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How To Develop A Sustainability Plan For Your SMB

How to Develop a Sustainability Plan for Your SMB

You don’t have to be a large enterprise to practice sustainability.

Here are five steps to help you create a sustainability plan for your small business.

Studies show that employees of small and medium size businesses (SMBs) feel strongly about their employers’ sustainability practices: 75% of respondents from companies with 250 or less employees say corporate sustainability is a moral imperative.* On the flip side, SMBs are far less likely than larger companies to have an actual sustainability program or strategy: While 69% of respondents at companies with over 1,000 employees said their company had a sustainability program or plan, only 37% at companies with 250 or less employees said the same.

You don’t have to be a large enterprise to practice sustainability. SMBs can make a difference when it comes to saving the planet (97% of businesses are small businesses, after all) and it starts with creating a sustainability plan.

Here are five steps to help you create a sustainability plan for your small business.

Step 1: Identify a sustainability leader

Appoint a point person who will handle the day-to-day responsibilities, build the strategy, and track the results. As your company grows, you can add a green team around the leader as this will expand the impact of your plan.

Step 2: Have an executive supporter

It is important to have an executive supporter who can make sure your efforts are aligned with the company priorities, obtain support from other executives, and offer ongoing direction as required.

Step 3: Look at your current situation

As with any goal, it’s necessary to determine your starting point so you can figure out where you want to be. Measure everything that you can from energy consumption, what is coming from renewable sources, how many disposable cups does your office go through in a month,  and how big your carbon footprint is. The more areas you measure and detail the better, as you will be able to demonstrate the need for a formal program and identify opportunities for improvement.

Step 4: Create a vision and set goals

Once you understand where your company is, you can start designing a path forward. That means defining your mission, outlining your vision, and goal setting.

Step 5: Strategize and take action

With your goals and mission in place, it is time to strategize on how you can use company resources more efficiently and come up with initiatives to help you achieve your goals. As you progress, consider potential impacts, costs, and degrees of difficulty.

No effort is too small

Every sustainability plan must start somewhere. Begin with simple things, and then move on to the more complex. You may not think your small business can have an impact when it comes to climate change, but even minute changes can make a difference.

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