International. Every June 5, World Environment Day is commemorated, a perfect opportunity to remember that the protection and care of ecosystems and the planet is everyone's responsibility: institutions, citizens and companies.
It is clear that incorporating a sustainable model does not imply reducing the profitability of the business. In fact, implementing strategies to take care of the environment promotes that more and more companies are aware of the amount of resources that are consumed, and know those points in the value chain where there are inefficiencies, so that they can implement concrete actions to reduce their impacts.
When a company establishes within its DNA sustainable practices, it is not only introduced into its business model, but it has advantages such as the improvement of its business reputation and even this will be rewarded in the market with an increase in its sales, since the community of responsible consumers who take into account how their purchasing decisions affect the environment is growing.
"Today SMEs do not need to choose between prioritizing their profitability or environmental care, as business leaders and entrepreneurs can make decisions that not only guarantee their permanence in the market, but also generate a significant impact on society," says Caty Di Maggio, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Latin America at Brother International Corporation.
Here are 3 tips from experts in sustainability actions that will help you boost your company to execute better strategies to be greener and, above all, highly productive.
- Establish priorities and objectives in environmental matters: Through surveys and market analysis, it is possible to make a diagnosis on the issues of greatest relevance to the stakeholders of a company. Luis Tituaña*, founder of T&T Asociados, a firm that provides advice on financial, labor and technology issues, assures that, "by knowing the interests of employees, customers, consumers, suppliers and authorities or institutions, companies can define their priorities and specific objectives on the actions they should begin to do, reinforce, improve or correct in environmental matters. Each of these goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound. This way you will have a strategy that will become the pillar of the business, which will guide all your actions and allow you to evaluate your progress."
- Encourage environmental education and training of employees, suppliers and consumers: Within the sustainability strategy, it is important to promote responsible behaviors that raise awareness among all the actors involved in the company. Alejandro Carbonell *, CEO and co-founder of Tutorez, an online education platform highlights that, "after knowing their opinions, it is advisable to involve our stakeholders in our initiatives, this through training employees, the selection of suppliers with environmental commitment and the creation of promotional campaigns that encourage and reward the positive actions of customers around the care of nature, which generates a climate according to the sustainable purpose of the business". In addition, the company can also consider new collaborations with companies focused on environmental work to promote this pillar.
- Promote actions inside and outside the office as a sustainable commitment: Encouraging habits in employees that have an impact on the reduction of energy consumption and the environmental footprint inside and outside the office is essential, even more so when today many SMEs have opted for hybrid models, where the workplace can even be at home. Astrid Encarnación*, founder of Ases Services, a services firm dedicated to the organization and strategic development of companies, affirms that it is advisable to promote actions such as turning off electronic equipment when they are not being used and promoting the use of shared vehicles or that are more favorable to the environment, which will increase the commitment of employees to sustainable practices.
In addition, "because companies are great generators of waste, implementing plans to reduce or reuse them, will not only generate a positive impact, but will also position the philosophy of the business and improve the business reputation, as customers connect with a brand or service based on the values it transmits," adds the expert.
Building a sustainability strategy may not seem like a simple task, but starting with small actions, companies can certainly benefit a large number of people. These strategies will help position them as a benchmark ahead of their own competitors, increasing sales and achieving savings in production costs.
*Panelist from Brother International Corporation. This group of successful entrepreneurs works alongside Brother International Corporation providing a local vision of entrepreneurship in the region.