Last week we were fortunate enough to celebrate Earth Day. Various events were held worldwide to demonstrate support for science and environmental protection. We should celebrate the planet every day. What can you do to keep that momentum?

I had the pleasure of doing some research of some of the top ranking local gross revenue companies.  Some were minority owned and owned by women.  These businesses were leaders in their industry however, they were not leaders in sustainability.  When asked, some did not even know what sustainability is.  This is a sign there is a lot of work to do in our city and state.  Imagine how much further along they would be.  There is a missed opportunity here not only to make more money but to bring significant positive change to the community.

All businesses should have and need to have a sustainability plan.  It shows you are forward thinking. It lets everyone know about the value you bring to the community.  It offers a chance for transparency and your customers to see what you value.  We have been charged by our Creator to leave this earth a little better than it was when we came here.  If you are in business and are passionate about what you do, then a sustainability plan fits in.

Here are 10 reasons your business needs a strong sustainability plan.  1. Government regulations are in place to protect the environment.  2.  More consumers are paying attention to the sustainability policies of the businesses they deal with.  3.  Top caliber employees might be reluctant to work with companies with potential ecological disasters.  4.  The trend has been for more companies to publish sustainability plans to increase sales.  5.  Many investors prefer to choose environmentally responsible companies to invest in.  6.  Sustainability reduces operation costs and increase efficiency.  7.  Unintended benefits will show up by targeting an area of improvement.  8.  Sustainability encourages creativity to find a better way to do something.  9.  Mitigating risk will prevent lawsuits and fines.  10.  You will create brand loyalty.  Customers will have confidence in your company and its products.

Every for profit and not-for-profit company needs a sustainability plan or policy in play.  If they don’t have one they will be left out and miss on a great opportunity for growth.  The time to act is now.  If the government won’t help us, then we must help ourselves.  I challenge business owners to get a sustainability plan, and if you do not have a business, I challenge you to ask the companies you do business with to produce one. The time for excuses and inactivity is over.  Our dollars are very powerful tools to have to bring change in society.  Let’s demand more from the companies we do business with. If we don’t demand change, then no change will happen.

 If you want to do better and capitalize on your opportunities, please feel free to contact me or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff.  #Resist #Wordsactionchange