Here are a few tips on how to make a real difference to sustainability with your startup. Steve Jobs, who was the co-founder of Apple once said that “The people that are crazy enough to change the world are often the ones that do.” You will often find these out of the box thinkers tucked away in entrepreneurial communities like Silicon Valley in the United States or Silicon Roundabout in London.
Billionaire entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have launched major initiatives for improved sustainability. It seems like only those entrepreneurs with millions of dollars at their disposal are the ones who can do something. The fact is, startups of any size can implement sustainable activities that will improve the overall well-being for the Earth and its citizens in the future. The United Nations has challenged every country and its residents to work towards a sustainable future. Here are some impactful ways that small startups can rise to the sustainability challenge, without having to commit to a hefty financial investment.
Your startup can prioritise gender equality right from the beginning. Women and transgender people are typically underrepresented and even discriminated against in terms of pay and the positions that they hold within an organisation. Germany passed a law instituting boardroom quotas, requiring 30% of women in supervisory seats. Other European countries have also adopted a similar legislation.
Your startup can commit to maintaining equal gender quotas and providing opportunities for people of any gender to get a fair remuneration, as well as opportunities for promotion.
Waste is a big problem for any organisation, be it big or small. The processes and habits that are implemented will have a long-term impact on the environment. The problem tends to arise from people acquiring more than they need and also not distributing waste via recycling channels that will minimize the impact on the environment. Your startup can implement effective solutions in the following ways:
- Partnering with suppliers that can also assist with the disposal or waste distribution process. For example, printer cartridges can be purchased from a supplier that can also distribute used ink cartridges to ethical recyclers.
- Improve the organisations culture by encouraging staff to adopt minimalistic habits. Rather than the purchasing disposables, they should purchase recyclable items. Employees should also be educated on the recycling process and should adopt recycling categorisation habits.
Invest in affordable and clean energy solutions
Thankfully, accessibility to these solutions is getting easier every year. One of the simplest solutions that any organisation can implement is switching their incandescent lights to energy-efficient LED lights. Many of the world’s governments are supporting the rollout of LED lights since they help minimise energy consumption. Startups can also invest in energy-efficient electrical equipment such as printers, computers and televisions.
Alternatively, your organisation should consider investing in clean energy solutions such as sustainable buildings that are powered by renewable energy sources and that are also designed in a way to maximise the natural light and heat within the building. This will lower your startups dependence on energy consumption from the grid.
Invest in quality education
This should be done both internally and externally with your startup. Empower your workers with knowledge, so that they can thrive in your organisation. Additionally, seek to educate those individuals outside your organisation, which can be done by partnering with schools, educational institutions or charities.
Significant environmental impacts can be accomplished by organisations both great and small. It’s important that startups implement a sustainability strategy in the early stages so it can evolve as the organisation grows. It is a challenge, but it is achievable.