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The Sustainable Entrepreneur: Choosing Responsibility over Comfort

With today’s alarming rates of climate change and global warming, it comes as no surprise that many businesses are striving to become more sustainable. This is only right considering that the most significant contributors to the global carbon footprint are those who work to supply the consumer demand.

Carbon footprints are the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide and methane. The biggest source of these harmful gases is the burning of fossil fuels, which are needed to supply heat and electricity to the world daily.

Other human activities that contribute to the global carbon footprint are deforestation, cement production, mining, and food and land use. If you think about it, all these are done by large corporations and businesses to supply to growing consumer demand that never seems to be satiated.

But human beings can be irresponsible stewards of the earth because they take more than they return. This incessant need to supply to this consumer demand pushes businesses to take advantage of the environment and all its natural resources without pausing to think about the repercussions of their actions.

Fortunately, many environmentalists have become aware of the devastating effects of this social irresponsibility and are clamoring for change. Large corporations and small-to-medium businesses were quick to follow suit to reverse the harm done to the environment in the past. Here’s how your business can join the sustainability movement:

Make Actionable Goals

It can be tempting to create promises that are physically out of your reach because it makes for good press. Of course, consumers want to patronize a business that promises big changes in their day-to-day operations. Not many companies are currently striving to do better in terms of social responsibility.

But sustainability efforts are not just mere words. They should be actionable goals that are feasible and within your capabilities as a business owner. Spouting promises with high hopes but with none of the actions will quickly tear down your credibility as an entrepreneur.

So it’s okay if you don’t know where to start making changes towards sustainability. You can look into an independent sustainability consultancy to help you identify the areas of your business where you can begin making changes. With experts by your side, you can turn all your ambitions into actions.

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Follow Through with Transparency

It’s not enough to say that you are making sustainable changes inside your organization without the appropriate data to support your claim. This is not to say that you should publicize your every move because that can be counterproductive, but it won’t hurt to show transparency once in a while.

Any business owner who actually cares about sustainability will gladly share their progress with the world. This can be done by releasing annual reports about what issues you addressed in your business and how you could succeed despite the challenges you faced.

Another option that you have is to disseminate information in real-time through social media. This way, you can directly interact with your target markets and show them that you are working hard to become a better, more socially responsible business. Doing so might even help you get more patronage in the long run.

Lead by Example

Other business owners who initially showed hesitance to sustainable efforts might be more inclined to make the change once they are exposed to success stories like yours. They can also be encouraged to become accountable for their choices and start making better ones in an attempt to be more responsible.

Change is never easy, but it’s necessary because resistance can only lead to more damages. This is the perfect time to start challenging the old ways and unlearn the business practices that continuously harm the world you live in just because it’s easier.

Keep in mind that your success shouldn’t come at the cost of the planet, nor the lives of the people living in it. If you think that becoming more socially responsible through practicing sustainability will signal the demise of your business, then you should know that your business won’t exist once the earth becomes uninhabitable.

It is every human being’s responsibility to care for the environment and make sure that they are doing no harm. But as a business owner who takes up more space and uses more natural resources, your responsibility to the environment increases tenfold.

So choose to lead by example, and maybe then, the industry players who follow in your footsteps will start becoming accountable for their decisions. It’s never too late to make changes that can benefit society and the planet; all you have to do is decide to begin.

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