Sustainability and “going green” have been on the rise as of late — and for good reason. As more customers become aware of the environmental impact of consumerism, particularly during the pandemic, their expectations of how brands deliver products and services also change. As PR Newswire reports, 55% of consumers are willing to spend more for environmentally friendly products while nearly 40% would go as far as to boycott a company for a lack of eco-consciousness. This is a prime opportunity for startups to bring sustainable innovation to the market and make it big. What’s more, startups hold the power to lead conversations and direct growth into renewable energy, biodiversity, and carbon reduction. Here are three small changes startups can do to operate more sustainably:
Focus on local resources
Globalization opens up plenty of opportunities, even for the smallest ventures. However, it also strained resources on a massive scale. Shipping worldwide is environmentally harmful, costly, and time-consuming, especially as COVID-19 disrupts supply chains. Fortunately, it has also brought greater awareness to local options and solutions. Startups that need raw food, for example, can source produce from local farmers to help other communities’ livelihood.
While it may not be that simple to find resources from metropolitan areas, business owners of startups are learning to focus on valuable solutions nearby before looking outward. This all depends on the startup’s market, but for most turning to local suppliers is a more cost-effective, accessible, and sustainable alternative.
Sustainability can also come in the form of transforming your physical working space. With sustainable architecture rising even before the pandemic began, these workspaces integrate efficiency with functionality and ergonomics to ensure that companies create as little an environmental footprint as possible. Sustainable offices often include solar power as an alternative green solution for energy. But as the microinverters on Hoymiles show, solar panels are just one part of the equation. You’ll need quality microinverters that convert solar energy into safe, usable electricity. Choosing the right system will produce energy with low failure rates and high efficiency to ensure your office gets the most of the solar power generated.
Another solution offices have come up with is to remove the physical workspace from the equation altogether. This cuts resource consumption by a significant amount, and it often offers more flexibility for employees working remotely.
Consumers don’t just want to purchase from sustainable startups. Today’s customers want to be as involved as possible in the sustainability efforts of their favorite brands. For instance, companies involved with horticulture or food sustainability can teach their customers how to increase nutrients in their soil, which we discuss in our Bokashi composting blog post.
Companies can always partner with their customers for sustainability efforts. This is where startups can get creative with their marketing and branding, too. Consider giving customers points they can use for purchase for recycling your packaging. Facilitate a policy for parts that cannot be recycled. And with restrictions slowly being lifted, you can even invite customers and employees to volunteer together at eco-awareness events. You can expect great returns when you leverage your brand to improve the customer experience while making a sustainable difference.
As the world returns from the pandemic, everything will certainly be different. Startups who are just beginning to catch their momentum can use this opportunity to meet customers where they are and create genuinely sustainable solutions. Whether it’s changing the physical workspace or going local, the time for operating sustainably is now.
exclusively written for startupiceland.com By Juniper Blooms