Tanja Hildebrandt – 6. November 2023
At a time when sustainability is more than just a trend and large companies often fall into the trap of greenwashing (whether intentionally or not), in this article we want to explore what it means to start up sustainably in 2023. How should the social component of sustainability be considered both externally and internally, and how sustainability ensures not only environmental but also economic success.
To what extent is sustainability more than a Trend?
Sustainability is no longer just a passing hype. It has become a fundamental value that influences the way we do business, design products and see the world. The urgency of climate change, the scarcity of natural resources and increasing social responsibility have made sustainability a key factor in corporate management. Companies that integrate sustainability into their DNA are not only better positioned for the environment, but also for long-term business success. Sustainability goes beyond reducing environmental impact and includes ethical principles, social responsibility and long-term thinking.
What does it mean to start up sustainably in 2023?
Founding sustainably in 2023 means minimizing the environmental impact of business activities, but also taking social and ethical aspects into account. It is about rethinking the entire value chain, from the procurement of raw materials and product design to end use, disposal, or even better: reuse and repurpose. The use of renewable energies, the reduction of waste and the promotion of the circular economy are just a few examples. Equally important is the social dimension, such as promoting diversity and inclusion, fair working conditions and working with local communities. In 2023, sustainable founding means embedding sustainability in every aspect of the company and continuously improving it.
How should the social component of sustainability be considered both externally and internally?
The social component of sustainability is of crucial importance, both externally and within the company. Externally, a company should be committed to social justice and responsibility. This can be achieved through partnerships with charitable organizations, social projects or the creation of fair working practices. Internally, a corporate culture should be created that promotes diversity, appreciation and inclusion. This includes hiring employees from different social and cultural backgrounds, as well as training to raise awareness of social issues and creating an inclusive work environment. When a team internalizes the social component of sustainability, the positive effects will radiate outwards.
How does sustainability ensure economic success?
Sustainability and economic success are by no means incompatible concepts. In fact, they often go hand in hand. Sustainable practices can help reduce costs, increase efficiency and enhance brand value. Conscious use of resources can increase profitability in the long term. In addition, companies that operate sustainably are increasingly gaining the trust of consumers, which in turn leads to long-term customer loyalty and therefore higher sales. Integrating sustainability into the business model is therefore a smart move to achieve both environmental and economic success.
Where is the best place to start?
Would you like to dive deeper into the topic of sustainability and find out how you can steer your career towards a sustainable future? Our co-founder Marit is offering an exclusive workshop as part of the Female StartAperitivo ACADEMY on Monday, 13.11.2023 at the HAW, in which she will share her expertise and experience and give an insight into how a sustainable startup mindset is the catapult for long-term effective ideas. Click here to register.