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How to undertake sustainable entrepreneurship and the importance of doing so


Entrepreneurship is a process in which you have to make many decisions, but there is one that has gone from being an option to almost a requirement if you want your company to succeed:  building a sustainable business. As it happens with blue economy , an economic perspective that is framed within this modality, sustainable entrepreneurship is gaining more and more strength. Society is more aware of the environment and its care, so it prefers to opt for companies that also are, which responds to what we said at the beginning: a sustainable business has more future than one that does not take into account these aspects. 

Until now, current production models prioritized economic performance above all, leaving aside the impact that processes could have on society and the environment. However, the paradigm has changed to make way for sustainable entrepreneurship. This has three fundamental pillars: creating economic value, social responsibility and environmental protection. In other words, it tries to generate an economic return, through some productive process, but minimizing to the maximum the impact it has on the environment and with a strong commitment to society and the problems that surround it. In this way, sustainable entrepreneurs take into account the implications that their actions will have in the long term and seek solutions that will benefit future generations as well as the present

How to build a sustainable company

This type of entrepreneurship seeks to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the environment to produce goods and services and being able to satisfy the needs of society. Thus, in this process there are two characteristics that play a fundamental role: innovation and creativity, two skills that allow the entrepreneur to look at problems from another perspective, seeking sustainability. If you are thinking of setting up a sustainable company, here we briefly explain some aspects you must not forget. 

  • Identify a problem or business opportunity. As with any entrepreneurial project, the first step is to find a problem, which affects society or the environment, that has not yet been solved  or has no sustainable solution. Thoroughly analyze the market and identify a business opportunity, once done check if it can be viable and if it truly aligns with sustainable principles. 
  • Design your project. Based on the problem identified, design the project that will provide a solution to it and reflect in it the economic, social and environmental benefits it will bring. Otherwise, it won't be a sustainable project. In this step, define the values and the mission of your company and make sure that it reflects your commitment with sustainability. Also, specify what kind of sustainable strategies and practices will take place in your business, such as the use of renewable energies, recycling of resources, reduction of water and energy consumption, waste minimization, etc.
  • Strategic alliances. When you give life to a business, alliances are a key piece to function. Therefore, if you want to develop a sustainable enterprise, when collaborating with third party companies, look for them to share your principles. In addition, you should prioritize local suppliers to boost the economy of proximity.
  • Follow the 3R rule. It is simple: reduce, recycle and reuse to reduce the impact your company has on the environment.
  • Sustainable practices and activities. Organize and develop actions that integrate sustainability in your company. Define different policies that focus on  achieving the sustainable objectives sought in this type of companies; offer training in this area to your employees; collaborate with other companies in events and actions that make the importance of sustainability visible; organize sustainable initiatives in your company in which society can participate, etc.
  • Measure the impact and track the carbon footprint. It is important to know if what you have set out to do is working properly, so assessing your company’s impact in terms of sustainability and profitability is essential. In addition, carbon footprint recording is an increasingly common practice in many organizations. Measuring this information every year will allow you to know exactly the data and thus be able to use it as a reference to reduce the emissions produced.

Finally, when it comes to creating a sustainable business, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formulated by the UN serve as a guide to know which path to take. They show that when talking about sustainability in entrepreneurship, it is not only about taking care of the environment, but also about many other aspects: ending poverty, reducing inequalities, decent work and economic growth, etc.

If you have a sustainable project or would like to have one, do not hesitate to come to La Lonja de la Innovación to get the support you need. Stay tuned for startup acceleration calls or apply to join our FIWARE Tech Program at any time, which supports sustainable projects that want to include this technology.

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