Welcome back to Business Blab with me, Megan, where we are breaking down my top 10 business trend predictions for 2023. And today we're talking all about sustainability. Obviously, we all love our planet. We all wanna keep the planet a better place and everyone is really starting to wake up to how important sustainability is in business.
And we all have a place to do our. Being an openly sustainable business and sharing ethical work practices is going to be so important to consumers in 2023 this year. So you wanna start thinking about how you can adapt to this. Recent studies are really showing that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products and to support sustainable businesses.
And this is kind of a newer concept to me as an online bus business owner myself, because when I think of sustainability, I typically tend to think of things like shipping and packaging and reducing packaging and adding products that encourage sustainability and things like that, right? And so being a mostly online business, I was really interested to see how I could do more and have a bigger part myself.
And I found some really great articles that talk about how you can be more sustainable even if you don't have a product-based business. So I'm gonna make sure that I cite them here so you can dive in and learn more. And we'll just kind of go through some of these tips that I learned while I was doing my research.
I wanted to start off with a statistic that I found before we dive into things, and it basically says that environmentally and socially responsible businesses are on the rise as we can kind of. And consumers are increasingly conscious of where and what they buy, whether online or in the store. So much so that a recent survey found 88% of shoppers want brands to help them live more sustainably.
Now, what does that look like for your business?
Let's brainstorm. Let's see how you can become more sustainable and stand out. A large percentage of people are looking to support sustainable businesses or businesses that will help them live more sustainably, and it's something that could really help you stand apart from your competition.
So let's dive into it. First, we're gonna talk about the one that comes to mind most often for people, and that is products and packaging. And if you have a product-based business or send any kind of packages to customers, this is a really great place to start reducing your packaging. Using packaging that's environmentally friendly and exploring sustainable shipping options.
Good ways for you to start making that step towards being a more sustainable business, as well as looking into how you make your products more environmentally friendly. Now, this is gonna look different depending on what you sell, but being conscious of the materials that you use for your products is also gonna help set you apart and make sure that you share that with people that you're using environmentally friendly products or more sustainable. Materials and more sustainable materials in your products, that's really gonna help you stand out.
Next I wanna talk about your digital footprint. Now, if your business is based primarily on the internet like mine is, there is still a massive impact that you're having on the planet. The internet uses more than 10% of the entire world's electricity, so spend some time taking inventory and addressing the footprint of all of your processes that you do in your business.
That kind of brings me into the next one, which is going to be website hosting. If you have a business, you probably have a website and all websites are hosted on servers, and servers are powered by fossil fuels and consume tons of energy and electricity to keep our websites up and running. So you may wanna do some research on what they call green web host providers, which are.
Eco-friendly web hosting that uses clean renewable energy to power their websites, which I've never heard of. So I thought that this was super, super interesting and definitely something that I'm gonna be looking into for this year. I found a really great article that breaks this down more, and I'm gonna cite it in the show notes, but here's what they said.
When you're looking for a web hosting provider, make sure they offer sustainable hosting. A green web host provider uses green data centers with energy efficient servers powered by renewable energy, such as wind or solar power. By choosing a green web host, you can ensure your website is powered by clean energy and isn't.
Contributing to climate change, which mind blown, I just thought this was so cool that there was an option to even help with this. And you know, going back to the digital footprint point, many of us don't even realize that just being on the internet and using the electricity and using our website hosting, you know, on these servers is really causing a big footprint.
So I was super excited to learn about this stuff and I'm really excited to share it with all of you. So again, you can find more info here because this is something that is totally out of my scope. But now that I know about it, I'm really excited to dig in and learn more.
A Sustainable Home Office
Another thing you wanna look at is practicing sustainability in your home office. If you're running your business out of your home, there's things that you can do to make your home office more sustainable too. So set your office up in a space where you get great natural light so you don't have to use as many light bulbs in your house. And if you are using a lot of light bulbs, replace those light bulbs with LEDs and turn off the lights when you leave the room.
You can also put your computer on power saving mode when you aren't using it. So that it's not using as much energy. You can go paperless, you can add plants to improve the air quality in your office and use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. These are all just a few ideas and a great place to get started.
Kind of take inventory in your office and see what things can I change in my home office or, you know, let that inspire you for your entire home in general to start making things more sustainable just in your household.
Sustainability with Social Media?
I also wanted to talk about social media sustainability. Now, social media takes up a lot of our time as business owners, and so how can we be more sustainable on social media?
This was another thing that I found really interesting and I found some really great examples. That you can do like using recycled materials to create your content or using energy efficient methods to power your devices. We can also conserve resources by reducing the amount of time we spend online and limiting the amount of data that we consume, limiting the amount of content we're consuming on social media.
I have never really thought of social media and sustainability together, and so I found this really great article that really breaks it down how you can really be more sustainable on social media. So check that out, because that was another thing that was really interesting for me.
Social Sustainability and Ethical Actions
The next one I wanna talk about is social sustainability. And this is broken down as human rights, fair labor practices, living conditions, health, safety, wellness, diversity, equity, work-life balance, empowerment, community engagement, philanthropy. Volunteering and things in that scope. So as an online business owner who may or may not have employees, how can you bring all of that that I just listed off into your workplace, even if it's just for yourself and you don't have employees?
How can you focus on all of those things and work to promote diversity and inclusion in your team, or even just in your solo marketing efforts? I thought that this one was really interesting and something. You know, we should all just really grab onto and start being more conscious of right away. This is even a really great place to start if you're looking for that first step towards being a more sustainable business.
Also, the last thing I wanna talk about is emerging ethical actions. And since this is part of a series about trends, I really liked the idea of emerging ethical actions. Things we're seeing more people start to do that can make a major impact on our communities and on our environment. And this is things like fair pay and donating profits to a good cause.
Getting involved in charitable projects or community initiatives or pledging to be carbon neutral, that is something that all of us can do right away. It just feels really great to give back and also, Give back to the planet. And so this episode honestly really opened my eyes when I, like I said at the beginning, when I would think about sustainability, I just thought about mostly materials and, you know, oh, I'm an online business.
There so much I could do to be much more sustainable than what I am. And this was really eye-opening. A lot of this stuff was brand new to me that I. Heard of before, and it was really fun for me to dive into this episode and do some research and really get some new education for myself too. And so I know I just kind of skimmed the surface on many of these topics, but I did drop all those links for you to do more research and if anything, let this episode be inspiring to you to see what else you can dig into to start to become more sustainable.
It is what people are wanting to see, and it's just good to do in general. So I would love to hear how you're planning on being more sustainable this year. Let me know. Send me a message at Megan, boss ladies and babies.com and until next time, stay bossy.