This blog post originally appeared on CFIB’s My StartUp blog.
Sustainability isn’t a priority right now. We need a full sustainability strategy before we can start. I need to calculate what the ROI would be first. All of these are common objections to taking the first steps on any organization’s sustainability journey. In fact, credible sustainable action can be accomplished by organizations of any size and it doesn’t have to be costly or time-intensive. Additionally, there are a variety of programs available that are both cost-effective and have the potential to provide savings or even increased revenue. Further, when organizations become increasingly green-minded and communicate their initiatives, they often tap into a growing base of ethical consumers in Canada, increasing their bottom line.
At Bullfrog Power, we’ve been working with companies as large as RBC and as small as the start-up webstore run out of your home office. What connects all of them is a commitment to sustainability that is part of a much broader trend. Businesses increasingly understand that having a social purpose and contributing to the communities they work in are essential to building an authentic brand story and making real connections with customers.
Here are 10 ways that your business can build a more credible sustainability story.
Start small. The earlier you begin, the better. Choosing sustainable options, from green energy for a small home office to working with reputable, environmentally-conscious suppliers is much easier to accomplish and more cost effective for small businesses than large ones.
Register as a B Corporation. Join the ranks of the growing B Corporation movement that encourages companies to go through a rigorous questionnaire to assess the overall impact of your company on its stakeholders, the environment, workers and your community. Simply filling out the assessment will give you ideas on ways to green your business. You might be surprised by the results, and how sustainable your organization already is!
Conduct an energy audit. For those businesses that have a permanent home, consider an energy audit of your space. Knowing how much energy you use and where (i.e. which appliances/systems are the energy hogs) can help identify key ways to save money by saving energy.
Start the day right. That morning coffee isn’t always green. There are a lot of environmentally-friendly coffee alternatives to the waste created by many coffee pods. In our office, we use compostable coffee pods from Reunion Island and a coffee machine serviced by Office Coffee Solutions.
Waste opportunities. Think about where the waste in your office goes. Does your building have a recycling plan? What about biodegradables? If not, find creative solutions. In our office we work with Waste Not Farms to handle our organic waste through their pick-up service.
Listen to your employees. Learn about the causes that matter to your employees. Where do they already volunteer? Align your business with their interests and your brand story will become more authentic and community-directed.
Find issues relevant to your business. Understand your business, its impacts and its unique role in your community. As a green energy provider, Bullfrog Power works with community groups across Canada—such as schools, community centres and First Nations groups—to help their green energy projects become a reality. Today, community renewable projects are a core part of Bullfrog’s business and tangible examples of our work to advance renewable energy in Canada.
Spread the word. Build your social presence by helping to get the word out about causes important to your organization. Retweets don’t cost a thing!
Choose green energy. Climate change is now a mainstream concern and even the smallest businesses can take action to reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of green energy in Canada. Bullfrog Power offers products tailored to small businesses looking to make green energy part of their sustainability story.
Start today. A culture of sustainability is more easily developed in smaller organizations, but only if you take the first step.
As Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Anthony Santilli is responsible for growing Bullfrog’s commercial business and leading the strategic sales marketing team. Anthony brings deep expertise in sustainability, branding, and management consulting to his role, allowing him to help Bullfrog’s commercial customers integrate their sustainability goals into their overall business strategy. He also advises clients on best practices in communicating sustainability initiatives to internal and external stakeholders including employees, supply chain partners, and customers.
About Bullfrog Power:
Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, offers renewable energy solutions that enable individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact, support the development of green energy projects in Canada and help create a cleaner, healthier world. As a Certified B Corporation, Bullfrog Power meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Thousands of individuals and businesses in Canada are doing their part to address climate change and air pollution by choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power. Learn how Bullfrog Power works with small business.