Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. This year’s theme is climate change, prompting us to focus our blog post this week on what businesses can do to help protect the environment. Credit for these tips goes to our valued client, SANYO North America, a “leading company for Energy and Environment”. Thank you SANYO for your commitment to our world’s environmental future!

Today, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be mindful of the environment. However, when it comes to actually making real changes that will reduce their environmental footprint, many organizations don’t know where to start. Therefore, below are five simple ways that today’s companies can contribute to a greener future.

1. Set realistic goals and make small, achievable changes over time: Building a sustainable business practice requires long-term planning and implementation across the entire organization. Therefore, setting realistic sustainability goals and benchmarks is the key to success. While a major change, such as converting your office’s energy use to solar power takes planning and financial resources, you can start to enforce greener practices across the organization by changing simple everyday behaviors and procedures. For instance, turn out the lights when not in use, recycle paper and trash, and consider using rechargeable batteries in electronic devices. All of these small changes make a big difference long-term.

2. Make sustainability a core part of your company’s vision and values: Transforming your business practices and behaviors to become environmentally responsible requires a shared commitment and vision among everyone in the organization, from senior management down to support staff.  Therefore, sustainability must be a valued part of your company’s vision and values. This requires integrating environmental goals and practices into the overall business strategy and committing to actual change within your company. A good place to start is to build an environmental business plan or to establish a “sustainability task force” among key members of your team. 

3. Encourage senior management to make an investment in sustainability by helping them understand the upside for your business: Market research shows that customers prefer to buy products and services from companies that are sustainable. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that even if implementing greener practices requires an ongoing investment, it will make a positive impact on your company’s bottom-line. Therefore, it’s important to help senior management recognize the benefits of going green for your company in order to get them behind your desired initiatives.

4. Get involved in worthwhile activities and causes that help protect the environment: Show your company’s commitment to environmental responsibility by participating in related activities and causes. This could be done through volunteering in the community or making a donation to a charity or cause that your staff believes in.

5. Promote your company’s strides in being more environmentally responsible to customers, partners and investors: Don’t keep your company’s commitment to the environment a secret. Promoting the strides that your business continually makes in being more eco-conscious should be shared widely with your customers, partners, investors, and the general public. Share your organization’s ongoing sustainability initiatives and achievements in your press releases, customer e-newsletters, on your corporate Web site, etc.

While creating a sustainable business practice requires time and consistency, implementing positive changes within the organization, even small ones, go a long way. Please visit www.blogactionday.org to join the discussion on climate change.

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