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Innovation and the Path to Sustainability

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As customers become more knowledgeable, companies become more accountable. It’s an old rule of business, but it’s just as true today as it ever has been. In fact, this idea is more applicable now than ever, since internet technologies provide access to volumes of real time information on any subject, and issues of global concern are generating an impact on individual and community levels.

Environmental sustainability is among the most urgent of these concerns, and savvy consumers everywhere have started holding companies, providers, and their vendors and suppliers accountable for levels of waste and efforts to reduce these levels. Are you taking a proactive stance to increase the sustainability of your business? Are you doing more than just keeping a recycling bin next to the copy machine? Consider applying the best and most innovative minds in your company to sustainability challenges on the following levels:

Commercial. Find new, more sustainable applications for the products and services you already provide. And while you’re taking a hard look at your business model, find ways to partner with other companies and community groups on sustainability initiatives. For example, offer research grants to groups and individuals who are searching for more sustainable solutions to the challenges of your industry. Support environmental causes, and meet with environmental action groups to discuss ways to improve your practices.

Operational. Find more efficient and less wasteful ways to produce your products and keep your company in business. Cutting material and energy usage cuts costs in addition to protecting the environment, and there are plenty of available methods that can help you reduce waste and increase value at the same time. You just have to identify them.

New products. Instead of just reviewing the costs and materials that go into your current production practices and product lines, review the lines themselves. Are there sustainable ways to enter into new sectors, approach new demographics, or take over market share in existing areas of the product landscape? Don’t just cut waste; consider adding new products and services that can help you take advantage of growing consumer interest in sustainably sourced and sustainably produced items.

For more information on how to increase your company’s commitment to sustainability, reach out to the Little Rock staffing and business management pros at CSS.

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