Small Business Solver brings you an unexpected treat with our Live Webinar for March 2020! Not only is our topic, All About Eco-Business, which is both awesome and super-cool, but we have Peter Miller of the Community Innovation Hub hosting with Carla!
Peter and Carla wrote The Giveback Economy together. They teamed up on Friday, March 13 (yikes!) for a discussion about what business owners need to know about eco-business.
In All About Eco-Business, Carla and Peter discuss:
- A definition of eco-business and ways in which it’s changing the way the world does business.
- Ways that small business owners can make their business operations more environmentally friendly
- Opportunities for entrepreneurs waiting to get into eco-business – both umbrella opportunities and specific examples
Eco-business is good for everyone! Let’s talk about it.
What is Eco-Business?
Eco-businesses are companies that make a positive impact on the natural environment. The owners of these companies realize that corporate social responsibility that includes attempts to address environmental concerns benefits the consumer, the business and the supply chain.
However, attempts to address environmental concerns must go deeper than the consumer-facing business in order for a company to truly do eco-business. The commitment to addressing environmental issues must flow through the business, from the start of the supply chain to the moment the customer receives the product. People can tell when they’re being “green-washed” – social media and technology let them catch quickly when businesses aren’t authentic about a desire to help the environment.
How Is Eco-Business Changing the Way We Do Business?
People are concerned for the future of humanity if we don’t start treading more lightly on the Earth. Many of them will switch businesses over a company’s low degree of eco-friendliness. Millennials in particular are less likely to work for or buy from a business that’s having a negative impact on the environment.
Do consider that if your business isn’t taking steps to be eco-friendly that your brand image, customer relationships, and eventually your sales may suffer.
Corporate social responsibility in the eco area affects whether particularly millennials will want to work at or buy from a business
Eco-business requires companies to look beyond their bottom line, because the well-being of the Earth requires decisions that take more than finances into account. For example:
- A decision to build a coal mine becomes more than one about profit than loss, but a total impact calculation that includes factors like the usability of the land after processing finishes.
- Carbon tax now needs to be considered
Making Your Business Eco-Friendly
All businesses impact the environment. What can you say about the impact that your business is having?
- Is your business having a positive impact or a negative impact?
- If you are having a positive impact (or would like to), are you being reactive or proactive about it?
Our webinar talks about these reactive strategies for making your business more eco-friendly.
- Following Regulations
- Reducing Waste
- Carbon Offsetting
Being reactive with your eco-business strategy isn’t necessarily bad. However, a reactive strategy to address an issue that’s already occurred isn’t as effective as a proactive strategy that ideally keeps the issue from becoming a problem at all, so the webinar also discusses these additional proactive strategies:
- Make Your Eco-Friendly Strategy a Priority
- Social Procurement
- Reverse Logistics
- Giving Back
Once you’ve put a plan together that includes reducing waste and following regulations, as well as some more proactive strategies, consider a professional evaluation of the social and environmental impact of your business. The webinar discusses the advantages of being evaluated by:
- Green Sacred Spaces.
- Your Hydro Provider
To do the most good you can as an eco-business (and benefit the most you can!), assess where you can employ green business management in all aspects of your business.
What Are the Opportunities?
Small Business Solver sponsors the Social Innovation Challenge, a pitch competition for social enterprises and social innovation. Watch the webinar for information on these umbrella opportunities in eco-business and past Social Innovation challenge winners who have won within them!
- Sustainable Water – Building Up. Hires marginalized youth to retrofit bathrooms in apartment buildings to decrease water waste.
- Sustainable Food – Growing North. Builds greenhouses in Nunavut to grow affordable vegetables.
- Waste Management – Binners’ Project. Support staff help Vancouver’s homeless population to improve their economic opportunities as they divert garbage from the landfills.
- Transform Waste – Genecis. Converts food waste from restaurants into energy and biofuel.
- Replace Single-Use Plastic – Candy Cutlery. Hard candy utensils designed to let you enjoy your dessert or drink and then be enjoyed as a second treat.
- Reverse Logistics – London Drugs. Not a Social Innovation Challenge winner, but one of the first Canadian companies to put in a program where people could return used batteries and old cell phones. Ahead of their time!
- End-of-Product Life Cycle – Datawind. When computer companies upgrade their product, Datawind takes the components of the outdated models and makes them into computers to be distributed in developing countries.
- Extend the Life – Repair Cafes let people get their broken items fixed while they learn the skills to do their own repairs. Textbooks for Change takes donated textbooks, recycles the damaged ones, donates some to developing countries, and resells others to students at reduced rates.
Make the most of your opportunities and use your imagination! Eco-business is about being creative.
Eco-business benefits you, your customers, and the Earth – why not consider how you can incorporate it into your business plan? Contact us for more information!