telling everyone why you’ve chosen those charities, and how much you’re giving. While this doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to reduce your emissions and to plant more trees, it is a simple way to shift the balance of your company a little in favour of sustainability.