Sustainable business ideas for green entrepreneurs

Apr 5, 2021 | Sustainable business, Sustainable business models


 

We aim to help entrepreneurs to contribute to building a sustainable world. That is why we have come up with a list of sustainable business ideas for green entrepreneurs. The sustainable business ideas are divided in four different categories: 1) Consultancy, 2) Production, 3) Service and 4) Retail. Get inspired and let us know if you have any ideas to add.

 

Consultancy

 

Sustainable business coaching / consulting

Businesses have to play a big role in the transition to a sustainable world. You can help businesses by offering your services as a sustainable business coach / consult. This can be in different forms, think of:
1) Business coaching, but then focused on sustainable businesses
2) Coaching beginning entrepreneurs on how to create a sustainable business
3) Consulting existing businesses on how to become more sustainable


Sustainability grant writer

There is an increasing amount of sustainability grants available all around the world. These are not only offered by local governments or municipalities, but also by big funds that offer sustainability grants globally. The number of sustainable businesses is growing as well, but a lot of them are aware of the available sustainability grants or know how to apply for them. This is where the role of a grant writer


Energy consultant

Most businesses can largely decrease their resource use and greenhouse gas emissions by minimising their energy use. As an energy consultant you can be the expert on how to minimise energy use and / or how to switch to renewable energy sources. You can fulfil this expert role in different forms, think of:
1) an expert in saving energy for homes and/or businesses
2) an expert in renewable energy like solar panels for homes / business
3) an expert in increasing energy efficiency use for businesses

 

Efficiency expert

An important way in which businesses can maximise their returns while also minimising their environmental impacts is by focusing on efficiency. This does not only concern resource efficiency, but the organisational efficiency of a business as a whole. As an efficiency expert you can consult businesses about how to save costs and spare the environment.

 

Environmental impact expert

For businesses to minimise their negative environmental impact, this impact first has to be identified and quantified. In order to do so, businesses will need an expert that can perform an environmental impact assessment method like life cycle assessment (LCA).

 

Social impact expert

For businesses to maximise their positive social impact, they will need advise on where improvements can be made to do so. In order to do so, businesses will need an expert on social business impact or a practitioner that can perform a social impact assessment method.


Reconnect with nature
coach

An effective way for people to become aware of their impact on the environment is reconnecting with nature. The idea is that by reconnecting with nature people will start to value the world around them more and rethink their usual behaviour.

 

Production

 

Create value from waste

1) Identify a waste stream from homes or businesses that can be used to create new products with
2) Collect this waste stream and clean, upcycle or recycle if necessary
3) Sell the products (after testing them of course) and use sustainability as your competitive advantage


Circular business

Contribute to the circular economy by creating a business in which nothing is allowed to be wasted or discarded into the environment and reuse, repairs, and remake in preference to recycling. What is necessary for a product-based circular business is that a repair or take-back service is in place. Moreover, the customers have to be incentivised to actually get their products repaired or send them back after not using them anymore.


Long-lasting products

People can make the biggest impact in their ecological footprint by simply consuming less. One way to make sure people buy less new products is to create robust, unbreakable, durable, product alternatives.

 

Product service system

Another way to make sure people buy less new products, is by offering a product as a service (e.g. on a subscription basis). Often a repair or take-back service is part of the product service system as well.


Modular products

Design a modular product that is composed of interchangeable components. This may allow customers to customise, repair and reuse products instead of buying new ones.


Package free alternatives

Design and sell a product that can serve as a package free alternative for a type of product that usually is packaged.

 

Service

 

Hospitality

This can be in different forms, think of a vegan, circular, social or eco-friendly establishment.


Renting service

People can make the biggest impact in their ecological footprint by just consuming less. A way to make sure people buy less new products is to motivate them to rent things instead of buying them new. By offering an attractive and sustainable renting service, you can actually help people to minimise their ecological footprint.


Eco-friendly wellness

Wellness services can also focus on sustainability, by using eco-friendly products and renewable energy for instance.

 

Repairing / upcycling 

Rising consumer awareness about their environmental impact is starting to makes people think twice before they buy something new. This is leading to a rise in demand for repairing / upcycling services.

 

Sustainable franchise

If you want to run a sustainable service business, but don’t want to start from scratch you could also invest in a sustainable franchise. There are  different categories in franchising that can be environmentally conscious.

 

Retail


Selling eco-friendly products 

This can be in different forms, think of:
1) Sell eco-friendly products from existing suppliers (online)
2) Sell second-hand products (online)
3) Sell self-grown products


Library

You probably immediately associate the word ‘library’ with books. However, different types of libraries are on the rise. This is because consumers can largely decrease their environmental impact by renting something instead of buying it new. Increasing awareness among consumers and business owners is currently stimulating the rise of new concepts like 1) clothing libraries, 2) toy libraries, 3) appliance libraries, etc.

 

Sustainable franchise

If you want to run a sustainable retail business, but don’t want to start from scratch you could also invest in a sustainable franchise.

 

That was it for now, we hope to have given you some fresh sustainable business ideas. Have a look at our other articles here and subscribe below to stay up-to-date!

 

 

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