Looking for sustainable business ideas? Then you came to the right place. Here we will share with you the amazing and profitable eco-friendly business ideas.
The concern for caring for the environment has led countries around the world to make serious commitments. An example is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, whose purpose is to eradicate poverty, promote economic and social prosperity, and strive for environmental protection. Certainly, these commitments have promoted the birth of sustainable businesses focused on reducing the negative impact on the natural and social environment.
Similarly, companies from various industries have rethought their business models to implement sustainability policies and thus contribute positively to the conservation and preservation of the environment. Therefore, today we will talk about some innovative green business ideas to earn money and promote sustainable development.
What is a sustainable business?
Sustainable or ecological businesses have the primary objective of caring for the environment. All its plans, processes, and policies are framed in a sustainability scheme. So they are called triple impact companies. That is, they contribute positively to the economic, social, and environmental environment.
Likewise, these businesses are characterized by establishing a lasting commitment to the principles of sustainability in their commercial operations. Therefore, they do not focus on maximizing profits at all costs, but on optimizing their production processes. And thus, ensure that their economic return does not cause damage or threats to the environment or compromise social welfare.
What are sustainable products?
Sustainable businesses provide products or services that respect the environment, which promote responsible consumption. Therefore, sustainable products are those that use natural, human, and economic resources more efficiently during their production chain; generating benefits and positive impacts on the environment, health, and well-being throughout its life cycle. That is, from the extraction of raw materials to the final disposal of the product.
Among the most representative characteristics of sustainable products are:
- They substitute traditional products for others of less impact.
- They consume less energy when used.
- They do not use aggressive or predatory inputs or processes.
- Its raw materials come from natural resources that are intelligently used and that are recovered in a certain time.
How to start a sustainable business?
Sustainable ventures are conquering the market in different countries, as every day more consumers make their purchase decision based on their impact on the environment. In fact, Euromonitor International, for the year 2019, highlighted sustainable consumption as one of the 10 trends of the year.
Because of this, many of the business investments are moving towards green businesses. Therefore, to start a sustainable business it is important to take into account certain aspects related to planning and management. Next, we will mention some key factors to carry out this type of undertaking.
- Conduct market research to identify consumer needs and recognize competitors.
- Create a value offer with differential products or services that respond to market demand.
- Set business objectives to steer the company towards a specific direction.
- Prepare a business plan that sets out the strategies and actions to be followed to achieve the objectives.
- Determine the means and channels to disseminate and promote the business.
- Measure the business impact. That is, calculate the social and environmental value that it provides.
- Integrate the concept of sustainability into all business processes and operations. It is not enough to talk about eco-friendly or natural products if the internal workings are not faithful to this philosophy.
15 Innovative Green and Sustainable Business Ideas
It’s time to get down to business and talk a bit about some sustainable business ideas you can invest in. We will present you with a list of 15 innovative green ventures ideal to be part of this growing market.
1. Clean and renewable energies
Renewable energy, in addition to being one of the most profitable sustainable businesses, represents the energy sources of the future. Well, it is an excellent alternative to combat global warming. For this reason, many entrepreneurs have decided to invest in this field to develop wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources. Some of the renewable energy products that can be marketed are:
- Solar cells and panels
- Air turbines
- Photovoltaic systems
- Wind turbines
- Water heaters
This is a highly viable business, as many industries are already implementing renewable energy systems to mitigate environmental impact. Also, they turn out to be much cheaper than traditional fuel-based energy sources.
2. Organic food store
The demand for organic food grows exponentially, as the number of people who bet on healthy eating is increasing. Many of these consumers prefer to go to local markets and buy directly from farms and orchards. Consequently, the demand for vegetables, fruits and animals whose cultivation and breeding is less industrialized is an upward trend.
This means an opportunity to enter the market and produce organic food to market, either wholesale or per unit. Within your product catalog you can offer:
- Infusions: coffee, tea, medicinal herbs.
