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Navigating the Path to Sustainable Success: A Guide for Des Moines Businesses

Sustainable Success

September 6, 2023

Sustainability is a serious issue for businesses based in Greater Des Moines (DSM). Recent consumer surveys show that 50% of people will pay a premium for sustainable products, while three out of four consumers report they want to do more to reduce their personal emissions.

The recent 16.3% jump in the DSM population heightens the importance of running a sustainable business. This uptick in population has sparked a period of economic growth but needs to be coupled with a responsible approach to business operations and sustainability, as new residents will undoubtedly lead to greater consumption of local natural resources. An eye on sustainability will keep you engaged with the community and will also help you stay ahead of any regulatory compliance, proposed or in effect.

Businesses that do reduce their emissions and decrease waste can plot a path toward sustainable success in DSM. A strong corporate social responsibility program resonates with today’s consumers and ensures that all stakeholders feel valued. This protects the long-term success of DSM businesses who want to make Des Moines or one of its surrounding communities their home.

ESG Policies

DSM is globally renowned for its financial sector. Many major insurers make the region their home and bring considerable investment to the area. This can benefit startups and established firms alike, as the close proximity to investors means that business owners can quickly secure the funds they need.

However, firms looking for investment today need a strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) policy. An effective ESG policy encourages socially conscious investors who are looking to deal with businesses that authentically care about their impact on the world. Local businesses that want to boost their ESG guidelines and secure investments can start by focusing on environmental protection policies that:

  • Eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and offset carbon use;
  • Create natural stewardship programs to support the Des Moines ecosystem;
  • Utilize renewable energy sources;
  • Improve waste management and recycling programs.

These ESG policies can make our businesses more of an attractive investment proposition. They show that business owners are aware of consumer trends and are taking proactive steps to combat climate change. These are organizations like DSM-based Landus, which is enhancing sustainability support for farmers around the world, and Principal Financial, named one of Barron’s 100 most sustainable companies.

A sustainable-oriented approach to decision-making can reduce costs, too, as firms that foreground sustainability may pay less for energy and waste disposal.

Sustainable Business Operations

Companies that want to combat climate change may need to revise their standard operating procedures (SOP) to better embrace sustainability. Sustainable SOPs are the backbone of all environmentally conscious businesses, as sustainable SOPs:

  • Reduce resource consumption;
  • Minimize waste;
  • Prioritize energy efficiency;
  • Foster sustainable supply chains;
  • Improve communication with stakeholders.

A business energy audit is usually the first step towards more sustainable SOPs. Auditing firms like Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy help companies track their carbon use and save on energy use. This means that sustainable SOPs can be quantified, tracked and managed by business leaders.

Closing the Loop

Business owners who take a proactive approach to climate change can reduce their business’ carbon emissions, improve their waste management systems and minimize their impact on the local environment. These changes will resonate well with climate-conscious consumers and support a circular economy.

A circular economy strives to entirely eliminate waste within the business. Ideally, every off-cut piece of packaging can be recycled or reused somewhere else within the supply chain. This minimizes waste pollution, mitigates the release of harmful toxins and encourages the use of bio-based materials like bamboo, wood, leather and recyclable cardboard.

Closing the loop can help local businesses align with DSM social values. These values are exemplified in initiatives like Operation Downtown, which works behind the scenes to keep the city safe and clean, lending a helping hand to people throughout Downtown Des Moines (DSM). This type of alignment is particularly important for growing businesses, which can use their sustainable slant to attract talented employees, reduce turnover and connect with conscientious consumers.

Sustainability is a hot topic today. DSM-based businesses can navigate a path toward sustainable success by creating ESG policies that attract investors and resonate with consumers. Following up with sustainable SOPs can also be a boon for busy marketers who are keen to connect with climate-conscious consumers across the region.

Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need.

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.