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What does a sustainable business coach do?

If you’re reading the recent news of global fires and devastating floods, massive glacial ice sheets calving off the Antarctic, and record-breaking temperatures reported from Portland to Siberia, you may not be surprised by the recent report from the IPCC with the urgent call to action; the preverbal, “code red for humanity,” was issued. 

I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve been watching this unfolding calamity for years and did everything from co-founding and developing a successful countywide climate action coalition “Communities for a Sustainable Monterey County”, being the first elected official to run a carbon-neutral campaign in Pacific Grove, CA, to being a daily talk radio host of the show, “Tomorrow Matters.” These efforts had the intention of helping others curb emissions, recycle, eat local, and do all of the things we know we’ve need to do to stop the current crisis.  I can tell you, across the board, everyone wants to help steer humanity back from the brink of destruction, they really do!

But it’s always been a struggle to balance the present moment with an unknown future. Saving the planet has taken the back seat to get your kids to school on time, meeting a critical job-related deadline, and saving for retirement. Now, on top of all of these important activities, we have to deal with the pandemic and unknown market fluctuations. This doesn’t make going green easier. It makes it even more challenging! So what is a business person to do?  

Hire a Sustainable Business Coach, of course!  How else can you succeed during these times? You’re an expert at your company, not the methods for becoming resilient in the face of all the issues related to climate change. 

What a sustainable business coach does

A good sustainable business coach will empower you to find solutions that work specifically for your company.  This is not a one size fits all type of operation; every company is unique and requires specific creative integrative strategies for turning your company green and ready to develop impactful outcomes… and save you money while you’re at it! 

You must also align attitudes and find ethical solutions to current inequities with the end game of building a vision for your team that can be maintained day-to-day. But sometimes as the business owner, you’re too close to things to be able to see the finer details of social justice issues within your company, a sustainable business coach can help with this. 

Why do this kind of business coaching?  

Well, set aside the global call to action from the IPCC.

Shareholders and stakeholders – it could be your insurance company are requiring you to report your emissions now, or your local water agency needs you to reduce your water consumption or your investors are now looking for green startups instead of traditional business models.  The global investment management company, BlackRock, issued a report to the CEOs of companies they invest in and put it simply,… go green or lose their investment support.  

Marketing – Customers (especially Gen Z) are looking to support more sustainable businesses, in a recent article from CNBC, The environment is Gen Z’s No. 1 concern – and some companies are taking advantage of that, highlights just this point. 

Acquisition, retention, and engagement are about showing you know and care about your customer and that includes caring about the community they live in and the people who work for you now and going into this uncertain future. Properly preparing for climate instability with all your stakeholders in mind will bring resilience inside and out.  

Save money – going green is more often than not an opportunity to find cost savings in your business’s supply chain and resource use. Working with a sustainability coach is a great way to capture value where you might not have before and increase revenue! It’s all possible! 

Who benefits from sustainable business coaching?

All businesses can benefit, but specifically small businesses and startups. Our small businesses are the lifeblood of every community, we need them operational when the going gets tough. They are our neighbors and much of the money we spend in a local business circulates back into the community, creating a positive feedback loop of abundance in our home towns. 

Startups are on the cusp of most innovation and we need all their eyes on climate solutions. Startup Statistics (2021): 35 Facts and Trends You Must Know is a great article on the stats of startups in the US, but also, check out the Founder Institute’s new cohort coming out of Santa Cruz, that’s building their curriculum with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  

What to expect

If you’re thinking about working with a sustainable business coach, you can expect them to do a thorough review of your business.  And I do mean thorough… like every nook and cranny; your employment policies, your suppliers and their supply chains and human rights policies, your trash, your compensation model, your cleaning supplies, and more. In my practice,  I offer an Opportunity Analysis Roadmap session that kick-starts your business review and gets you on your sustainable business journey fast.  

From here a process map and timeline will be developed that can be used across departments with measurable outcomes. You can expect trainings, lists of resources, new partnerships identified, and communication plans for employees and customers. And don’t forget, cost-benefit analysis can help drive decision-making and encourages action. I would also expect some leadership counseling if your coach is super helpful. This is a lot of new material and climate change is bringing up a level of grief that needs to be worked through.  You should trust your coach 110%! 

I can help

So bring in a sustainable business coach.  I, of course, recommend myself, but I can also recommend others, and help get the eagle vision of your company as we face the biggest challenge of our time. Then focus on the details to build a sustainable company, all while treating your team and customers like the gems they are and realize a solid triple bottom line! That supports people, the planet, and profit.  Code Red, we’re on it! 

Reach out if you have any questions! 

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

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