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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sustainable Business Practices

Business owners have a responsibility to protect people and the planet. If you’re thinking of starting a business, embracing sustainable practices is not a matter of politics or public opinion. It’s just the right thing to do. That said, eco-friendly business practices can increase the profitability of your business by reducing overhead costs and creating a positive image for your brand. In this article from Peninsula Environmental Group, Inc., we discuss how to get started with your eco-friendly business and identify future opportunities to further enhance your sustainability.

Jump Right In

If you’ve been playing around with the idea of starting a business for a while, this is your sign to do it! Research your startup steps and begin working through your checklist. One of the first things you’ll need to do is choose a business structure and register your business. If you plan on growing your business by hiring employees and taking on investors, forming a corporation might be your best bet. It’s easier to transfer shares in a corporation than LLC membership interests. Plus, forming a corporation will make your business appear well-established and credible. If you decide to form a Washington State S Corporation, consider completing your paperwork online instead of paying for a lawyer. Online formation services make the process fast, easy, and affordable.

Identify Unsustainable Business Practices

As you get your business off the ground, look for opportunities to choose sustainable options. Identifying unsustainable practices is a good place to start. You can do this even if you’re still in the concept phase of starting your business. Write up a small business sustainability plan detailing potential environmental issues with your business model, like the overproduction of waste or high energy usage.

YouMatter suggests several actions you can take to make your business more sustainable:

  • Measure your greenhouse gas emissions and create solutions to reduce your highest pollutants.
  • Reduce energy consumption at your business by lowering the heat or air conditioning.
  • Choose renewable energy solutions for your office.
  • Reduce the amount of waste generated at your business.
  • Partner with manufacturers and suppliers that align with your sustainability goals.

View Eco-Friendly Initiatives as Investments

While eco-friendly practices might cost more upfront, it’s important to view these as investments that will pay off in the long run. Building sustainability into your business model can be very profitable. Eco-conscious consumers will choose your company over your competitors, and they’ll be willing to pay more too! The demand for eco-friendly goods is only increasing. Consumers are generally looking for socially responsible businesses, goods made from natural and organic ingredients, and eco-friendly packaging. Switching to energy-saving solutions and reducing consumption can also help reduce your overhead costs. You’ll also gain access to tax benefits and other financial incentives reserved for green businesses.

Advertise Without Greenwashing

Before you can reap the benefits of launching an eco-friendly business, you need to advertise your green initiatives to consumers. Learn how to properly communicate the benefits of shopping sustainably without falling into the trap of greenwashing. According to CFI Education Inc., greenwashing refers to the practice of deceiving consumers into believing your business is more sustainable than it really is. Today’s consumers quickly call out companies for greenwashing, which can hurt your reputation. Avoid exaggerating your sustainability claims, using vague language, and making eco-friendly statements without facts and figures to back up what you’re saying.

Before moving ahead with your business idea, look for eco-friendly opportunities to maximize revenue and save on operating costs. Form a corporation so you can seek investments from environmentally-conscious investors, create a sustainability plan, and learn how to advertise your business without greenwashing. Building sustainability into your business is good for your company and the planet!

Serving Western and Eastern Washington, Peninsula Environmental Group, Inc. offers a variety of environmental services, including environmental consulting, utility services, vegetation management, and construction. Call today so we can discuss your needs! (360) 504-3825.

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