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Incorporating Sustainability Principles As Entrepreneurs: The How-To Here's how to create a sustainable future for your business.

By Hendrik van der Ham

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Entrepreneurship and sustainability are two of the most important things for our world. The two concepts have much in common, but they also have some important differences.

Entrepreneurship is about creating something new and innovative, but it's also about making an impact on everyday life. Sustainability is about adapting to the needs of the present, so that we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and others.

A lot of change has happened in the past few years, but one thing hasn't changed: people still want to spend money on things that make their lives better. In fact, they want even more of those things! The world is constantly evolving, and no matter what kind of business you run, or what kind of person you are, there will always be something new to learn about entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Entrepreneurship is a way of life. It's not just about starting a company and making money- it's about being able to adapt and grow, changing with the market and enjoying the ride.

It's about surrounding yourself with people who have your back, who are willing to help you reach your goals, and who make sure you're not just working for yourself, but for something larger than yourself.

And it's about being able to take risks: to try new things, take calculated risks, and sometimes just go for it- even if it means failing. It's about learning from those mistakes, and trying again until you succeed.

It's no secret that entrepreneurship is a difficult path to walk. But there are a few things you can do to make it easier- and even more importantly, help the world around us. Here are a few tips on how you can incorporate sustainability in your day-to-day life as an entrepreneur:

1. Start small. Don't try to do everything at once, and don't try to do everything in your industry. Find and incorporate sustainable materials into products and services. Take incremental steps to reduce energy usage wherever possible by opting for energy efficient lighting, machinery, appliances, and infrastructure that not only lower costs, but also reduce harmful pollutants from entering the environment. Consider renewable sources of energy such as solar or hydro.

2. Make sure you're doing something good for the world, not just yourself. If you're providing a service or product that improves someone else's life, then it'll probably be sustainable- even if it's not profitable yet. Encourage a culture of happiness as well as a solutions-oriented attitude, and reward those who embody these values. Create long-term partnerships that thrive on shared sustainability goals, and in the necessary efficiencies and profits.

3. Dream higher, bigger, but stay grounded, stay responsible- don't waste resources. Don't give up on your dreams just because they're hard to achieve- you have to believe in them before anyone else will believe in them with you. While you do that, remember to minimize wastage by using the principles of "rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair" in all aspects of business- right from utilities and raw materials, to the final product. Implementing systems that conserve, better logistics planning, and preventative maintenance are some of the means to reduce waste and costs, while providing environmental benefits.

4. Create impact, and spread the word. You should view sustainable practices as an opportunity to reduce environmental impact, increase efficiency, and save money. You have the power and responsibility to embrace sustainability in the business decisions you make, and how you choose to produce, market, and maintain their services. Use the power of social media marketing as well as the press to spread the message of sustainability within and outside their companies. Use the collective power of the crowd in creating truly sustainable solutions.

5. Do what you want to be done in the world. If you want change to happen, you have to make it happen. Include industry-specific and cross-industry best practices in your business operations. Through strategic and mindful decision-making on energy, materials, and marketing, you can be the change that drives a sustainable future. Additionally, disposal of waste properly, and promoting reusable packaging solutions should be of priority. You can also create a sustainable future by exploring green finance options, such as tax breaks and loan programs, to better manage your operations.

Related: The Time Is Now: More Business Leaders In The Middle East Need To See ESG As A Catalyst For Growth

Hendrik van der Ham is the founder and Head of Operations of Bridges2000. Since 1999, the Netherlands-headquartered Bridges2000 has been the designated party for buying, renting, or leasing bridges, gangways, fenders, pontoons, and specials.

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