If you're starting a sustainability program at your business, you know just how important it can be to get the program to work. After all, a program that isn't implemented well can be very discouraging, and means that your business will continue unsustainable practices for the time being. So when planning any sustainability program, being sure that you know what pitfalls to look out for is very important before you buy your first recycling bins.
Here are three of the most cited barriers to small business sustainability – and ways to get around them:
Lack of information at the management level is cited as the single largest factor in hindering small business sustainability. With so many different incentives and regulations in place, it can be hard to know just what you should be doing, and what you should avoid. To make the initial planning stages of your project easier, consider contacting your local Green Chamber of Commerce for help with local laws and incentives.
Employee apathy may seem like a large hurdle, but can be overcome with enough dedication. By making sure communication is clear and employees know just what is expected of them and how to contribute, you can ensure your project manages to get on its feet. By making the program ubiquitous and building good habits, passion for the program will spread. Something as simple as labels that offer easy-to-follow instructions at your recycling stations can be among the best ways to address this issue.
Ensuring Compliance with Other Practices
Especially if this isn't your first sustainability project, trying to get your new guidelines to comply with both current business practices and other running sustainability initiatives can be tricky. Reaching this point has its pros and its cons. The major pro is that you've already implemented all the easy policies you could. The con is that after this point, sustainability programs are going to need a lot deeper planning to execute. By looking closely at your plans and trying to build off the successes of past projects, though, you can ensure that your business never stops striving for the smallest environmental impact possible.