How Startups Can Practice Sustainability From the Beginning

Sustainable from the start.

Saja Elmishri, Contributing Editor at Curated Today and self-made sustainability expert, explains how start ups can begin their businesses on an impactful note through a few simple steps.

A frequent question that I get all the time is how can a small company be sustainable if they don’t have the financial budget to start with. Firstly, there is a large misconception surrounded with sustainability and how it is an expensive affair whereas in reality, it isn’t. More or less, being a sustainable company will actually allow you to save and make more money than ever.

There are very simple and low cost tactics that startups can start with but you’d first need to take a look at what kind of business or company you have. If you own a small fashion brand, then you need to consider sustainability from a manufacturing point of view (who is making the clothes?). Further check the fabrics or materials used, since as mentioned in a previous post, you don’t want to sell something that may irritate your customers. Lastly, look into the impact that your company will have on the environment and find ways of reducing this. 

For instance, is the office that you and your employers work at located in a commutable area? Is it powered by renewable energy? (which of course depends on the country you live in as well). Is it insulated properly? These situations will have a carbon emission impact. If we find ways of reducing carbon footprint, we will have a sustainable planet to live on. 

Look into engaging your team and your employers about sustainability matters and tell them why it is an important aspect of your business to include. Make them feel more confident to come up with plans and ideas that can propel your start-up further. Most importantly, you want to make your team feel part of this transformative change that your company is working towards. As it is only through in unity where you can achieve the list of objectives you so desire, want and look for. 

Photo by Cherie Birkner on Unsplash

‘Going sustainable’ means having a minimalistic mindset in how you operate your start-up towards going as zero waste as possible across your supply chain operations and day to day operations. It is also important as a start-up, that you have the opportunity to start on a fresh page as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey and make sure that you have a positive impact on your surrounding society and community. If you are financially constrained, then check how you can volunteer your time to inspire the next generation of better start-ups. 

Remember that sustainability is a journey. All good things take time so explore the aspects that matter to your business and simply start from there.