GROM Gets Greener : The Importance of Sustainability in Business
With growing concerns about the environmental impact of our economic activities, it’s no surprise that corporate sustainability in business is now a standard rather than a trend. 2019 has seen a notable rise in sustainability programs and climate strategies with one-third of the Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies being first-time rankers this year. At GROM, we understand our responsibility with the environment and have aimed at becoming a more sustainable enterprise for several years. This year, we are adding a few more goals to our list of sustainable practices.
What we’re doing
Our current efforts are focused on increasing recycling, improving waste management, and reducing energy consumption. These practices aren’t just positive for the environment, they also help us lower costs and run more efficiently! There are a lot of unnoticed costs in hidden energy consumption. Think of a coffeemaker that’s on and no one is using or a lightbulb turned on in an empty room; hours will add up even for low-consumption appliances. GROM is currently practicing the following measures:
- 100% of fluorescent lighting fixtures were changed to LED fixtures and bulbs
- LED bulbs are used whenever possible
- 100% of printer cartridges are recycled
- Our IT department recycles nearly 100% of our hardware that is not functional or has become obsolete upon replacement.
- We have a policy of shutting down every workstation at the end of the day.
Our 2019 Goals
Our sustainability initiatives have been welcomed and adopted by our staff and have become a part of our corporate culture. In an effort to make sustainability an inseparable aspect of our organization and day-to-day activities, we are committed to achieving the following goals by the end of 2019:
- Reduction of GROM’s ecological impact by engaging employees in recycling (i.e. bottles, cans, plastic containers, etc.) in an ecologically-efficient manner. We aim to do this by providing recycling containers and creating policies and guidelines for companywide recycling measures.
- Reduction paper consumption by at least 10% through a “Think Before You Print” policy and guidelines supported by a new paper recycling policy for all paper after use.
Moving forward, we will continue to study our organization and how we can become an ever-more sustainable business. Our goal is that our initiatives go beyond the workplace and become a part of the everyday lives of our management, staff, and customers.
What you can do
Corporate Sustainability isn’t just for multi-billion dollar enterprises. Small and Medium businesses and start-ups alike are primed to integrate sustainable development tactics from the early stages of their organization’s growth. Sustainability isn’t only important for global environmental issues, it can actually drive a company’s success. Now more than ever, investors are using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics to grade a business’ impact and sustainability score. Businesses with higher ESG ratings have a lower cost of debt and equity and also tend to have motivated workforces that find reward in working for an employer with sustainable initiatives and a green reputation (source).
So how do you develop a sustainable business strategy? The first step is to assess what sustainability means to your organization, team members, industry, and customers. These different parties will most likely have a variety of different priorities when it comes to sustainability. Ask questions, analyze which problems have a viable solution, and define the objectives you want to meet as an organization. For example: Become a paper-less enterprise by 2025. Next, incorporate sustainability into your mission statement. This can help redefine your company values and establish a commitment to become a more sustainable business. With a powerful mission, clear objectives, and a commitment to being greener, you can craft a sustainable business strategy aligned to those ideals.