- Vegetables: vegetables and fruits
- Oils: sunflower, olive, grape.
- Nuts: almonds, apricots, walnuts
- Drinks: wines, juices, beers
- Spices: oregano, pepper, thyme, bay leaf
- Meats: chicken, rabbit, turkey, pork.
- Cereals: wheat, rice, corn
3. Filters and water purifiers
The water from water sources such as rivers and streams has high levels of contamination due to the waste generated by human activity. Although the water received by homes and companies has undergone the proper purification processes, it travels through pipes of all kinds. Thus dragging impurities, bacteria, oxides, and metals.
Therefore, investing in water purifiers and filters is one of the sustainable businesses with a wide field of action in various sectors. These contribute to reducing contamination, eliminating bacteria and parasites. Also, they can be sold or rented in homes, restaurants, offices, hotels, shopping centers, universities, etc.
4. Organic compost from food waste
Huge amounts of food are discarded every day around the world, creating an alternative to rescue the environmental cycle. Converting organic waste into fertilizers that work as compost, since they contain a large number of nutrients for the soil.
The process of decomposing waste is known as composting and for this, microorganisms such as bacteria can be used. It is enough to take advantage of the peels of fruits and vegetables from homes or restaurants.
5. Biodegradable bags
Biodegradable bags have become very popular in recent years as they help reduce the use of plastics. Also, they are comfortable, resistant and it is possible to find them in different sizes, designs, and prices.
These are highly demanded products since they have endless uses in everyday life. And in many countries, the use of traditional plastic bags has been prohibited, which makes them 100% necessary in shops and supermarkets.
The main characteristic of this article is that it has a special additive that allows them to start a rapid degradation process after being discarded. Therefore, producing and marketing biodegradable bags is one of the fastest-growing sustainable businesses today.
6. Collection of batteries and electronic waste
The correct disposal of electronic waste such as computers, cell phones, batteries, and household appliances is essential to reduce environmental pollution. Well, its components need a special treatment, since they release toxic substances for the soil such as gases, mercury, iron, and lead.
Because of this, many countries have enacted laws and policies for the comprehensive management of waste electrical and electronic equipment. However, people do not have enough knowledge about it and do not know how to proceed to properly dispose of these devices.
For this reason, the need has arisen for sustainable companies and businesses specialized in this work. And that they can implement processes for the treatment, recycling, and recovery of electronic waste. Without a doubt, an opportunity to innovate in this little-explored sector and offer these solutions to homes and businesses.
7. Recycling business
It is well known that recycling is the process by which waste is converted into products or inputs to make items. Consequently, it represents great business opportunities that, in addition to generating profits, promote a sustainable culture. Although there is already a consolidated industry in terms of metal and paper recycling, there are other types of waste that are still emerging, such as:
- Electronic devices
Therefore, starting a recycling business turns out to be very attractive for entrepreneurs interested in sustainable businesses. Since a lot of waste becomes very well paid.
First, it must be identified which materials are recyclable and for which industry they are needed. Next, generate a collection, cleaning, and storage strategy. And establish an efficient and low-cost production chain.
8. Fairtrade shops
Fairtrade refers to commercial relations between producers and consumers aimed at the integral development of populations. Also, to the achievement of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Therefore, this business focuses on setting up a store that supports local entrepreneurs and producers through the direct purchase of products, thus eliminating intermediation expenses. Generally, these establishments sell products such as:
- Food: drinks, honey, nuts, jams, cereals, coffee, chocolate, etc.
- Crafts, sculptures, and costume jewelry
- Textiles: clothing and household linen
- Stationery: notebooks, pencils, folders, cards, etc.
9. Biodegradable for pets
Biodegradable products for pets are hygiene and beauty products free of toxic agents and made with natural raw materials. Such as honey, oils, jojoba, sap, milk, etc. These include the following:
- Odor eliminators
Clearly, a very innovative alternative to pamper pets, contributing a grain of sand to environmental conservation.
