What does it take to be an entrepreneur in greener times?
Climate change is changing how we act. It affects all of us, but only some are willing to do anything about it. In the business world, companies are starting to modify their programs and agendas, by being more environmentally conscious. They are adjusting their products and services to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. Sustainability is no longer a trend, but a necessity when creating and amending business models, especially now that we are already facing the consequences of our actions.
So, what should an entrepreneur be in greener times? There are a lot of qualities that an entrepreneur should have, but in this day and age, here are our top 5:
- An entrepreneur should be dedicated
A company going sustainable shouldn’t be practicing sustainability just because it’s the new trend, but because they want to help contribute to change. One good example is the company Patagonia: from their mission and vision, sustainable model, to using recyclable materials—they concentrate on how they impact the environment. They produce high quality and long-lasting products. They use recycled fabrics and cotton that is certified organic.Zara, the Spanish fashion company that has become a worldwide brand competing with the likes of H&M, has also decided to go sustainable by using responsibly sourced fabrics. With this new mindset of circularity—the practice of ensuring that business processes all follow eco-friendly policies—this lessens the carbon footprint of both brands and helps further their cause for a greener world.
At a time when the world is transforming, business owners must be resourceful. This allows them to be more creative with their solutions, thus allowing them to make something out of nothing. In order to be resourceful, one must come up with solutions that are out of the ordinary, but still effective. One example is Biome Plastics, a company that is changing the plastic game. They are the leading developer for natural plastics in the UK. The company aspires to challenge existing oil-based polymers by replacing them in the future with natural plastics.
A leader shouldn’t stick with what he or she knows. An entrepreneur should know how to accept ideas and concepts from other people. At a time when the world needs to be transformed, acquiring new ideas from other people can already make a huge impact. A tycoon who exemplifies this is Elon Musk. He has invented exceptional technology such as the electric cars to the hyperloop. Having a creative mind is one thing, but to execute his vision, Musk had some help from both inside and outside his company. Together everyone achieves more. For example, when SpaceX hosted an event that invited individuals to submit their pod designs for the hyperloop, it welcomed ideas, created more opportunities to think outside the box, and the event became a platform for innovation.
- Participate in Corporate Social Responsibility
To positively impact the image of the business, having a sustainability initiative is needed. This is an opportunity for the company to send out a message to the public about who they are and what they support. Apple has been named the greenest tech company in the world. In addition to having a positive image, they ensure that sustainability is their global responsibility. Apple curates their packaging and parts for the iPhone with recycled materials, which reduces their carbon footprint. In fact, all of their facilities use renewable energy and they also make it a point that their suppliers share their eco-friendly values.
- Quick to adapt to changing times
In an ever-changing world, it is important to maintain a competitive advantage, which allows a company to provide or improve their current products and services. For example, Beyond Meat addresses the call to lower carbon footprints generated by poultry farms by producing plant-based beef, sausages, chicken strips, and more. Not only is it good for the health, but it also addresses global resource constraints. In retrospect, it is important for companies to adapt their business models to address the biggest problem the earth is facing: climate change.
The times now call for an eco-friendly movement. In the years to come, we hope to see more green entrepreneurs emerge and help promote sustainability in the traditional and digital commerce sector.
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