Like their for-profit counterparts, many nonprofits are working to reduce their own carbon footprints and promote sustainability. While reducing unnecessary waste has become an important goal for nonprofits, the focus on other obligations like funding and determining how to best leverage limited resources often takes precedence over sustainability.

Fortunately, making even minor changes can be an effective way to bring a business’s operations into alignment with large sustainability goals.

1. Make A Commitment

Make sure sustainability is reflected in your values and your strategic plan. For example, consider a virtual meeting rather than one requiring a lot of travel.

2. Implement Ways To Monitor Waste

We include a metric in our strategic plan to reduce and monitor waste, which includes reducing utility expenses.

3. Prioritize Locally Sourced Food

One way to reduce [agricultural] emissions is by adopting a policy to prioritize the purchasing of locally sourced, plant-based foods.

4. Close The Loop

Ask yourself questions like, “Are we generating renewable energy to power the office?” and “Are we charging vehicles and appliances with self-generated energy?” You can then take it further by considering how you could enable carbon reduction through your supporters.

5. Reduce Nonessential Traveling

6. Hire A Sustainability Team

Recruit to form an internal sustainability team or task force to evaluate the quick and easy opportunities.

7. Move To Digital Records

Transitioning paper archival processes to primarily digital ones enhances global sustainability efforts.

8. Eliminate The Use Of Business Cards

9. Examine How Events Currently Operate

Fundraising galas often create a lot of waste, involve a lot of transportation and driving and use many single-use items.

10. Consider A Shift To Remote Work

In our case, the decision to move to a fully distributed workforce was the most significant and strategic move we’ve made to reduce our overall carbon footprint and support global sustainability.

11. Implement Online And Electronic Processes


Read the full article about nonprofit operations and sustainability by Forbes Nonprofit Council at Forbes.