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Five ways companies can improve their sustainability initiatives

Sustainability is a crucial thing to focus on if you want to improve your company’s brand, reputation and overall climate change resilience. But creating the right sustainability initiatives and implementing them within your business can be challenging as one size does not fit all. You need to implement sustainability strategies that fit with your company’s offering, as well as the environment and country you operate in. The best way to start your sustainability journey is to get advice from experts and start implementing sustainable habits into your daily operations.

That said, here are five proven ways to help get you off on the right track:

Appoint a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) or Consultant

The CSO will create a sustainability strategy and integrate it into your business strategy. A CSO will be able to implement ways to reduce your emissions, such as conserving energy or reduce waste within your organisation. By implementing such sustainability initiatives, they may end up saving money, increase sales, and improve your brand image. Check out this guide to find out how you can appoint one.

Bring green talk into the boardroom

Chapmann Tripp quotes two leading Australian barristers: “It is likely to be only a matter of time before we see litigation against a director who has failed to perceive, disclose or take steps in relation to a foreseeable climate-related risks that can be demonstrated to have caused harm to a company (including, perhaps, reputational harm)”. Bringing sustainability into the boardroom can help nip these risks in the bud and give you a valuable headstart on the changes ahead.

Hold yourself accountable for any company actions that can damage the environment

Every company has environmental impacts. The best thing to do is learn from previous poor conduct and replace it with a responsible and sustainable system that works. Start by identifying and measuring the environmental impacts of your business processes and those of your suppliers too. There are obvious challenges along the way but rest assured, your competitors are working on it. Also, keep your impact transparent to stakeholders through clear and thorough reporting. For more on environmental reporting, check out the Ministry of the Environment’s latest guidelines.

Connect with other sustainable companies

Consider connecting with other sustainable businesses or interest groups — they will have lots of available insight on sustainability. Sharing ideas and collaborating with fellow business owners will help you achieve your business’ sustainability goals and increase your impact. If you’re a New Zealand based company, check out the Sustainable Business Network or the Climate Leader’s Coalition to get involved.

Consider carbon offsets or certifications

If you are truly passionate about sustainability, consider getting a carbon-neutral certification. Many consultancies can help you achieve such a designation — however, be wary as price tags can be high! Luckily, other alternatives exist that can help you become a climate-friendly business. Once you’ve done an environmental audit and have made carbon reduction plans, then becoming carbon neutral is just one step away. Either offset your emissions in bulk or implement a voluntary offsetting system so that your customers can offset their emissions. By reducing and offsetting your carbon emissions, you’ll connect with a growing segment of conscious customers.

If you are a business looking at voluntary carbon offsetting, it’s never been easier. For a monthly subscription, CarbonClick can provide a green ‘offset’ button anywhere your business has a payment channel.

Every time your customers make a payment and see the green button, they’ll be reminded that you take the environment seriously.

Five Ways Companies can improve their sustainability initiatives was originally published in CarbonClick on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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