8 new year resolutions for impactifying your business
Hot off the press are 8 new years resolutions for creating impact through business. We'll be making this into an e-guide so watch this space, in the meantime here's a sneak preview for any business owners, product makers, creators, employees (intrapreneurs), and even any individuals for their everyday lives:
1. Consider your mission - how can you prioritize people and the planet over profits and make this an underlying core value of your business?
2. Donate - part of your profits (such as joining 1% for the planet), allow employees paid time to volunteer, donate profits to plant trees (such as TreeCanada), or offer in-kind resources: this could be skills, promotion, materials and products or off-cuts, your time and expertise, or of course money.
3. Hold your business/workplace accountable - through measuring and understanding your impact, setting goals to improve it over time, and reporting and publicizing your impact as this can be a great selling point. There are tools to help you measure your impact, such as signing up to a certification like fairtrade or organic for products, and Bcorp certification for businesses.
4. Analyze your supply chains - with a fine-tooth comb and magnifying glass. Where does all of your stuff (office supplies, the products you sell, your company uniforms) come from, what is it made from, who has touched it along the way and how are they treated, where will it go at its end of life? Can more sustainable choices be made along the way? Watch this Life Cycle of a Tshirt or Story of a Spoon to start thinking about product lifecycles.
5. Understand your emissions - created through your office heating/cooling/operations, through the way that employees get to work, through your supply chains and the factories and production processes along the way since your products began, through your products and services. Reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions as much as you can such as making your office more energy efficient, composting and recycling, installing EV charging and bike parking etc.
6. Understand your environmental impact - through all of your operations, through your product's end of life, throughout your supply chains, such as water use, pollution, and even your mindfulness and connection to nature
7. Create social impact through your employment practices - how can you be an employer that encourages diversity (specific hiring policies for diverse, under-represented groups), equity (equal pay, pay a living wage, consider cooperative models and profit shares), and ensuring your employees have a good quality of life and that their happiness and prosperity is prioritized too.
8. Divest - enquire where is your money is being invested, and what you are supporting (or not supporting) through your banking practices? Can you choose socially responsible investments, offset your emissions, or divest from fossil fuels (and arms, tobacco and gambling while you're at it perhaps), or choose a business banking partner who prioritizes the planet and has community benefit schemes?