By incorporating sustainability practices into your social enterprise in 2024 can make a significant positive impact on the environment and your business

Sustainability For Social Enterprises

Sustainability For Social Enterprises: 10 Easy Ways to Green Your Business

In today’s world, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a necessity. As a social enterprise, adopting sustainable practices isn’t just good for the planet; it’s also good for your bottom line and reputation. But you might be wondering where to start. Fear not! In this blog post, we’re going to share 10 easy and creative sustainability hacks that will help your business go green without breaking the bank. Let’s get started.

  • Conduct a Sustainability Audit Before you can make meaningful changes, you need to understand your current environmental impact. Start by conducting a sustainability audit. This involves assessing your energy consumption, waste production, and carbon footprint (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2020). Use this data as a baseline to track your progress as you progress in your sustainability journey.
  • Go Paperless Reduce your reliance on paper by digitizing your operations. Use cloud-based software for document storage, e-signatures, and virtual meetings. Not only will this save trees, but it will also streamline your processes making them more efficient and help you save money on paper and ink. The average office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper each year and going paperless can significantly reduce this number.
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades Invest in energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, and programmable thermostats. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), businesses that upgrade to energy-efficient equipment can reduce their energy bills by up to 30% (EPA, 2021). Create a step-by-step guide for employees on how to use these energy-efficient systems effectively.
  • Green Transportation Encourage employees to carpool, bike, or use public transportation to get to work. Provide incentives such as flexible work hours or a designated bike storage area. Consider adding electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to your workplace to support electric car users. Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a reduced carbon footprint.
  • Sustainable Office Supplies Opt for eco-friendly office supplies like recycled paper, non-toxic ink, and reusable stationery. You can also provide reusable water bottles and coffee mugs to reduce single-use plastic waste. Every ton of recycled paper will help save approximately 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil (The Paperless Project, n.d.) making a huge impact on your sustainability efforts.
  • Waste Reduction Implement a robust recycling program in your office. Educate employees on what can be recycled and provide clearly labeled bins for easy disposal. Additionally, minimize single-use items in your breakroom, such as plastic cutlery and disposable cups.
  • Sustainable Sourcing When sourcing products and materials, prioritize suppliers who have sustainable practices. For instance, look for certifications like Fair Trade, organic, or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for wood products. In today’s world where there is a rising demand for sustainable products, make sure to communicate your commitment to sustainability to customers. It is stated that about 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products (Nielsen, 2018) meaning that in addition to the environment, your business will also be benefitting.
  • Employee Engagement Engage your employees in sustainability initiatives by creating a green team. Encourage them to come up with creative ideas to reduce waste and conserve resources. Recognize and reward their efforts to boost motivation. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%, according to a Dale Carnegie study (Dale Carnegie, n.d.).
  • Sustainable Packaging If your business involves shipping products, choose sustainable packaging materials. Opt for recyclable or biodegradable options, and make sure your customers know how to dispose of them responsibly. Create a visually appealing guide on sustainable packaging choices. Over 70% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products with eco-friendly packaging (Nielsen, 2018).
  • Track and Communicate Progress Regularly update your stakeholders on your sustainability efforts. Create an infographic or visual dashboard that showcases your progress in reducing carbon emissions, waste, and energy consumption. Transparency builds trust with customers and partners. Businesses that actively communicate their sustainability efforts can enhance their reputation and customer loyalty.

By implementing these 10 sustainability hacks, your social enterprise can make a significant positive impact on the environment while also benefiting your business as your commitment to sustainability will also attract environmentally-conscious customers who want to support businesses that share their values. Remember, sustainability is an ongoing journey, so continue to monitor and improve your efforts over time. 

Discover how you can make a meaningful impact with our Start with Impact program! elve into strategic thinking specifically designed for social enterprises, arming you with the necessary tools and insights for success. Join our March 2024 cohort and enhance your entrepreneurial journey with actionable knowledge and a supportive community.

Discover more about our Start with Impact page and embark on your journey towards driving positive change in your enterprise today!


Dale Carnegie. (n.d.). Employee Engagement: The Key to Business Success.

EPA. (2021). Energy Star Program.

Nielsen. (2018). How Brands Can Tap Into the Sustainable Product Market.

The Paperless Project. (n.d.). Facts about Paper: The Impact of Consumption.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (2020). Measuring Impact: How Business Accelerated the Sustainable Development Goals.



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