• Top 6 Business Sustainability Mistakes

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    May 24, 2023

    Even if you have the best intentions, it’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to sustainable business practices. It’s impossible to entirely eliminate your carbon footprint, and replacing wasteful practices with eco-friendly ones is tough. According to research, though, 80% of top companies generate sustainability reports, indicating that sustainability is an increasingly important concern. Learn how you can integrate sustainable business practices and avoid the most common mistakes with these tips from the Biddeford+Saco Chamber of Commerce+Industry.


    1. Wasting Paper Resources


    Most businesses use paper every day to generate reports, post notices, and print invoices. Some of these uses are a necessity, but if you’re still using paper invoices, you’re wasting a precious resource. You can minimize this waste by using an online invoice template instead and customizing it to suit your business’s aesthetic. Add your logo and use the colors and text that match your branding.


    You can also reduce paper waste by making the use of digital records standard practice. Scanning files onto your computer as PDFs is a time investment that’s well worth it, since it will be faster and easier to search and send documents. If you want to combine PDF files to keep everything as condensed as possible, look for a tool that lets you drag and drop the files you want to combine. From there, you can use another tool to delete PDF pages so you only have exactly the pages you need in each PDF.


    2. Making Vague Promises


    A quick survey of big brands’ websites will reveal that most feature some kind of sustainability commitment. This commitment may be accompanied by flowery, reassuring language about the importance of the environment — but in many cases, it lacks any specific details. Your business must avoid this and be explicit about the sustainable business practices that you will implement. This will help attract customers, and it will also ensure accountability.


    3. Sourcing Unsustainably


    You may be inadvertently compromising your sustainability by obtaining supplies from unsustainable sources. A restaurant that prides itself on an eco-friendly menu, for example, shouldn’t source food that’s shipped long distance or produced on a factory farm. Your business is only as sustainable as its sources, so you need to carefully consider where you’re getting the materials that you use every day.


    4. Cutting Corners and Costs


    Your desire to maintain sustainable business practices is not mutually exclusive with your ability to make a profit. On the contrary, investing in sustainability may actually be beneficial to your profit margin. For this reason, it’s rarely worthwhile to cut costs if it means cutting corners. Eco-friendly products and processes may have a higher initial cost, but this is money well spent if you’re committed to sustainability in your business.


    5. Waiting to Start a Business


    You want to be confident in your potential success when it comes time to launch your business. If you’re spending more time planning than doing, though, you might just need to dive in. Starting an LLC will jumpstart your business, help you save on taxes, and minimize your personal liability. You should review your state’s laws to ensure you aren’t violating any rules. You can also consult a formation service that’s already familiar with regulations in your area.


    6. Using Unsustainable Marketing


    The marketing methods that you choose are important to your business’s overall sustainability. If you print out hundreds of flyers to hand out, for example, you’ve become a major contributor to paper waste. Use eco-friendly marketing strategies to advertise the benefits that your brand offers through its sustainable business practices.


    Avoid Common Sustainability Missteps


    Establishing principles of sustainability in your business can help you develop a loyal customer base. More importantly, though, it will reduce the harm you cause the environment. Minimize paper waste by digitizing your records, and maintain accountability by implementing clear commitments. This will help you avoid the mistakes that are most likely to compromise your sustainability initiatives.


    Become a member of the Biddeford+Saco Chamber of Commerce+Industry to take advantage of the resources we offer that will help your business succeed!