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Five online courses to make your business more sustainable

It’s no secret that the world is facing major environmental challenges. But the good news is that these courses will give you the tools needed to make your business more sustainable.

A sustainable business owner walks through her greenhouse

Consumers are more interested than ever in products and services that align with their values. With a surge in environmental awareness, sustainability is no longer a trend — it’s here to stay. Sustainability is now an important factor for businesses of all sizes. 

Do you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make your business, or even just your workplace, as sustainable as possible? These online courses will boost the environmental credentials of your business, giving you tips to help fight the climate crisis.

Why is sustainability important in business?

Sustainability is essential for protecting our environment. The business world has a significant impact on the planet — particularly during this age of globalisation. Read more about globalisation and its impact in this article.

Consumers want to support businesses that care about more than just profit. They want to know that the companies they patronise are taking steps to make a positive difference in the world.

Many companies have been widely criticised for the deforestation caused by their supply chains. As a result, many brands are now working to source their materials more responsibly and adopt “plant a tree” initiatives.

Sustainability is also simply good business. Companies that adopt sustainable practices often find that they save money in the long run, and attract and retain employees who are passionate about making a difference. In today’s business climate, sustainability should be a priority, not an afterthought.

What is a sustainable business model?

A sustainable business model is one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In other words, it’s a way of doing business that protects and enhances the Earth’s resources while also providing economic benefits for people. 

This means that businesses have to find ways to use resources efficiently, reduce waste, and minimise their environmental impact.

There are many different sustainable business models. Identify the model that best suits your company’s need for success. There’s been a rise in sustainable practices in the fashion industry, which we outline in this article

From clothes suppliers using sustainable fabrics to big brands adopting more ethical manufacturing practices, the fashion industry is slowly adopting sustainable business models, although there is still quite a long way to go.

How to encourage sustainability in the workplace

Operating in a more sustainable way can be difficult to achieve in the workplace. Employees are often reluctant to change their habits and you need to get everyone on board for success. There are a few simple steps that you can take to encourage sustainability in the workplace:

  • Make sustainability a part of your company culture: Consider corporate social responsibility initiatives, environmental policies, and sustainable workplace practices. For example, vow to become carbon neutral, invest in renewable energy or reduce your water usage.
  • Raise awareness: Highlight key environmental issues and action items through posters and internal newsletters.
  • Provide employees with the resources they need to make sustainable choices: This might include recycling bins, energy-efficient appliances, cycle-to-work schemes, or car-sharing initiatives.
  • Lead by example: Employees are more likely to adopt sustainable practices if they see senior managers doing the same.
  • Recognise and reward employees who make an effort to adopt sustainable practices: Use a point system, monthly awards, or other incentives to showcase team efforts.

Making sustainability a priority in the workplace can be challenging, but creating a culture that puts emphasis on environmentally friendly initiatives can lead to improved morale and a more positive work environment. In the long term, it can also help to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Top 5 courses to make your business more sustainable

Now that you know the importance of sustainability in business, there are a number of great courses to help you make the shift. Here are five of the best:

1. Climate Change: Transforming your Organisation for Sustainability Microcredential by The Open University

Now more than ever, it’s crucial for business owners to understand the causes and consequences of climate change and how they can take action. From tackling the problem of greenhouse gases to the pollution of our oceans, there are many ways that businesses can strive to make a difference.

This gripping course from the Open University will give you the skills and knowledge you need to transform your organisation. You’ll learn about organisational contributions to sustainability agendas, design a sustainability action plan, and develop the critical thinking and leadership skills needed to make real change. 

2. Building a Sustainable Future with Technology by UAL: Creative Computing Institute and Feminist Internet

The way we use technology can have a huge impact on the environment. How we produce and use technology consumes vast amounts of energy, creates toxic waste, and contributes to climate change. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways we can use technology in a more sustainable way and there are technologies that can help us protect the environment, such as those that help us grow sustainable food.

By learning about sustainable approaches to technology, you can help your business to reduce its environmental impact. From gaining a better understanding of the relationship between technology and sustainability to learning how to assess the sustainability of different technologies, there are a number of ways this course can help support and enhance your sustainability efforts.

3. Communicating Climate Change for Effective Climate Action by the University of Glasgow

Communicating climate change effectively is important in order to build trust between scientists and the public. When people understand the science behind climate change, they are more likely to take action. 

Understanding that you can make a difference can inspire people to get out there and participate in the fight against climate change. Learning more about climate change communication will help you to understand the challenges associated with passing on the message and information to help inspire change. 

From understanding the role of emotion in climate change communication to using storytelling to engage people, this course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to raise engagement for climate action.

4. Environmental Entrepreneurs: Strategies for Green Business by the Adam Smith Centre

Entrepreneurship is about more than just making money. It’s about solving problems and making a positive impact on the world. 

While many businesses focus on profit, there’s a growing movement of businesses that are focused on making a positive environmental impact, led by “environmental entrepreneurs” driven by sustainability innovation and growth.

If you’re interested in starting a business or making an existing one more environmentally sustainable, this course is for you. You’ll learn about entrepreneurial innovation, how to apply theoretical principles of entrepreneurship to environmental problems, and identify characteristics of effective environmental entrepreneurship

Additionally, you’ll explore a range of sustainable business models and learn how to assess their feasibility.

5. Tackling Climate Change: Sustainable Business Models for a Circular Economy by the University of Glasgow

Circular economies are an alternative to the traditional, linear model of business, which focuses on extracting resources, making products, and then disposing of them. 

In a circular economy, businesses work in closed loops focusing on materials that are reused and recycled instead of being disposed of. This approach aims to reduce waste, conserve resources, and generate less pollution. 

A great example of this is the circular economy of Singapore, where the country has implemented this approach over the course of several years for a cleaner, greener society.

In this course, you’ll have a powerful introduction to the concept of circular economy and explore how businesses can transition to this model. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges associated with circular economies, and how to assess whether this approach is right for your business. 

Additionally, you’ll develop an understanding of the key strategies and tools that can be used to facilitate the transition to a circular economy.

Final thoughts

Sustainability is important for businesses of all sizes. By understanding and implementing sustainable practices, businesses can reduce their environmental impact, build a more sustainable future, and create positive social change. 

The good news is that making your business more sustainable doesn’t have to be difficult. By taking one or more of these courses, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to make a positive impact on the environment.

The above courses are just a few of the many that are available to help you make your business more sustainable. What’s important is that you get started and take action on making your business more sustainable today. Explore our 50 sustainability FAQs answered for more information.

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