No matter the industry, every company has a role to play in improving its sustainability. As more and more businesses become aware of the importance of limiting their environmental footprint, green business trends are on the rise.
Even the money – starved startups are getting into the action. Some of them have cooked green business ideas in their profit motives, while others are working to reduce their ecological footprint, even if it is not directly related to their mission. In the process, they pave the way for sustainable business initiatives from all walks of life. Here are five creative ways that startups go green.
1. They reduce waste .
Sometimes start-ups do not start with environmental ethics, but work gradually to reduce their ecological footprint over time. Other times, they arise expressly because of the need for more sustainable industrial solutions.
This is the case of Attero Recycling, which was founded to combat the growing problems posed by electronic waste. The start-up provides end-to-end management of electronic and electrical products with a focus on sustainable recycling initiatives.
Spoiler Alert is also in this category. The startup helps food-related businesses reduce their food waste by coordinating the execution and management of excess food donations that would otherwise be wasted.
2. They promote sustainable energy .
Growing energy consumption is one of the largest sewers on natural resources. Fortunately, many startups are investing in the sustainable energy revolution with environmentally friendly energy solutions and / or working to reduce their own waste of energy.
Arctic Sand (which was launched from MIT) has developed a technology that increases energy efficiency and reduces lost energy in the form of heat. Wunder associates schools, organizations and municipalities with potential investors for large-scale solar projects. Sungage Financial helps everyday consumers access solar panel financing. For these startups, eco-friendliness is not a by-product of their work. Instead, it is the central goal of their mission.
3. They stock durable materials .
The sale of any physical product inherently requires drainage of environmental resources. The manufacturing process involves large amounts of water and energy, and the transportation required to ship products across the country (or the world) releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere . Investing in sustainable materials can help offset the size of this ecological footprint.
Startups take up the challenge using organic cotton (in the case of the fashion industry), investing in sustainable agriculture (in the case of the industry food) and using non-toxic materials (in the case of the mattress industry). Even the death industry comes into play. The coffeemaker Willow & Werth, for example, uses wood of American origin sourced mainly from sustainably managed forests.
4. They minimize the use of paper .
The production of paper requires the destruction of natural resources (trees) as well as large quantities of water and energy. Thus, minimizing the use of paper is a simple way for companies in all sectors to become a little greener. Startups strive to reduce in many ways their own paper consumption, as well as the paper consumption of their customers.
For example, the company's expense management software Concur eliminates the need for its customers to print paper expense reports. And a wide variety of startups are reducing their own paper consumption by using cloud storage, digital billing and other technological tools.
5. They encourage green purchasing .
Some startups have identified opportunities to use rewards programs for environmental good and profit. The EcoPlum ecommerce site, for example, sells environmentally friendly products and works to educate its customers on the importance of environmentally friendly consumerism. To further encourage sustainable trade, EcoPlum grants its customers the "EcoChipz" label for every purchase. These chips can then be donated to environmental initiatives.
Whether sustainability is at the forefront of a company's mission or simply its values, these startups demonstrate that it's possible to find creative ways to become environmentally friendly in virtually every business. industries.