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5 Ways to Make Your Business More Sustainable Going forward, environmentally conscious practices will be entrepreneurship's hottest innovation.

By Simonetta Lein

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that climate change is the biggest challenge we as individuals and as a species have ever had to face. The earth is in grave danger, and we all need to dig deep, step up to the plate and do all we can to turn a corner for a better future. Thankfully, more and more businesses are realizing that the only innovation that truly matters in the modern marketplace is sustainability.

But sustainable business practices aren't just right for the planet; they can also work miracles for the reputation of your brand and your bottom line. Here's how you can join the sustainability revolution and innovate to create a brighter dawn.

Related: What You Can Learn From the Rise of Sustainability-Focused Entrepreneurship

Believe In Your Brand

It may sound obvious, but if you don't believe in your brand and its commitment to sustainability, how can you expect the public to get on board? It's easy to say your business is sustainable, but the proof is in the pudding, and you've got to walk it as you talk it.

Prepare a detailed plan on how to make your business more sustainable, and stick to it. But never rest on your laurels; always strive for new ways to think outside of the box and take your sustainable practices to the next level. Once your audience sees how dedicated you are to sustainability, they'll respond in kind by showing a fierce loyalty to your brand, because it's one they identify with and that's in tandem with their beliefs. Remember, going green is not a flash-in-the-pan fad -- it's a lifelong commitment.

Reuse and Recycle

Recycling is a must for any business, but how creative are you when it comes to reusing and preventing items from being consigned to the landfill? It's all very well to recycle paper and ink cartridges, but what about furnishing your office with vintage or second-hand furniture? Does your staff use reusable water bottles? Have you put a ban on disposable plastic cutlery and replaced fluorescent tubes with LED lighting?

Even the packaging you produce and the process by which you hire employees needs to be on point. Ask yourself how your brand is promoting sustainability and what recyclable materials you're using in your manufacturing process. It's all food for thought, and with a little planning, you can ensure your operation produces near zero waste.

Remote Working Is Key

When employees commute to work every day, all that travel leaves a substantial environmental footprint. You can help reduce carbon output generated by that daily commute by offering your employees the option to work at home. We now have the technology to make this a reality, so why not use it? More businesses are freeing workers from the shackles of the desk as brick-and-mortar offices, and all the unnecessary energy they consume, become a thing of the past.

Get Yourself Certified B Corp

Having a sustainability consultant on board to assess the good work you're doing is priceless. By becoming a B Corp business, you are signing up for a global and nonprofit organization that will evaluate your social and environmental performance every two years.

B Corp's knowledge and feedback in terms of helping you balance the profit margin of your business, alongside your approach to sustainability, is priceless. They will also provide you with plenty of advice and easy access to a network of other companies who are all looking to make the world a better place.

Related: How to Make Sustainability More Than a Buzzword

Set Deadlines and Targets

We all love this unique rock we call mother earth, so respect her like you would any mom and do what's right by her. A business that is not sustainable is bad news for the planet. Sustainability should become such an integral part of your business that the two become inseparable. To that end, you need to keep evolving as a sustainable brand and set targets to achieve, aloing with deadlines by when they should happen. Once this is completed, look again at how you operate and think how your business could be even more sustainable. There is always room for improvement. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the change you wish to see."

Simonetta Lein

Millennial Entrepreneur, Fashion Influencer, Activist

Simonetta Lein is an author, millennial entrepreneur, influencer and activist founder of the Wishwall Foundation www.thewishwallfoundation.org

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