What Are the Different Types of Sustainable Business Practices?

Geri Terzo
Geri Terzo
Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Sustainable business practices are socially responsible ways of running a business. The crux of creating a sustainable business is to behave in a manner that promotes a healthy planet for future generations. Some of the types of behavior that might be used include recycling products, becoming paperless and relying more on electronic communication, and conserving energy.

In order to follow sustainable business practices, a company may write a mission statement outlining the strategies and techniques that will be applied in order to remain accountable for those requirements. The statement might be a way for a company's management team to communicate with employees about the corporate culture. If possible, comparing the mission statements of other companies that promote sustainable business practices may also be useful for generating ideas.

Sometimes, building a sustainable business is about taking on large projects that influence entire communities, and other times, it is a series of small steps that can contribute to greater results. Organizing teams within an office and designating committees to be responsible for recycling and conservation supports ethics within a corporation. Also, something as simple as ordering food and drinks from organic producers contributes to a sustainable corporate environment.

Ways to promote sustainable business practices are not solely about supporting a clean environment. A company that is headquartered in a city may decide only to buy materials or services from local suppliers. This is a way of supporting local businesses in a region and is a type of sustainable business practice.

Implementing energy-efficient products and systems supports a sustainable business. Setting a goal for a reduction in energy use is one way to remain accountable for that behavior. There are often cost benefits associated with using highly efficient lightbulbs and using skylights as a source of sunlight during the day. A business can even be resourceful with rainwater by capturing and using the water.

A company that enforces sustainable business practices is looking toward the future, but the decision to behave in a socially responsible way can impact a business in the short term, as well. Potential employees may be more inclined to work for a company that promotes a green environment. Shareholders in a company may similarly make an investment decision based on more than just the bottom line and may be inclined to examine the sustainable business practices of a firm before committing any money.

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