A rainbow in the distance over a field of grass.

5 ways to make a positive environmental impact this Pride Month

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are quickly becoming big priorities for small businesses. Nearly one-third of surveyed employees say they wouldn’t even consider working for a company that lacks diversity, and 76% say diversity is a top consideration when evaluating job offers. Part of creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace (and world!) is investing in sustainable and eco-friendly business practices. Today’s consumers and employees care about supporting businesses that care about people and the planet. Prioritizing social and environmental responsibility demonstrates your commitment to building a better world for all. 

But it’s not just good for the planet and your community, it’s good for business. By investing in DEI and sustainability, you attract a more diverse customer base who share the same values (and are even willing to pay up to 25% more to support your sustainable efforts). Plus, you’ll build a strong brand image in the process, helping you stand out from your competition, increasing customer loyalty, and boosting employee morale. At a very base level, going green can help you reduce overhead costs by conserving water and energy. 

There are lots of ways to make small, sustainable improvements to your office or storefront that add up in significant ways. Switch out harsh fluorescent lights in favor of LED bulbs (or, even better, natural light). Add a recycling bin to the break room with clear signage about what can and cannot be recycled. And make sure all electronics are powered down at the end of the day. These changes might seem like drops in a bucket, but those drops add up over time, and lots of small drops (you, plus the 33+ million small businesses across the U.S.) can create a big wave. 

Pride Month offers a perfect opportunity to focus your efforts on making a positive social and environmental impact. As you plan your Pride celebrations, keep the following tips in mind. 

1. Look for eco-certifications

Green business certifications are awarded to companies that practice sustainability and adopt eco-friendly business practices that benefit the planet. Energy Star, Green Seal, and Green America are some eco-certifications you may have heard of. Whether you’re partnering with a local business, ordering swag from a vendor, or hiring a service company, look for businesses that carry green business certifications (or, at least, promote sustainable business practices).

2. Shop local

Small businesses are the backbone of every local economy. When possible, buy from small and local businesses in your community. Not only does this support your economy, but you’ll reduce unnecessary transportation emissions in the process. Sourcing locally cuts down on excessive shipping needs and could even get materials in your hands much faster. 

3. Invest in smart swag

People love swag, but let’s face it: all those cheap plastic sunglasses are probably going to end up in a landfill sooner or later. Instead, invest in smart swag that’s better for the planet. Things like reusable tote bags, water bottles, and notebooks made from recycled materials are both better for the environment and more useful than plastic junk. 

4. Find a good cause

You don’t have to shell out a bunch of cash to support a good cause. You can donate a portion of the proceeds from an event, partner with a charitable organization, or volunteer in person. Better yet, give employees time off to volunteer or volunteer as a team. Supporting a good cause increases positive brand perception, boosts team morale, and makes a tangible positive impact on your community. 

5. Educate employees and customers

Chances are, your employees and customers are eager to do their part in creating social and environmental change. But they might not be sure how or where to start. That’s where you come in. Educate employees and customers on how you can achieve sustainable and social goals together by adopting green practices in their own lives and participating in your initiatives. 

A sustainable future

Pride Month is an opportune time to double down on your social and environmental efforts. DEI is in the air, and so is a desire to enact real, positive change. Get started with a more sustainable Pride celebration and keep that momentum going all year long. Visit the Going Green hub for more resources.

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Find the tools and resources you need to be a strong ally to your customers and employees, support the LGBTQ+ community, and make an impact year-round.

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