January 28, 2023

How to Be a Sustainable Entrepreneur and Prosper in Business?

By DENNIS BLACK on Jan 6, 2023

In this article, we explain what such practices and success stories are. We will also show you how your company can join this green wave. Follow the next topics!

What Is Sustainable Entrepreneurship?

Sustainable entrepreneurship considers the environmental and social impact of activities carried out by the business. For a company to be sustainable, the result of operations must balance three points:

The Economic Viability

Companies generate income for owners, employees, and suppliers. But they also allow the customer to access new goods.

Sustainable companies can't go bankrupt—they're concerned with keeping the money flowing.

The Social Viability

Companies transform the regions in which they do business. It is common for them to generate opportunities and have an educational role, both for those inside and outside the operation.

Sustainable companies offer fair working conditions and encourage positive social practices such as volunteering. 

The Environmental Feasibility

Companies need natural resources to function, either as raw materials for products or indirectly (as is the case with electricity generated from renewable sources).

Sustainable companies choose responsible suppliers and make sure that the garbage/waste they produce is treated in an ecologically correct manner.

There are several ways your company can meet these requirements. For example: through practices such as recycling, reforestation, and engagement in social causes, the sustainable entrepreneur joins hands with society and the environment. In recent years, this type of conduct has gained approval from consumers and investors because of the clear evidence of the effects of environmental degradation.

We are talking about global warming, rising sea levels, and the extinction of forests and animals. To reverse these effects, concepts such as reverse logistics and ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) were created.

Driven by these factors, many companies are increasingly adopting sustainable actions. The goal is that these practices can reduce environmental damage by one-third before 2030.

How to Be a Sustainable Entrepreneur?

Looking to the future, sustainable entrepreneurship holds promise. The study by Allied Market Research projects that, in 2030, the sustainability market will be valued at 74.64 billion dollars. So, how to make your company sustainable and enter this market? See our tips!

Define Your Macro-Management Objective

The first step in uniting entrepreneurship and sustainability is to define a mission for the company. This means presenting to the public, investors, business partners, and competitors why the brand is sustainable. In other words, what you intend to do for the environment.

Would it be to use natural resources with environmental awareness? Stimulate the generation of renewable energy? Contribute to the decrease in the emission of polluting gases? A clear mission attracts new customers and drives business strategies.

Get to Know the Company's Activities in Depth

To understand how to apply sustainability, the entrepreneur needs to know the business routines. Thus, it is possible to discover waste and activities that pollute the environment.

Review Current Strategy and Model

By carefully observing internal practices, even small businesses can change unsustainable habits. Perhaps, selective collection can be adopted for the separation of items thrown in the trash.

In addition, the entrepreneur can contact Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that recycle different types of materials. In this way, the disposal of waste will have less impact on the environment.

Establish a New Action Plan

What are the plans for implementing sustainable practices? The action plan made by the company manager will answer this question. Planning should be done in the early years of a business.

In this way, sustainability will be part of the internal culture. The result will be that green practices will grow and expand along with the company. As new employees are hired, sustainable thinking will be part of them.

Count on a Diverse Team

As said, sustainable entrepreneurship has social impacts. Therefore, green businesses also tend to invest in diversity and inclusion. This concept involves hiring and giving equal opportunities to people of different races, social and physical conditions, genders, and religions.

Due to the social and financial benefits, 76% of companies that participated in a PWC study said that the diversity and inclusion program is an internal priority. Without a doubt, it is worth investing in this practice!

Track and Evaluate Results

Monitoring and evaluating the results from sustainability is one of the ways to understand the effects on the business. In addition, given the positive results, it is a great way to motivate new investments and green strategies.

When carrying out this analysis, it is important for the business owner to understand whether the goals set have been achieved, if there is room for improvement or if it is necessary to modify the strategies. The objective of monitoring and analysis is always to improve and encourage even more sustainable actions.

3 Examples of Sustainable Business to Be Inspired By

Anyone who wants to be a sustainable entrepreneur needs examples to get inspired. Below, we point out three businesses that have put on the sustainability shirt and are remodeling practices and products.

1. Crocs

The American company Crocs produces casual shoes for men, women, and children. One of the brand's sustainable goals is to become vegan (no animal leather) by the end of 2021. The reason is to help fight the climate crisis.

Another green practice is to give your products a second life through re-trade (selling used products), recycling, and donations. As for recycling, 45% of waste has this destination. It is also important to mention the increased use of renewable energy by the company.

2. Nature

Natura is considered one of the most sustainable companies in the world. It even won first place among cosmetic brands in the Corporate Knights Global 100 ranking. One of the reasons is that Natura counts all the carbon it produces and compensates with social and environmental investments.

In addition, the company does not test products on animals and was the first publicly traded business to earn the B corp seal (companies that integrate financial and socio-environmental results). Natura also invests in sustainable and inclusive alternatives in the Amazon, conserving biodiversity and the environment.

3. Urban Flowers

Urban Flowers is a footwear producer that does not use animal-derived inputs but is made from recycled rubber and cotton, as well as other reused products. A second sustainable practice is the production of items with a longer shelf life, reducing the spirit of consumerism – a trend known as slow fashion. Reinforcing the sustainable identity, Urban Flowers has a lean, wooded, and very versatile headquarters. Thus, it manages to make good use of natural resources and reduce actions that pollute the environment.