5 Common Sustainability Mistakes Every Startup Makes – And How To Avoid Them!

Are you making sustainability mistakes when it comes to how you run your startup? Sustainability is important for you and your small business.

It would be great if every business venture received support to operate in a sustainable way. Entrepreneurs face several challenges with their start-up such as raising funds, increasing growth, and managing cash flow.

Even though they recognize the importance of sustainability, they are often ill-equipped to manage sustainable activities. As a result, they fall into the common trap of investing in inefficient equipment and resources that contribute to the serious eco-problems that are faced in the world today.

Here are a few common mistakes that are found in most start-ups.

Not investing in energy-efficient lighting as one of the sustainability mistakes

Artificial lighting accounts for 15% of business expense overheads and can easily blow out your start-ups budget if not managed well. The mistake usually comes from the property’s use of incandescent or halogen lighting instead of energy-efficient LED light bulbs. By making the switch to LEDs, start-ups can reduce their lighting expense by over 80%, which will free up cash for the startup to invest and grow.

You can compare the best business energy deals available, or use usave.co.uk to do that for you.

Not utilizing the full benefits of solar light

The first benefit of using solar light is that it is free, which will bring down your start-up’s lighting energy consumption cost. But what is more beneficial is how natural light impacts productivity. Natural light increases alertness and cognitive performance among people in your start-up.

Maximize the amount of light coming into your startup by investing in large windows, reflective glass and mirrors, skylights, and solar tubes.

Not closing the loop when it comes to recycling

I have seen many entrepreneurs make sustainability mistakes when it comes to not utilizing recycling in their small businesses.

Start-ups should have a long-term goal of closing the waste loop by implementing recycling practices within their organization. While the startup is in its growth phase, it will be challenging to dedicate internal resources to manage the start-up’s sustainability efforts. Instead, the start-up should partner with specialist organizations that will be able to manage the recycling process as long as the start-up will categorize items that should be recycled.

An example includes the Cartridges Direct ink cartridge recycling program. Every business needs to use printing services and the cartridges that are used often end up in the landfill; where it is dangerous to the environment. The cartridges actually need to be sent to special recycling centers that can extract the plastics, metals, and inks so they can be used in other products.

Operating in the wrong kind of building as one of the sustainability mistakes

It’s important that your startup operates in a building that was designed with sustainability. Otherwise, your eco-friendly efforts will be on the back foot from the start. Find out if the building has been designed to retain solar heat, ventilation, and light.

This might mean that the business needs to spend more in rent, however, the business will reduce its energy consumption costs and lower its contributions to carbon emissions.

Not investing in smart technology

Businesses waste a lot of energy by not turning electrical items off when they aren’t being used. A printer machine can be consuming energy throughout the day when it has been left to idle. The same goes for artificial lighting that’s being used in an area where nobody is using it. Investing in smart appliances that will power down when they are not in use will reduce the amount of energy consumption is used.

Look for any government support

There may be schemes that will support sustainable schemes for your business. Australian-based business Savewise helps businesses within the state of Victoria receive subsidies for investments in energy-efficient lighting technology, which will relieve the financial pressure faced by several start-ups.

Running a startup isn’t easy and managing sustainable activities will make running a startup more difficult. Although there are some challenges, the good news is that all of the problem with impact investing is gradually changing. Entrepreneurs can also leverage eco-efficient technology and partnerships to make a real difference to the environment without taking away their resources or affecting their day-to-day operations.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan