These 5 Companies Give Excellent Sustainability Roadmap Examples to Follow
Sustainability is a buzzword in business these days for good reason. It’s a solution to a problem that more and more people are beginning to recognize as true: unsustainable consumption. It’s a known fact that we live on a planet with limited resources, yet many companies, organizations, and nations behave otherwise. They use resources without making plans to replace them and have no concern for the damage they cause the environment.
Whether we like it or not, our consumption patterns impact the environment. Either directly or indirectly, the goods and services we purchase contribute to climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity in our local environment and other regions as well. While still in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to do some strategic planning for your business. In this article, we’ll provide you the steps you need to transform your small or medium-sized business into a sustainable one that you can be proud of. What’s more, we’ll also discuss a few of the best sustainable businesses and the practices and trends that make them successful. Let’s get started.
SME sustainability roadmap
Businesses weren’t born sustainable, they were made so through generations of trial and error. Thankfully, we can now look back on the history of sustainability and plan for the future. Avoiding the past mistakes of others while integrating the things that helped them to succeed. Below is a sustainability roadmap template to guide any businesses in fulfilling their sustainability goals.
- What is your vision?
- Where can you make a positive impact?
- Who are your stakeholders?
- What strategies will help you get there?
- How will you measure success?
What is your vision?
First, think about the values you first based your business on, these will help you develop your vision. Next, write out the big vision of what you want to achieve with your business. Aim high, don’t sell yourself short and don’t be too concerned about details at this point.
What is your vision? What kind of sustainable business do you want to have?
Where can you make a positive impact?
Identify the top three areas where you feel you could make the biggest environmental impact. This will of course vary depending on what kind of business you have, but there are a few general questions you can ask yourself immediately. Should you devote more effort into using sustainable materials? Should you work with certain producers? Do you want to raise sustainability awareness? These are just a few examples of areas where you can make a sustainable impact.
Who are your stakeholders?
No matter how talented you may be, no one can do everything all by themselves. In order to make your sustainability vision a reality, you’ll have to collaborate with partners, suppliers, and customers as well. Identify your most important stakeholders, those people and organizations that are a vital part of your sustainability vision. Think about their motivations and how you can use their aspirations to achieve your own.
What strategies will help you get there?
Once you have your sustainability vision defined and have identified the key stakeholders you’ll need to help get you there, it’s now time to start thinking about exact strategies that will help you meet your sustainability goals. For example, if you want to focus on using more sustainable materials, what does this mean in action? You could take a hard line and use only sustainable materials to make your products. Or you could take a less drastic approach and use sustainable materials when it’s beneficial for your business. It’s really up to you.
How will you measure success?
Lastly, you’ll have to find a way to measure the success of your sustainability vision. Are you progressing and advancing toward your goals, or have you become apathetic? If you can’t measure results, then what’s the point of setting a goal? Create measurements for success by adding numbers and dates to your goals, then you can keep track of your progress.
Top 5 Sustainable Businesses in 2020
1. Theo Chocolate
One of the top 5 sustainable chocolate companies worldwide, the main idea behind Theo Chocolate is that “chocolate can be made in a way that allows everyone in the bean to bar process to thrive.” Theo Chocolate strives to recognize and appreciate all the people involved in making their product, ensuring the sustainability of employees, suppliers, and partner organizations at every level. In fact, with every bar purchased, over five thousand cocoa farmers are being supported. The funds that Theo Chocolate allocates to local farming communities allows them to educate their children, feed their families, and spread the wealth throughout the community.
2. Too Good to Go
A great example of using tech to promote sustainability and combat waste, Too Good to Go is a mobile app that lets the user collect food that would otherwise be wasted by restaurants. Due to government food policies, thousands of tons of food are wasted by restaurants every day. In fact, approximately one-third of all cooked food is wasted. With Too Good to Go, individuals and organizations can reclaim this perfectly good food that would be otherwise wasted and put it to good use feeding people in need.
Voted the most sustainable bank this year, Santander is a financial institution with a reputation for financing startups and education worldwide. Santander’s commitment to sustainability has led them to be a leader in financing sustainable projects, with over 50 billion euros invested between 2015 and 2018. What’s more, they educated over 300,000 people in finance and supported over 250,000 small-businesses owners in Latin America in 2018.
One of the most sustainable outdoor clothing brands, Patagonia continues to be a leader in environmentally friendly business. Patagonia offers programs to teach customers how to be more sustainable, like a course on how to fix your own clothes and camping gear. They also donate one percent of their annual revenue to environmental NGOs. Patagonia plans to be 100% C02 neutral by 2025, with a completely sustainable production system in place.
5. Better Places Travel
What makes this travel company one of the best in its sphere is its commitment to sustainability. Better Places Travel takes the meaning of carbon footprint to a new level, as they publish the full environmental impact of each trip. They also provide you advice on the most environmentally-friendly flights. They continue to work to make travel more eco-friendly by including more destinations in their flight-free travel options.
What About SustainOnline?
Our company, SustainOnline, is an organization dedicated to teaching other businesses the values, benefits, and techniques of integrating sustainability into their business models. We make sustainability easy to learn and accessible for all with our platform and courses for businesses of all sizes.
Offering sustainability courses to a private organization, NGOs, as well as colleges and universities, SustainOnline has all the sectors covered. To demonstrate our commitment to sustainability education, we even offer our Educational Platform free to colleges and universities.
Registering with SustainOnline not only provides your business with sustainability education but will save you money and increase your profits over time. As you learn how to be more efficient with your resources, you’ll save money in places you wouldn’t have thought to before. Sustainability education is also a great way to increase retention. By giving your employees clear goals, they will be motivated and work to achieve them, and want to stay on-board to see the job through.
It’s time for businesses of all sizes to take responsibility and work for a sustainable future. Despite the obvious negative effects, the COVID-19 pandemic has afforded us all more time to make plans for the future. Instead of watching endless series on Netflix, use this extra time wisely to plan for a sustainable tomorrow. Register today with SustainOnline to start your business on the path to sustainability.