Is your business struggling with sustainability goals? Do they seem easy to implement, but require significant effort, investment, and time? Are you feeling overwhelmed by green tools and practices, yet see little progress in reports? Changing an established business to be sustainable, to be greener is tough. Similarly, crafting a strategy for a start-up is hard. Despite efforts to understand sustainability in business, success remains rare.

Your efforts are genuine, but obstacles often block progress, especially for green businesses. Let’s stop avoiding the issue. You’ve thought about your impact on nature and beyond. Now, let’s identify why your results stagnate and goals remain unmet. We’ll explore how to improve your Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). You’ve likely been working hard on this lately.

Sustainable materials’ price tags

Sustainability and eco-friendliness are increasingly popular. This demand often makes eco-friendly products more expensive. But, the cost of sustainable materials is a key factor for businesses considering improvements. Some green products can be 75%-85% more expensive than traditional ones. This cost can be a major deterrent. High financial and time investments are needed for such products. Many businesses hesitate to abandon traditional methods because of this.

Moreover, switching to eco-friendly materials complicates things. It requires securing scarce eco-friendly resources, leading to more investment. Business owners often delay changes, fearing long-term scarcity of affordable sustainable materials.

If this situation applies to your business, remember that higher costs might lead to long-term gains. You’ll appreciate your efforts when reaping the benefits. Sustainable materials and processes are gaining popularity and demand. This trend opens new opportunities and keeps your business competitive. Don’t be deterred by high costs. Instead, strategize to meet the trend and customer needs, achieving your goals.

Potential greenhushing?

People are often doing great things without receiving recognition. Still, it’s one thing to offer a warm meal without being mediatized and another one to invest in expensive, sustainable solutions while having consumers misleadingly thinking you’re just as focused on your profits as all the other unsustainable businesses chasing wealth around. Greenhushing is a commonly met issue among companies that don’t receive the merited laud, translating to a deliberate refrainment from sharing the behind-the-scenes green efforts.

Despite all the effort you may have poured into your sustainable strategy, the end product may not reflect your actions, which is why you should take the matter into your own hands. By taking the bull by the horns, we mean exploring your footprint impact by making sense of every stage of your business processes and operations and conducting a background assessment to know where you stand. Sometimes, demonstrating to people that you take sustainability matters seriously is as easy as learning what is an LCA and then letting your hard work results be showcased and recognized.

More room for authenticity and consistency

To have consumers walk the talk in a market overfilled with empty promises and greenwashing means to approach your green strategies and efforts from a versatile, all-encompassing perspective. So many definitions are thrown around today about sustainability that it’s pretty challenging to fall on the same note as your industry’s competitor. Maybe they’re better at communicating their visions and understanding of “sustainability” than your business, a situation in which it’s only regular to lose a few golden points.

You have to model accountable practices in every business aspect so that consumers will resonate with you. First, learn what sustainability means to educate the audience, and you may also likely discover that you’ve stuck to a pretty limited definition of these values.

Second, rebuild your brand with ethical production as a core value. Other aspects of your enterprise must align with these pillaring objectives.

Then, ensure that you’re conducting a deep assessment and audit of your business, whether it’s an external auditor or your investigation that you opt for. There’s a long way to go until you can wholeheartedly expect others to see your business as genuinely sustainable, so don’t fear gathering more aces up your sleeves.

Disengaged stakeholders

It’s essential to integrate external and internal stakeholders in your business’s process of becoming greener. These can be anyone ranging from customers to employees, so making sense of their expectations and views will substantially help your company on its path to green redemption.

It’s normal to focus only on the inner practices, materials, and even marketing efforts, forgetting that you’re working with stakeholders who have their fair share of impact on your brand’s external image. Therefore, don’t forget to involve all the essential participants in the pursuit of sustainability, and you’ll see how a better reputation for your business will bring unparalleled rewards.

Ending on a greener note

Sustainability audits and assessments are vital for businesses looking to become more sustainable and avoid greenhushing – and obviously, unintentional greenwashing. Ensure you can make your business’ green goals align with its real-life practices and with their consumer-exhibited reflection, and keep a long-term perspective, for your sustainable efforts may bless you with heftier rewards than you may momentarily assume.