10. Urban organic farming
This is one of the most innovative sustainable businesses on the list. Also, it can be performed at home. It is about taking advantage of the spaces and resources of the cities to generate products of habitual consumption.
Here small gardens are created in spaces such as terraces, balconies, walls, roofs of buildings, or streets to harvest food. Of course, avoiding the use of harmful chemical materials and pesticides for the treatment of crops.
Such crops can be sold to supermarkets or directly to wholesale or retail consumers. For its part, urban agriculture contributes to food sovereignty, that is, it guarantees the right to food of the population. Since it increases the amount of food available to city dwellers and provides fresh produce.
11. Natural cosmetics
Natural cosmetics is one of the fastest-growing and fastest-growing sustainable businesses in the industry. Because the global beauty market is focused on innovation and consumer well-being. Concepts that are closely related to products of natural origin and with sustainable characteristics. For example, powders and body cream free of substances derived from petroleum, or mascara based on cactus.
Also, more and more consumers are turning to beauty care based on natural and organic crops. On the one hand, there are those who want to avoid toxic and aggressive ingredients for the skin. But there are also users motivated by ethical reasons such as animal protection, fair trade, and transparent values.
To dispel doubts about the profitability of this business, let’s look at the example of brands like Natura and The Body Shop. These pointed to the production of natural cosmetics and today they are two giants of the beauty industry.
12. Sustainable tourism
Within the sustainable business ideas, tourism could not be absent, one of the greatest dynamizes of the economies of the countries. As well as one of the industries that generate the most jobs worldwide. And one of the most influential vehicles in the protection and preservation of natural and cultural resources.
This is well demonstrated by sustainable tourism, which refers to leisure and recreation activities that minimize negative impacts on the environment and culture. Generating, in turn, income and benefits for the host communities. Sustainable tourism activities include:
- Rural houses and accommodation
- Ecological restaurants
- Bike tours
- Adventure trip
- Ecotourism in protected areas and nature reserves.
13. Biodegradable packaging
Disposable containers used in events, catering and some food establishments are generally made of Styrofoam or plastic. Materials that take between 500 and 1,500 years to fully degrade. Therefore, to reduce environmental damage, the marketing of biodegradable packaging made from organic raw materials has been promoted.
These products have a high competitive advantage due to the fact that their production chain is more efficient and cheaper. They also degrade completely in a period of 90 to 240 days. So these types of products are very useful for restaurants, food delivery services, event companies, and catering, among others.
14. Bamboo products
Surely you have heard about bamboo, a natural and ecological resource with countless applications. This has become the sustainable resource of choice to replace plastic and other polluting materials.
Also, it is widely used as a construction material due to its high resistance and low sensitivity to humidity. Therefore, bamboo products are a successful bet to be part of successful sustainable businesses. Some of the most popular products manufactured with this resource are:
- Blinds and rugs
15. Sustainable fashion
We close this list of sustainable businesses with another market that has become a trend in recent years. We are talking about sustainable fashion, an alternative that tends towards environmental care and social responsibility. Focusing on producing more natural textiles free of toxic materials, as well as respecting the rights of workers.
Its objective is to articulate textile production processes with systems of environmental conservation, social justice, and poverty reduction. Therefore, in addition to making garments, it also encompasses second-hand clothing stores. Also, fair trade clothing is made in workshops and accessories made by hand with natural inputs.
It is clear that sustainable business opportunities are varied, flexible, and adaptable to different industries. And that beyond seeking an economic benefit, its objective is to contribute to a better quality of life for all. Contributing positively to the social, environmental, and economic environment, creating products and services that minimize irresponsible consumption.
This type of undertaking is the basis for a fairer economy and a world more concerned with the conservation and preservation of resources. Tell us in the comments, would you like to start a sustainable business? Which of these ideas do you find the most interesting?