• How to Build a Business with Sustainability in Mind

    Building a business that is eco-friendly has many benefits apart from minimizing the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. Sustainable businesses can also be cost savers because you are continually looking for ways to minimize waste and maximize resources simultaneously. So if you're interested in making your business more “earth friendly,” here are a few things to consider before you go for it.

    Why you should want to go green

    There's no doubt about it: Green businesses are on the rise because consumers are gravitating toward businesses that care for the environment. Therefore, this is a market you want to take hold of if you want your client base and your revenue to grow exponentially. But perhaps more importantly is the legacy you will leave behind for future generations that you did your part to combat the dire effects of climate change on our planet.

    Things you can do now to ensure your business is ready for the green revolution

    First things first are establishing where you are as a business in terms of how much energy you are consuming and where you are consuming it from. Many small businesses prefer to do an audit to help them see where they could implement more eco-friendly measures to their existing business processes. Moreover, many of these green adjustments or upgrades are reimbursed by the state, which should provide you with even more inspiration to switch to green for good. Some of the more practical examples that many brick-and-mortar stores are implementing include:

    Cutting out single-use plastic

    Restaurants, for example, can focus on cutting out single-use plastic by opting for reusable cutlery and coffee cups made of recycled material. Here, it's about creating a culture within your business that refuses to compromise its integrity by using environmentally-harmful materials.

    Work with other eco-friendly businesses

    Here we are referring to sourcing your materials from local suppliers with the same initiative as you - to protect the environment no matter the cost. This way, you get to make a real impact on the environment by reducing your carbon footprint on the environment two-fold. 

    Buy second-hand furniture and equipment

    If you are just contemplating starting your business, then you need to start investing in the assets you'll need to get your business up and running. But before you consider new equipment, furniture, and machinery, you could also try to look at second-hand items that will probably save you a lot of startup capital. Plus, it is so much better for the environment, too, as these items will end up in a landfill and are likely to poison the environment. 

    Reducing your paper usage

    One of the ways you can make a positive impact on the environment is by reducing your paper usage so you can essentially save the trees. By converting all your paperwork into digital files, you won't have to go through as much paper as you would normally because you can store these on your electronic devices. Furthermore, with a PDF merging tool, you can combine all your PDF documents into one file and merge and rearrange them as needed. 

    Getting in on the trend

    If you have decided to take the plunge into the green business world, you’ll need to get your business legally set up with the state of Alaska. You have several options for the type of entity you choose, but we’ll touch on two that are of interest to many new entrepreneurs:

    • An LLC is a great option to go with if you not only want to save on time but also want to experience other benefits such as tax savings, more flexibility, limited liability, and more. An online formation service can take care of the paperwork for you if you’re overwhelmed by the process of how to form an LLC in Alaska (plus, you’ll save money by not shelling out for expensive lawyer fees).

    • An Alaska S corporation may be the way to go if you plan on owning your company without any partners. This structure will save you on your self-employment taxes, and if your business suffers financial losses, you can report them as deductions on your taxes.

    Building a green business is not for the faint at heart, as a lot of planning goes into creating a reputable and credible business. But there are resources to help you ensure your all efforts go according to plan. 

    Are you looking for support from other business owners in our community? Join the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce!

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