Any time is a good time to start on a path to running a green business; but there is something special about the idea of starting fresh in a fresh, new year. You can set green New Year’s resolutions for your business the same way you can set personal New Year’s resolutions to trim your waist or to prepare a personal budget.
Look First at Where Your Business Is in Regards to Sustainability
Determining your organisation’s starting point can help you determine the level of sustainability you can reasonably expect to reach. Look at details regarding any recycling programs currently in place. Consider the effect of your product or service while in your company’s hands as well as in the end user’s hands. Look at your suppliers; consider whether you are purchasing supplies from the most socially responsible suppliers or if there is room for improvement.
- Environmental Footprints – Consider your organisations carbon footprint and water footprint. If you do not know what your company’s carbon and water footprints are; now would be a great time to find out.
- CSR Reporting – Does your business provide CSR, or corporate social responsibility, reports for stakeholders? If not, you could visit the GRI’s G3 Guidelines for information regarding how to prepare a sustainability report.
- Recycling – Does your business currently recycle? If recycling is currently part of the program, is it practiced to the fullest extent? If you see room for improvement, consider looking to companies with recognised and innovative recycling programs, such as Nike’s bench-marking recycling program for ideas on ways to improve your own business’ recycling program.
Decide Where Your Business Has the Most Room for Improvement
Your business’ weakest sustainable area is also the area of greatest resolution-making opportunity. If, for example, your company does a good job of recycling but large quantities of water are wasted in the process, focus your resolutions on reducing your water footprint.
This can be compared to doing a SWOT analysis, where you look at your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Take a realistic look at where your business currently is, compare it to the level of sustainability you want your business to reach in the coming year, and set your green New Year’s resolutions accordingly.
Set Resolutions You and Your Business Can “Stick To”
Make your resolutions manageable by being realistic. You can be setting yourself up to fail by setting overly-optimistic resolutions; for your business or your personal resolutions. Break the resolutions into small, manageable steps with each step building on the step before. If you find more than one area in your business needing improvement, it is okay to pick one as a starting point and add the others later in the year.