Besides simply measuring financial success, businesses are increasingly taking environmental and social performance into account, and this has led to the development of a new kind of business executive: the eco-entrepreneur. Eco-entrepreneurs believe that doing good and making money can go hand in hand, and they work to provide innovations, services, and products that are better for the environment while leaving a minimal carbon footprint. While eco-entrepreneurs are a rare breed, they certainly exist, and they are taking a variety of steps to ensure that today’s business ventures are providing for a greener world tomorrow.
Becoming an Eco-Entrepreneur
The green economy is growing, and to meet future demands, more eco-entrepreneurs will be needed to build products and services that will enable and support sustainability. For this reason, if you are considering a career in eco-entrepreneurship, there are several areas of opportunity that are expected to be needed in the future market:
- Cutting power usage. Products that can be used to reduce energy usage at home or in the office are expected to become more of a necessity in the coming years. People are constantly looking for ways to cut their energy waste in order to improve the environment and reduce their utility costs, so energy-efficient technologies like smart thermostats will be of vital importance in the future.
- Eco-consulting. If you are an expert when it comes to green living, your knowledge and expertise can be used to help other people make their lives more eco-friendly. Offices and homes can be evaluated, and solutions may be offered to make these environments more environmentally friendly.
- Recycling. Many people take the time to recycle standard items like plastic, glass, and paper, but fewer make the effort to properly recycle batteries and electronics. Unfortunately, these items can be harmful to the environment if they are left in landfills, so in the future, services to pick up this e-waste will be in high demand.
- Composting. Composting is a messy business, but if you have the space to spare, you can make a good business out of starting your own compost pile. There’s a high demand for all-natural fertilizer among all-organic gardeners, and compost is often purchased in bulk by community supported agriculture organizations and farmers markets.
- Food production. The homegrown food economy is expected to grow in the coming years, so green business ideas surrounding the production of food will be needed. Aquaponics systems, greenhouses, and the construction of backyard gardening systems will all be in high demand in the future.
Revamping Your Business as an Eco-Entrepreneur
If you are a current business owner with an interest in eco-entrepreneurship, there are several steps that you can take to revamp your business practices to become more environmentally friendly:
- Stay up-to-date on environmentally rends and regulations. Be on the lookout for markets that have been affected by regulatory changes, and ensure that your own business is in compliance with these updates.
- Be aware of technological advances. Technology is constantly improving in order to use less energy and natural resources, so take advantage of these trends to reduce your environmental footprint.
- Set up green initiatives in your business. Creating a “green team” can provide education to your employees and customers, and they can work to find ways to improve your production methods and products to make them more environmentally friendly.
- Consider the core values of eco-entrepreneurship. It is important that you develop a true passion for the values behind eco-entrepreneurship, including conservation, self-sufficiency, and sustainability.
Are Self-Proclaimed Eco-Entrepreneurs Really Acting Against Global Warming?
With all of the talk about eco-entrepreneurship, many people can’t help but wonder if all of these efforts are really making a difference, especially when it comes to global warming. Eco-entrepreneurs are taking major strides to act against global warming by reducing their environmental footprint and offering services that can help others to do the same. Burning fossil fuels will increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and this is a major contributor to global warming. Today, eco-entrepreneurs are better able to determine how they are personally contributing to global warming with online carbon footprint calculators and other resources, as these tools can give businesses a quick estimate of exactly how they are contributing to one of the world’s greatest environmental concerns.
Eco-entrepreneurs are also taking other steps to reduce global warming, including offering energy-efficient products, starting recycling initiatives, and reducing energy consumption. Even simple changes around the office like usage of conference calling app rather than spending money and environmental resources to travel to meet with a colleague in person are reducing the consumption of valuable natural resources. However, global warming is a widespread concern, and while eco-entrepreneurs are certainly making an effort to reverse this trend, increased participation from the greater public as a whole is needed in order to make a major, long-lasting impact.
If you are interested in improving your business or starting a new venture to help others improve the environment, then eco-entrepreneurship may be for you. If you have eco-business ideas or would like to share what your organization is doing to improve global warming, we’d love to hear from you!
Sheza Gary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. She loves public speaking.