Sustainable development has become a pressing issue for businesses worldwide. As a result, the United Nations (UN) introduced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to tackle global problems such as climate change, poverty, and inequality. Among the 17 SDGs, SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production – is about responsible consumption and production. It calls on businesses to adopt sustainable business practices that minimise their environmental impact and promote sustainable development in business.
Implementing this goal in your business can be a crucial part of your sustainability strategy, helping you achieve sustainable business growth while contributing to environmental sustainability.
How to implement Sustainable Development Goal 12 in your business:
Conduct a Sustainability Assessment
Before implementing any sustainability strategies for a business, it is critical to perform a sustainability review to determine your company’s environmental impact. This evaluation can assist you in identifying areas where you can reduce waste, energy consumption, and emissions.
The review should thoroughly examine all facets of your company’s operations, such as supply chain management, transportation, manufacturing, and waste disposal. You can establish sustainability goals and targets for your company once you’ve identified the areas of impact.
These objectives should be quantifiable, attainable, and consistent with SDG 12. Setting sustainability goals allows you to track your success and change your business sustainability strategies.
Shift Eco provides a Planet Friendly Office Review service to various businesses. After the review, we provide you with a further action plan, areas of improvement, and best practices per your organizational needs.
Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
SDG 12 implementation requires you to reduce your environmental impact. Several approaches can be taken to accomplish this goal, including:
- Reduce Energy Consumption: Reducing your energy consumption is one of the most effective methods to reduce your environmental footprint. This can be accomplished by replacing inefficient equipment with energy-efficient options, utilising natural light, and turning off lights and devices when not in use.
- Adopt Sustainable Transportation: Transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse gas pollution. Sustainable transportation methods, such as encouraging carpooling, using hybrid or electric vehicles, and optimising delivery routes, can help you reduce your environmental effect.
- Reduce Waste: Another essential element of sustainable business practices is waste reduction. This can be accomplished by implementing a waste management system that involves recycling, composting, and reducing packaging waste.
- Use Sustainable Materials: Using sustainable materials in your products and packaging can help you reduce your environmental impact considerably. Look for renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable products.
Promote Sustainable Consumption
SDG 12 emphasises the importance of sustainable spending. You can influence consumer behaviour as a company by providing sustainable goods and services, educating customers on sustainable consumption, and promoting circular economy practices. Here are some ideas for encouraging ethical consumption:
- Provide Eco-Friendly Products: Environmentally conscious Products created from recycled, biodegradable, or renewable resources are available. Shift Eco offers eco-friendly office supplies to promote sustainable development in the workplace.
- Encourage Reuse: Encouraging customers to reuse your products by providing refillable choices or incentivising customers to return used products is an excellent way to encourage reuse.
- Inform Customers: Educate your customers on the importance of sustainable consumption and the advantages of purchasing environmentally friendly goods. This can be accomplished through marketing efforts, social media, and product labelling.
Encourage the Use of Circular Economy Practices: Encourage the use of circular economy practices by creating readily disassembled, reused, or recycled products.
Engaging employees is crucial in implementing sustainability strategies for businesses. Encourage your employees to get involved in your sustainability efforts by providing a sustainable training program and workshop education on sustainable business practices. You can also create a sustainability committee or team to help develop and implement sustainability initiatives. Shift Eco offers sustainability training for employees. This training program focuses on various topics, from fundamental sustainability concepts to circular economy.
Collaborate with Suppliers and Partners
Collaboration with suppliers and collaborators is critical for your company to achieve SDG 12. Your suppliers and partners significantly affect your environmental impact, so working together to reduce your collective footprint is essential. Here are some ideas for working with vendors and partners:
- Select Sustainable Suppliers: Select suppliers who prioritise sustainable business practices and collaborate with them to reduce the environmental effects.
- Choose sustainable Gifts: Gift giving is a common practice in the corporate world, from showing appreciation to celebrating success. By choosing sustainable corporate gift ideas, we can impact our consumption. Work with suppliers or partners working towards sustainability and providing green supplies.
- Promote Sustainable Packaging: Encourage vendors and partners to use environmentally friendly packaging materials and practices.
- Incorporate Sustainability Requirements into Contracts: Include sustainability requirements with vendors and partners to ensure they meet your objectives.
Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 12 in your business can help you achieve sustainable business growth while contributing to environmental sustainability. By conducting a business sustainability review, setting sustainability goals, implementing sustainable business practices, engaging employees, and monitoring and reporting on progress, you can develop a sustainability strategy tailored to your business and help you to achieve your sustainability goals.