Research has shown that customers prefer to shop with companies that place an emphasis on sustainability.
Consumers want to see more sustainability across the board, in terms of products, packaging, and general manufacturing processes. A good place to start, though, is with the products you sell.
Not sure where to begin? Read on for some tips that will make it easier for your business to start creating more sustainable products.
Why Sustainability Matters
Consumers have made it clear that they prefer businesses that focus on sustainability. This, alone, is reason enough for a lot of businesses to make it a priority. After all, happy customers are more likely to buy your products, which is good news for your bottom line, right?
There are other benefits to creating sustainable products, though, including the following:
First, a more sustainable approach to your business can give you an advantage over your competitors. This helps you create a better brand image, which can make your business more appealing than others in your industry.
When given the choice between two similar companies, one with more sustainable products, many customers are more likely to choose the sustainable option.
Comply with New Regulations
In the coming years, it’s likely that new government regulations are going to start being enforced nationwide. This includes a lot of regulations related to sustainability.
If you start making it a priority now, you won’t have to scramble to comply when new rules and regulations get introduced.
Attract Better Employees
By working to create more sustainable products, you can attract better employees to your business.
More people will likely want to work for your business if they believe in what you’re doing behind the scenes. This, in turn, will give you more options to choose from when it comes to bringing on new talent.
Attract Better Investors
You can attract better investors to your company as well. When people see that you’re making efforts to make products more sustainable and run your business in a more eco-friendly way, they’ll be more inclined to back you with their hard-earned money.
Creating more eco-friendly products for your business can also help you to cut costs.
You may have to spend more upfront to change the materials you use or the processes you use when making certain products. Over time, though, you’ll likely see a reduction in spending and greater returns on your investments.
How to Create Sustainable Products
Okay, you get it. Sustainable products provide a lot of bang for their buck. How do you start making these types of products for your business?
Here are some great first steps to take when it comes to making your business more sustainable:
Start with Sourcing
A great starting point is the sourcing of the materials you use in your products.
Where are you currently getting these materials? If they’re coming from overseas, is it possible for you to start getting them from a U.S.-based business instead? Or, even better, can you get them from a company that’s even closer to your business?
Local sourcing helps to reduce transportation costs and emissions. It also allows you to put more money back into the U.S. economy (as well as the local economy for your state or city).
Use Recycled Materials
When possible, try to use recycled materials rather than virgin materials. An example of this is companies that are making toys out of recycled milk jugs instead of brand new plastic. This helps you to keep materials out of the country’s landfills.
Even if you can’t make your entire product out of recycled materials, try to use them whenever you can. Using recycled goods in a portion of the product is better than not using them at all, and you can still boast about the improvements to your customers and investors.
Update Part Design
You may want to consider looking at the design process for your product as well.
Are there ways that you can streamline the design of certain parts to minimize the amount of material needed? This can be especially helpful when you’re dealing with parts of your product that can’t be made with recycled or more sustainable materials.
By updating the design, you can still minimize the environmental impact of that product and show customers and investors that you’re dedicated to making sustainable changes.
Beyond the Product
These tips can help you start making your products more sustainable. There are also steps you can take beyond the product itself to start running a greener business, including the following:
Make Your Office Eco-Friendly
Start looking for ways to make your office, warehouse, and factories more eco-friendly. Switch out the lighting for LED light bulbs, for example, and establish a recycling program.
This is a great way to show customers, employees, and investors that you’re walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
Sourcing local materials is a great way to minimize transportation emissions. Look into reducing emissions when it comes to deliveries as well, though.
For example, consider working with local delivery services and couriers. When deciding on a location for a warehouse, it’s also a good idea to consider choosing one that’s close to your manufacturing facility.
Think About Packaging
Finally, don’t forget about making your packaging more sustainable. The experts at Alterra Pure recommend using packaging made from compostable materials, for example.
In addition to changing packaging materials, work on using less packaging whenever possible. Of course, sometimes, you need to use more to cushion a product and prevent it from breaking. Look for ways to minimize when you can, though, to reduce the amount that customers have to figure out how to reuse or recycle.
Make Your Products More Sustainable Today
As you can see, there are tons of benefits that come with making sustainability more of a focus for your business. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll have a much easier time creating more sustainable products that your customers will love and be proud to purchase.
Are you looking for more advice on making your business more sustainable? Need tips on general business management? Visit the Career section of our site today to start learning more.