10 100% Sustainable Business Ideas

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We share with you some valuable examples of 100% sustainable businesses that in this 21st century have managed to create economic, environmental and social value while respecting the planet and using an innovative prism.

Sustainable or sustainable businesses are constituted by those companies that do not have a negative impact on the global environment, society or economy and that strive to achieve a triple positive result: creating economic, environmental and social value with an entrepreneurial spirit.

According to the Business Sustainability Guide published by the United Nations Global Compact, there are five main defining characteristics of these companies:

  • Business Integrity: These are companies that must operate with integrity, respecting the fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, employment, environment and anti-corruption.
  • Strengthening society: Beyond their own objectives, these businesses develop actions to support the communities that surround them.
  • Commitment to leadership: Company leaders must ensure that the entire organization assumes and takes responsibility for sustainability.
  • Progress Reports: Businesses must present performance reports to stakeholders in a transparent and public manner.
  • Local action: Companies with operations and supply chains that span the world need to understand each location and adapt to it.

Below, we provide several examples of innovative companies that use sustainable business models.

10 examples of sustainable companies as inspiration

  • Ternua: This brand of mountain clothing that respects the planet was born in 1994, inspired by the adventurous spirit of overcoming and respectful of the Basque whalers. Called as “the Spanish Patagonia”, its philosophy is governed by innovation. Since 2009 all of their garments are made with organic cotton and since 2013 all the pen they use is recycled Neokdun® FP 700. In this way, all their mountain jackets-plumbs are made based on a natural and 100% biodegradable material. In addition, in 2015, they achieved the total elimination of PFOA / PFOS from their products and in 2016 the exclusion of the PFC in 80% of their pledge.
  • Muebles Lufe: His name gives clues about his philosophy, since they are the initials of Local, Universal, Functional and Ecological. All the products of this successful business in Gipuzkoa are made of solid wood from native forests and have an ecological PEFC certification, which guarantees consumers that their products come from sustainably managed forests. In this way they foster diversity, respect the ecosystem, sustain the local population and avoid problems such as illegal logging. Product simplification and online sales have helped Muebles Lufe become more viable.
  • Ecoalf: This clothing brand born in 2012 boasts sustainable designs with recycled materials. The garments of the company, of the highest quality, are made from PET bottles, coffee beans, fishing nets or used tires. They also have a project called Up cycling the Oceans to clean the oceans of garbage thanks to the support of the fishermen, in order to transform the plastic of the Mediterranean into yarn to make fabrics and that they want to replicate in other parts of the world.
  • Recycled Firefighter: This sustainable and ecological brand was created by a retired firefighter who came up with a brilliant idea: to make wallets, notebook covers and backpacks using recycled hoses as material. Its flagship model has sold more than 20,000 units and a percentage of the profits go to fire victims.
  • 100% pure: We jump to another field that of natural and organic cosmetics, made from natural products and of course, without animal experimentation. In search of a more sustainable world and respectful of nature, in its complete catalog you can find cosmetic items such as a facial cleanser of kiwi and pineapple. Pure Fix: Another business that currently works. It is a company that has two functions, literal. One of them.
  • Vaute Couture: Leanne Mai-ly and Hilgart is the face behind this important brand of 100% vegan clothing in Chicago. Completely pioneering as an ecological and sustainable business, since it was born seven years ago with the purpose of creating friendly designs with society and animals. The materials to combat the winter cold come from organic fibers and recycled -like plastic bottles-. In addition, it also launches specific T-shirts for NGOs, from animal sanctuaries to large international nonprofit organizations.
  • Bioo: A device connected to a geranium can supply energy to a television, without staining and without generating waste. This startup was the winner in the past South Summit 2016 the most innovative project prize, based on an initiative of three young Catalans who investigate an unexpected source of energy: the photosynthesis of plants.
  • Pure Cycles: This company sells exclusive and limited models of bicycles, of which for each unit donates 100 dollars to the NGO called Charity Water, whose purpose is to purify water in some areas with water problems (especially in Africa).
  • Up Fuse: Taking up the fashion universe, Up Fuse is an Egyptian brand of handbags made from recycled plastic bags that are combined with other sustainable materials such as cotton or palm leaves. Their results are colorful, showy, comfortable and committed to the environment.
  • Maldita Maria: This brand of ecological and sustainable clothing stands out for its slow philosophy skirts, timeless and lasting, made in an artisanal way. These are designs committed to the reduction of waste and the possibility of recycling after the end of the life of the garment. This brand of clothing for girls and women unites sustainability, ecology, art and empowerment.
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