At MK, we cheer to all things sustainable: a guide to making your company future-proof
Last week, we wrote about the outcomes of the Dutch Climate Agreement and how to cool some key areas down in the increasingly hot weather. This week, we’ll continue focusing on sustainability and the aim to keep the ice on the North Pole! Namely, why is it important to innovate in the sustainable sector and why should we offer subsidies for such matter? Read on to find out.
What is sustainability?
OK, let’s get one thing straight. Sustainability is a quality of not being harmful to the environment and not depleting natural resources, which supports the long-term ecological balance. Sustainability is the capacity to endure, to last. In the business sense then, building a firm in this sector means making it resilient and making it accomplish environmental, social, economic and cultural needs not just now, but forever. Is your company a sustainable one yet?
Why be sustainable?
If you go green, it won’t take long until you seize the advantages of doing so. There are a couple of reasons why your organization should become (more) sustainable:
- Your brand value and reputation will improve
- It will help attract and engage your staff
- It will cut costs and the amount of waste produced
- Increased environmental, economic, social and cultural value
- Identification of new innovations and market opportunities
- It will make your firm future-proof – resilient when it comes to competition
- Risk reduction and legal compliance
- Improved energy efficiency.
Sounds great, right? Now onto the more complex part:
How do you become a sustainable business?
Shortly, there are many areas in your business that you could make increasingly sustainable and steps that you can take to get there. There are also many approaches you could take to get to the desired outcome. Let’s start with the one called “materiality”.
Step 1: engage with your stakeholders and, together, identify and address important issues within your company
2: Redesign the way you run your company to address the issues that keep you from becoming sustainable.
3: Manage operations and set strategies and goals for the long term, not only for now.
This is a simple process that should make you increasingly sustainable. It’s all about communicating with your stakeholders about ways how you could run your company more efficiently and sustainably. Then, you should take that information and convert it into a realistic long-term plan so that your company could indeed go green!
The theme-based approach
Another way to go green is through the five areas of business sustainability:
Go through the travel habits of your personnel. Do they all tend to drive cars to work? Perhaps that’s stopping your company from becoming increasingly green. Set up a travel plan, where you urge your staff to make use of green trains or scooters, for example.
Go through what’s lying untouched around your office for a long time. Do you notice rotting fruit and too many soft drinks in the fridge? It’s time to prevent this waste from taking place. Open up a compost so that the rotten fruit could still be of some use and recycle your plastic bottles. If you can, reuse that paper. And prevent more waste from happening by adjusting your purchasing habits (see below).
The last person leaving the office should always check if all the lights and heating are switched off. That should be obvious. However, next to that, your company could go green by checking some energy saving programs out. Not only would that save you money – it would also make your company increasingly conscious about our environment.
Sustainability is not always about going green. Let’s not forget that the definition of the word is “the capacity to last” or in this case, “to stay”. Are your employees happy at work? Make sure that they have the choice to work flexible hours and can get training to become better in what they do. Organizing fun team building events could be an idea as well!
Speaking of rotten fruit and unopened soft drinks, always make sure that you’ve got the budgeting right and that you know how many people work every day. This way, you’ll never have to buy unnecessary items ever again. Adjusting your purchasing habits also includes switching to sustainable products. Put simply, always think before you buy!
Taking all things into account, there clearly is a lot of potential and motivation to innovate in the sustainable sector. We, MK Subsidy, support (almost) all things sustainable, because we believe that this sector could save the world from overheating. We believe in sustainable ideas, because they are our hope for a long-lasting future on this planet. And we also believe in this because clearly, we’re not the only ones. The Dutch government has a lot of subsidies supporting going green and sustainable. If you’re innovating a low-carbon emitting way of transport, then we want to get you a subsidy. If you’re active in the reusing and recycling theme, then we want to show the world what you’re worth. And if you’re creating anything that has to do with renewable energy, then you’re also an interesting person to talk to. Because all in all, you, the innovator in the sustainable sector and we, MK Subsidy, exist for the same reason. We can’t stand watching the temperatures rise to 41 degrees in The Netherlands and do nothing. We’ve got to act against global warming. Let’s make this happen!
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