22 Practices for the Next Generation of Business Leaders

Written by: One Good Card


Today's younger generation of entrepreneurs and business professionals are increasingly focused on sustainability and environmental responsibility. If you're looking to build your network and make a difference, here are 22 sustainable practices you can implement in your business:

Energy and Resource Efficiency

1. Reduce Energy Consumption

One of the easiest ways to make your business more sustainable is to reduce your energy consumption. Simple practices like turning off lights and electronics when not in use, using energy-efficient appliances, and optimizing heating and cooling systems can make a big difference.

2. Reduce Water Usage 

Implementing water-saving practices such as fixing leaks and installing water-efficient fixtures can help reduce your water consumption. Encouraging employees to be mindful of their water usage can also make a difference.

3. Invest in Green Technology 

Invest in green technology such as energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and smart energy management systems. These technologies can help reduce your environmental impact and save on energy costs.

Waste Reduction and Management

4. Implement Recycling Programs

Recycle paper

Recycling is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce waste in your business. Setting up recycling bins in your workplace and educating your employees about the importance of recycling can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact.

5. Reduce Waste 

In addition to recycling, there are many other ways to reduce waste in your business. For example, using reusable dishes and utensils in the office kitchen, avoiding single-use plastics, and opting for electronic documentation whenever possible can all help minimize your waste output.

6. Adopt Sustainable Packaging 

Choose packaging materials that are recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable. Minimize packaging where possible and use packaging that can be returned or reused to reduce waste.

7. Conduct Regular Sustainability Audits 

Regularly assess your business's sustainability performance through audits. Identify areas for improvement and set new sustainability goals to continuously improve your environmental impact. Regular audits can help you track your progress and make informed decisions about your sustainability practices.

Sustainable Operations

8. Promote Telecommuting and Remote Work

Remote work has become more popular than ever, and for good reason. Not only does it reduce the need for commuting, but it also allows employees to enjoy a better work-life balance. We've found that offering remote work options not only makes our team happier but also reduces our carbon footprint.

9. Switch to One Good Card 

Something simple yet impactful – digital business cards. Not only does it save you money on printing costs, but it also reduces your paper waste significantly. Plus, digital cards are so much easier to share and update!

10. Reduce Paper Usage 

Use electronic documentation and communication to minimize paper waste. Encourage employees to use digital tools for note-taking and documentation to reduce the need for paper.

11. Implement Green Procurement Practices 

Purchase products and services from suppliers that prioritize sustainability. Look for suppliers that offer environmentally friendly products and services and prioritize companies with strong sustainability practices.

Transportation and Mobility

12. Encourage Sustainable Transportation 

Encouraging your employees to use sustainable transportation options such as public transit, biking, or carpooling can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Consider offering incentives like bike racks or showers for employees who choose to bike to work.

13. Participate in Carbon Offsetting Programs 

Offset your business's carbon emissions by investing in carbon offset projects such as reforestation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency projects. This can help mitigate the impact of your business's carbon footprint on the environment.

Employee Engagement and Education

14. Educate and Engage Employees 

Educating your employees about sustainability and engaging them in sustainability initiatives can create a culture of sustainability within your organization. Encourage employees to share their ideas and be proactive in finding ways to make your business more sustainable.

15. Support Local Community Initiatives 

Supporting local suppliers and businesses not only reduces the environmental impact of transportation but also strengthens the local economy.

Community and External Impact

16. Source Locally 

Get involved in local environmental projects and support community sustainability efforts. This can include sponsoring community clean-up events or partnering with local organizations to promote environmental education.

17. Support Sustainable Initiatives 

Support sustainable initiatives in your community and industry. Partner with organizations that promote sustainability and participate in events and programs that raise awareness about environmental issues.

Product and Service Design

18. Use Sustainable Materials 

When purchasing office supplies, furniture, and other materials, opt for products made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials. Look for certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification to ensure that the products you're buying are responsibly sourced.

19. Embrace Circular Economy Practices 

Design products for longevity, repairability, and recyclability to reduce waste and promote a circular economy. Consider offering take-back programs for products at the end of their lifecycle to further reduce waste.

Events and Networking

20. Host Virtual Networking Events 

Virtual Networking Event

Instead of hosting in-person networking events that require travel and produce waste, consider hosting virtual events. Virtual events can be just as effective for networking and can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

21. Sustainable Swag 

If you're considering giving out promotional items at networking events, opt for sustainable swag. Choose items that are made from eco-friendly materials or items that promote sustainability, have a longer life span and avoid single-use products. 

Corporate Gifting

22. Corporate Gifting with Sustainability in Mind 

Gifting One Good Card
Image from One Good Card

When it comes to rewarding your employees or clients with gifts, choose sustainable and practical items that align with your commitment to eco-friendly practices. Opt for gifts made from recycled materials, such as notebooks or tote bags, or choose items that promote sustainability, such as reusable water bottles or NFC name cards. 

Integrating sustainable practices into your business isn't just about being environmentally responsible – it's also about future-proofing your business and building a brand that resonates with environmentally conscious consumers. By implementing these 22 practices, you can not only reduce your environmental impact but also create a more resilient and successful business for years to come. So, what are you waiting for? Start making sustainable changes today and be a part of building a better, greener future for all.