How To Make Your Startup Sustainable From Day One

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Social business is nothing new, but what about sustainable business? Here are some tips about why and how you should include sustainability in your core mission.

Let’s go green!

More and more new enterprises include being green in their core missions. Others have ‘green’ products as their main output. As Bibop Gresta put it when talking about the Hyperloop, a project which uses 100% renewable energy, ‘Why create something new if it creates one hundred more problems?’. More and more businesses (like soulbottles) choose to only produce their products locally. They use recycled materials wherever possible and reduce as much energy as economically viable. While that looks good during a pitch and on the website, it also ensures that products are sourced sustainably and contribute to saving the planet. Other startups even give some of their profits to development projects (see lemonaid) and are fully geared towards their causes rather than making a profit.

#1 Look At Your Business Plan

Does your business plan incorporate charity at any point? Do you have the means to donate some of your profits to charity? If yes, let’s do it. If not, are there any changes to your business plan to make it more sustainable, save some water/electricity/resources? Incorporating sustainability into your business plan can be an integral part of your company and may even improve your output. Putting sustainability at the centre of your startup gives your output a purpose and you’re telling a story and creating value for your customers.

#2 Spend Money To Save Money

In many cases, ‘going green’ is not just a feel-good strategy to please customers, but it can save real money. Customers are becoming more aware of the environment, and tend to buy products they trust are good for them and their surroundings. One of many great examples is Unilever’s washing powder, which ended up making a lot of money for the company. Even if ‘going green’ may seem expensive at first, in most cases it will pay off in the long run. Customers have become smarter about their buying decisions and will appreciate the extra mile you went with your product.

#3 Connect With Others

Making your startup focus more on sustainability is a hard job, but doable. And you’re not alone. There are many organisations around Europe focused on connecting you with others who are going through the same process. One example is Impact Hub, found all over Europe, focus on creating business with a social and sustainable impact on the planet and society.

The fact is that saving the planet has become sexy. Making your startup and products sustainable is a challenge, but it will make you rethink and refocus. Gearing more businesses towards this cause can not only make a difference, but even earn you more money, make your business more efficient and save some goddamn trees.

 

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