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If you want your business to survive well beyond the present, you’ll need to build it into a sustainable enterprise. And your first step on this path will be to create a sustainable business model for it.

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A good sustainable business model doesn’t just guarantee that your business will last. It also ensures that the business operates without depleting the environmental, social, and economic resources that society’s stakeholders will need in the future.

A Couple Of Examples

If you run a flour production company, you’ll want to source your wheat or cassava from farmers that grow their crops using pesticides that aren’t harmful to the environment. Or if you make paper, you could make sure that the wood you use does not come from heavily depleted forests.

Both these examples illustrate businesses that are proactive about operating a sustainable business model. When organizations take these sorts of steps, they preserve the source of the resources they use and ensure that they are available in the future.

Here are some steps you can take to build a sustainable business model for your enterprise.

Define Your Values

If you’re going to create a sustainable business model, you’ll need to have sustainability at the heart of your values. Weave it into your approach to business, from daily operations to revenue generation and customer service.

Your mission and vision statements should be in sync with this aim. At the very least, they should not conflict with your drive to build a more sustainable enterprise.

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Implement Your Values Through Your Products

Align your business’s entire production process with your goal of becoming more sustainable. Utilize the least amount of energy and non-recyclable resources required for you to make your products. Deliver your services with the same aim.

These steps can also enable you to cut costs. However, you may have to come up with ways to measure and track your energy and resource consumption. Doing this will enable you to achieve your sustainability targets.

Plan For The Future

You expect your business to grow over time. If it does, it’ll hire more employees, expand its processes, and work from a larger geographical location. And you’ll need a lot more resources to launch and maintain these things.

If you intend for your business to remain sustainable into the future, you’ll have to plan for it ahead of time. Decide on the measures you’ll take to keep energy and resource use at a manageable level. You could even define a growth path for your business that’ll consume the least amount of non-replaceable inputs.

Also, think about utilizing as few energy-dependent equipments, machinery and vehicles as your business can manage at every stage of its growth.

Use Sustainable Resources

Try to ascertain that the materials you use at your business actually come from sustainable sources. Also, make sure that they are environmentally friendly. We have already given a couple of examples: a flour production plant and a paper manufacturing company. Both of them ensured that their inputs came from sustainable sources.

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Implement Measures Aimed At Sustainability

You can change certain things about your physical work environment and bring them in line with your sustainability goals. For instance, you can replace your old bulbs with energy-efficient ones, and introduce greenery to your environment. You could also switch from paper documentation to digital cloud storage.

These moves may not seem significant on a broader scale. But they can make a positive impact as a growing global movement toward a more eco-friendly existence.

Get More People On Board

You will need the support of your team, colleagues, and customers to build a more sustainable business. You can let them know how their actions could contribute to the well-being of your enterprise and (by extension) their communities. This will make them more eager to join you in your pursuit of greater sustainability.

Final Words

It’s in your best interest that you become focused on making your business more sustainable. The benefits you’ll reap from doing so are potentially immense. Follow the steps we’ve discussed here, and you’ll be on your way to fashioning a sustainable business model for your enterprise.

Featured Image Source: Forbes
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This article was first published on 17th May 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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