Green Business Principles and Ideas for the Responsible Entrepreneur
Applying the principles of business management to ecological problem-solving and sustainability – or “ecopreneurship” - is becoming more popular, as talented businesspersons recognize their obligation to the planet. These ecopreneurs can make a significant difference in their communities, globally, and for the future. They also set important standards of leadership and sustainability to others entering different industries. If you are interested in combining your sense of environmental responsibility with your pursuit of business success, here are some helpful ideas to get you started.
Central values for ecopreneurs.
Being an ecopreneur is not simply about loving nature or making moves toward more environmentally friendly methods. It has to be a holistic identity that relates to every level of your business. To qualify as an actual ecopreneur, your startup must prioritize certain key ideals. These include commitment to one’s community, especially those who are least advantaged; emphasis on reduction of environmental impact in all areas of business; and actual profitability (a company that is not profitable is likely to become dependent instead of sustainable). Simply crafting pro-environment messaging without actively following through is not what being an ecopreneur is about: this is called greenwashing and can be detrimental, as it implies a lack of integrity and insufficient dedication to ecological ethics.
Some ways to make your company eco-friendlier.
If you have a business already and want to move in the direction of ecopreneurship, consider different ways you can incorporate these values into your company. One important move would be toward sustainably produced, ethically sourced products. This might mean purchasing only those products made from recycled or upcycled materials, or it could entail sourcing locally, to reduce carbon footprint. Remember, holistic and sustainable ecopreneurship means you also fairly compensate all team members, and purchase from fair-trade companies and other organizations who emphasize just wages.
Start a business that specifically caters to environmental care.
You also may be interested in starting a business that is overtly dedicated to better care for the environment. One idea might be creating better options for green energy by starting a solar panel or wind turbine business. Or you could start a recycling business that would both get rid of waste and sustainably craft new products. You could also set up an eco-consulting business that would help other entrepreneurs move towards a greener model.
Some other business ideas for ecopreneurs.
Even if your business is not directly focused on environmental improvement, it can still be ecologically friendly and sustainable on a fundamental level. Green catering, ecologically friendly landscaping, and eco-friendly cleaning are only a few of the ways you can create products or services that people need anyway – but in a manner that is intentionally environmentally conscious and low-impact.
Some tips for starting your green business.
The steps involved in starting a green business are not very different from those involved in launching any other company. You just need to be informed and intentional about the values of ecopreneurship at every step of the way. Start with crafting a green business plan in which sustainable methods are directly stated and seek funding through sources that support green business. You will need to set a budget, keeping in mind that it may cost you more, in the early days of your business, to be sustainable, just, and equitable. Do your research on how to start a business in Indiana – including how to register your green business as an LLC, for the added tax savings and liability protection, and whether any specific licensing or permits are required.
Even though going green may initially require more work and capital, eco-friendly businesses tend to attract more customers, and retain client loyalty, while having other benefits in terms of efficiency and profit. So aside from the fact that it is an ethical and responsible option, ecopreneurship can also be a profitable choice for a business owner. Prospective ecopreneurs, follow Confront the Climate Crisis for more information about how to center ecological practices and values in every aspect of your business and life.