Patagonia sells quality, sustainable outdoor equipment and clothing, including everything from fishing waders to moisture-wicking underwear. Their products are made to last long enough to become hand-me-downs or they’re made out of materials that can be recycled. Even Patagonia’s buildings are designed to make the least environmental impact, and manufacturing processes are constantly refined to reduce harm to the planet. Their offices promote collaboration and innovation, and staff aim to decrease worker stress by including onsite childcare. In addition, 1% of Patagonia sales fund grass roots movements that preserve and restore natural environments. Information on how to get involved is featured on the website.
Patagonia is an example of a business that uses commerce to contribute to saving the planet. This is possible, in part, because Patagonia is still a privately owned company, despite their growth after choosing to design and sell environmentally conscious products.
Consumers are showing their support for Patagonia and other businesses that are truly green. Maybe you’d like to start attracting the environmentally committed client too.
The steps below can help you start on the journey to green up your own enterprise.
Get the Big Picture
The folks at the United Nations have been leading the charge for true sustainability for years. Take a tour of their acclaimed Sustainable Developmental Goals. This will give you the big picture you need, as well as more options for going green.
Streamline Your Process to Reach Goals
Feeling overwhelmed? Do you have ideas but don’t know where to start?
Then go to the Chartered Professional Accountants site and read over their Ten Key Elements to Sustainability Business Practices in SMEs. This will give you down to earth, sequential “to do” items and policies for making your ideas reality.
Learn About B Corporation Certification
Patagonia is a leading B Corporation (B Corp) business. This means Patagonia was evaluated by a third-party organization for its impact on workers, customers, their community, and the environment. When a company earns this certification, it must also have a board of directors willing to balance earning a profit with having the least impact in the four areas.
Do you think you’d like to communicate a prestigious commitment to helping the planet? Read about the process of becoming a B Corp business here.
Ask Questions before Going “Green”
You might think that remote working, internet networking, automation, and marketing online are obvious green strategies. After all, they can be the root of significant energy savings in paper and gas emissions.But take a moment to step back and reconsider your “green” choices. Does the remote worker require duplicates of equipment that is already in the bricks and mortar office? Would the remote worker bear the actual cost of these tools? B Corp offers two online tools you can use to make sure your business is taking meaningful action on the Sustainable Development Goals and B Corp standards.And how much does our emailing, chatting on cloud-based discussion boards, and researching on the web really impact our environment? The energy demands created by those massive data centres that fuel our online activities are reportedly 1% of global energy use. That’s lower than the 20% once predicted for 2030, but it’s still a controversial topic. If you enjoy musing over the technical details, visit Bloomberg’s take on it here.
Keep on Learning
In order to keep up on the news about sustainability in business, check out the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility. For information about the Canadian federal government strategies and regulations, go to their Sustainability web page. They even include info on the circular economy.
Use Social Media To Get Your Message Out
Now that you’ve got background information and plans, consider how you could use your social media to let potential clients know about your green initiatives. Social Media Today’s handy infographic gives some pointers on the nuts and bolts.
Want to learn more about business sustainability?
Keith Keller and myself have a Social Media Socials Event you might want to attend.