If you want your business to last generations, you have a factor to worry about that entrepreneurs prior rarely had to consider: ecological sustainability. As the threat of climate change becomes more and more apparent, businesses are adopting more sustainable practices. That said, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do anything. These are the most commonly made mistakes to avoid.

Working in Half Measures

A lot of companies employ recycling in their offices or arrange for monthly clean-up days, but how much of an effect do these actually have on the environment? Offsetting your business in small ways creates diminishing returns for increasing labor costs, but taking a full audit of your company and looking at the most effective long-term methods for improving your sustainability may cost more upfront but will pay dividends in the long run.

Not Reading the Fine Print

“Green” is hip right now, and that means there are countless brands trying to cash in on the trend while it’s still popular. Unfortunately, there is no designated standard for what “green” means. Whether you’re replacing the paper towels in your office bathroom or looking for healthier snacks for the break room, take the time to actually scrutinize the products you plan on using.

Setting Government Regulations as the Benchmark

While there are federal, state, and local guidelines in place for environmentally sustainable businesses, that doesn’t mean that they represent the standard your business should follow. Passing legislation means entertaining a number of different interests, and that also means the bar is often low for what needs to be achieved. Setting your standards at what you can manage instead of what the government mandates can really make a difference and set your business apart from the competition.

Using Outdated Appliances

Replacing a fridge or air conditioning unit can be a bit expensive for a small business, but that doesn’t mean that the upgrade isn’t worth your time. Newer appliances can reduce the impact your business has on the environment while also saving you money on utility bills. And with new Wi-Fi enabled appliances, you can have more control over your energy usage than ever before.

Not Considering Your Staff

To employ environmentally friendly practices effectively, you need to make sure that everyone is on board with it. Before you ever implement policies for recycling or any other green methodology, consult with your employees to see how they could be an impediment to their current work methodology. You’ll likely get input and come across a more effective pathway to success.