As a creative business owner, especially in creative fields, you face a lot of challenges and competition.
As a female entrepreneur, you also have to work harder to succeed, as only 28% of small businesses in 2020 had at least one female founding member. One way to stand out of the crowd is by putting sustainability at the forefront of your operation. Being sustainable isn’t only good for the rest of the world – it’s also good for marketing.
Research shows that a whopping 78% of American consumers are more willing to buy a product if it is eco-friendly. If you want to boost your sales while making a positive impact on the world, sustainability is the way to go. Here are six key ways to make your creative business more sustainable.
1. Keep the Process Green
When you’re first starting out, it’s much easier to stay eco-friendly. This is why many big businesses find it easier to mass produce their products, which is often done in highly polluting factories. As a startup, you have the advantage of having more control over your products and procedures. So, remember to keep your dedication to sustainability in mind when your company starts to expand.
To keep yourself honest, consider adding a dedication to the environment as part of your business plan. You could also make eco-friendliness part of your mission in order to stay committed and display to shoppers that you have relatable priorities.
2. Source Products Sustainably
While it’s vital that your creative process is sustainable, what you use to make your products or provide your services must also follow the same principle. Otherwise, all the good work you’re doing to maintain your company’s eco-friendliness goes out the window.
To make your creative business more sustainable, you need to work with ethical and green suppliers for the greenest possible product. You can ask them questions before partnering or look for any credentials they have to prove they provide ethical and eco-friendly items.
3. Go Paperless
Offices use an excessive amount of paper – 12.1 trillion sheets annually, to be exact. As you know, paper comes from trees, so it’s not exactly a green practice to use a lot of it. You can opt for paperless billing, online paperwork, and less physical mail to avoid adding to the amount of office paper. Doing so can save countless trees and let them keep filtering air instead of becoming paper.
If there isn’t a way to go paperless, try to use as much sustainable paper as possible. You can use sheets made out of recycled paper or bamboo, which grows much faster than trees. Both can help your creative business not perpetuate paper waste.
4. Use Greener Packaging
Recent research shows consumers are very concerned about how the packaging of their orders can affect the environment. Specifically, they worry about companies using too much plastic and over-packing. In 2018, 30.5 million tons of packaging went to landfills, which accounted for just over 20% of their total garbage.
As you’re developing packaging, look at what you’re using. Are the bags, boxes, or filling biodegradable? Could you find different items to ship your products in? Also, ask yourself if you’re using the right package sizes and if there are ways to reduce the filling.
5. Practice What You Preach
It can be pretty easy to incorporate sustainability into your creative business and then do the complete opposite in your home life. But making efforts to be more eco-friendly on your own time can show you why being green is so crucial and allow you to empathize with your customers. It could even give you some new and unique business ideas.
Perhaps you might want to incorporate a few plants into your workspace or find ways to motivate your employees to live more sustainably. Your customers might also respect you more if they see you’re not just using being green to make money and actually believe what you say.
6. Find Environmental Certifications
If you really want to make a creative business more eco-friendly, getting it certified is an excellent way to guarantee you’re following the best practices. Having green certifications also prevents you from greenwashing, or advertising your products as sustainable without having any actual proof.
You can get plenty of environmental certifications as a small business, including B Corp Certification, finding local programs, or getting your building certified green. All these can assure others of your commitment to the Earth by verifying your company’s eco-friendliness.
Developing a Sustainable Creative Business
While creating a green startup can be a way to attract consumers, it’s not an idea you should take lightly. The planet is suffering from excessive waste and greenhouse gasses, so everyone needs to do their part to help. Making your creative business more sustainable is a way you and your customers can contribute to saving the Earth from climate change.