How Your Business Can
Work Toward a Better World

See also: Understanding Sustainability

The world faces serious challenges threatening the very way people live. You see it everywhere — the world is struggling in every aspect. Societal and humanitarian issues continue as the climate crisis looms over everything.

As people collectively grow more aware of pressing issues, those with the right reach step up to face them head-on. Companies, in particular, are harnessing their influence and resources to create positive change. More business owners are extending their goals beyond making profits, committing themselves to different causes.

Why Must Businesses Work Toward a Better World?

Businesses take on social and environmental responsibility to contribute to the greater good. The world is deeply interconnected, and one community’s pain connects with another’s. Moreover, climate change can often exacerbate societal issues as it disproportionately affects those already in need.

Making moves toward sustainability helps companies improve the lives of those who need it the most. Businesses can also uplift communities through programs and philanthropic efforts. Doing more for the world is a way to better people’s lives and create a healthier future for the next generations.

Taking on social responsibility benefits everyone. It’s not a one-sided sacrifice since businesses profit from doing what’s right. Consumers are loyal to companies that make a difference, and investors trust them to lay the groundwork for a better future.

How Your Business Can Create Positive Change

You can take steps to improve lives in your community and foster sustainability. Here are some strategies you can use to create a better tomorrow.

1. Commit to a Cause

Businesses can improve the world by choosing and focusing on advocacy. Often, they select a cause that best aligns with their brand image.

Businesses must support a cause and take concrete and actionable steps. A survey shows that 70% of consumers want to know what brands are doing to help with social and environmental issues. More importantly, businesses must prove they are taking real action rather than making empty promises.

Consumers choose to buy from companies that show genuine commitment to a cause. That way, they feel like their purchases contribute to a better world. However, people are becoming increasingly discerning. They are more aware of false or disingenuous attempts at enacting social responsibility. Despite their rising expectations, only one in three shoppers trust the brands they purchase from.

2. Partner With a Charity

Partnering with a charity is one concrete way for companies to make a change. Through these partnerships, businesses can directly channel resources to communities and sectors that need the most help.

Channeling efforts locally can help small businesses create meaningful change. For example, Inland and CASE Construction Equipment partnered with the Okanagan Dream Rally to raise more than $250,000 for the Ronald McDonald House and other local charities in British Columbia and Yukon.

Charity partnerships are also a great way to boost morale and encourage volunteerism in the workplace. Research shows that volunteering positively affects employees’ well-being, helping reduce the risk of depression and improve social health. Volunteers also have higher employer engagement and job satisfaction.

3. Focus on Sustainability

The climate crisis can no longer be ignored. Everyone, from individuals to businesses, is doing what they can to help the environment. For instance, outdoor gear brand Patagonia focuses on environmental activism. The company pledges 1% of its profits as its "earth tax,” which it donates to various nonprofits.

All companies can do their part to help in sustainability efforts. Being environmentally friendly can encompass every aspect of business. You can change your supply chain, daily operations, marketing, packaging, waste management and more.

Being more environmentally conscious is an advocacy that can also help your business grow. Sustainability has become a crucial factor affecting consumers’ buying decisions. People are more interested in making better, more eco-conscious purchases. A recent survey shows 77% of consumers will consider or change loyalty to more sustainable brands.

However, consumers can quickly tell when a business is greenwashing or co-opting sustainable buzzwords and designs without helping the environment. For companies to succeed in implementing sustainability, owners and managers must genuinely believe is the right thing to do.

4. Apply Ethical Practices

Consumers value ethics when it comes to their purchasing decisions. About 70% of survey respondents say they try to buy from companies they deem ethical.

Ethics in business involves morality and acting in a just and honest way. An unethical company can face trouble in the eyes of the law and the public.

Ethical businesses focus on treating stakeholders with fairness, equality and honesty. These companies provide sound working conditions and a fair and livable wage. They also treat employees respectfully, regardless of gender identity, economic background, race, nationality and other factors. Investors and suppliers are met with honesty and transparency.

Business ethics also involves proper sourcing. Companies must follow fair trade practices, which means all their materials must be sourced and processed ethically. No child labor or other forms of exploitation should occur in any step of production. Moreover, all workers must work in safe and healthy environments.

Most importantly, ethical companies show respect and honesty to their customers. Businesses must listen and make changes based on customer feedback. They must also be transparent about their products. For instance, some labels like “natural” aren’t regulated by any governing body. Brands should not take advantage of the lack of regulation by fooling customers into buying products that are not natural.

5. Push for Innovation

Businesses can help enact change by investing in necessary innovation. For instance, they can use technology and data analytics to find more sustainable ways to run.

Ethical companies identify areas to reduce their carbon footprint or waste production. They determine what processes to optimize and actions to take to reduce their environmental impact. They can also spot bottlenecks in sourcing and production, which can reduce costs and improve overall sustainability.

Aside from promoting sustainability and reducing costs, business innovations can also improve employee morale. Without roadblocks to productivity, workers can more smoothly achieve their goals. Effective processes foster a creative environment where people are encouraged to think of better, more unique solutions.

Innovations can also put companies at an advantage over their competitors. Increasingly conscious buyers go for greener and more ethical businesses. Those that innovate to become more socially responsible put themselves ahead of the curve.

Create a Better Tomorrow Through Your Business

Businesses have the power and resources to help change the world. Companies can take tangible actions to improve lives through decisive leadership and the right strategies and make sustainable choices to help preserve the environment. These efforts add up in paving the way for a better future.

About the Author

Jack Shaw is a freelance writer who has spent the last five years writing about improving health and connecting to the outdoors. He's served as senior writer for Modded, and since then has contributed to OffRoad Xtreme, Better Triathlete, and HellaLife among many other publications. When not writing, he can often be found maintaining his own home, hiking or running with his dog.