You are invited to receive free training at the Entrepreneurship Campus. This online training provides methods and techniques for developing ideas into solid business models, to turn a budding idea into a fully developed concept, or to improve on an existing business model.
How to be a sustainable entrepreneur Part 3
In the last online-training class you got to know the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In the following, you will learn what you can implement and contribute as a sustainable entrepreneur.
Every business decision will have an impact on the environment. Whether you call yourself an ecopreneur, a social or sustainable entrepreneur, the mission is to solve an existing problem while usefully contributing to the goal of sustainable development.
How can that mission be accomplished? Here are some recommendations and inspirations for direct actions that need to be taken.
#01 Employees are a valuable resource. Co-workers and the entrepreneur himself/herself, together, work towards a clear vision for the business.
Therefore, treat your employees fairly. If it is usual in your country, conclude contracts with fair conditions, such as maternity leave and sickness absence regulation.
#02 Incorporate a strong vision and mission from the beginning. It keeps the company on a sustainable track. Furthermore, your employees will orientate themselves towards sustainability and will continue making decisions on the company’s behalf.
#03 Shift from “throughput” to “circular manufacturing”.
The current situation is that we produce goods in a linear production process, also called cradle to grave. That means resources are taken, something is made out of it and after some time it will be disposed of.
The idea behind circular economy is designing products that can be 'made to be made again'. During drafting it is necessary to think about the end of the products’ life cycle. The goods of today will become the resources of tomorrow.
#04 Avoiding future financial liabilities, such as the potential cost of contaminated land clean-up.
The production process shall be designed as sustainable as possible. This may include favoring domestic production, instead of shifting the production overseas.
#05 Know who you work with. Your business partners ideally should share your business values. Before committing to a long-term relationship check the background of your partner’s business. Are there any events known in which your supplier acted unethically? What do you know about the company culture that is cultivated?
#06 Prevent unnecessary waste. It starts in your office environment: use less paper and consider alternative paper, distribute memos via email and avoid printing in color. Before you consider a business trip, offer telecommuting and video conferences as an option.
#07 Use regenerative energy. Many utility companies generate their electricity using wind or other alternative energy sources.
#08 Involve the community.
Helping others brings value to the community and brings more growth opportunities for everyone.