It won’t be a hyperbole if we state that e-learning is the epitome of this information age. You can learn any skill, subject, or trade on the internet and even get certified to boost your career. All the information is out in the open and within your easy reach.

While e-learning has helped individuals in enhancing their skills and get better jobs, businesses have reaped huge benefits too. Any business can implement a Learning Management System to easily train their workforce online. According to a recent study from StuDocu, the e-learning market size exceeded $315 billion and 77% of businesses used e-learning in some capacity.

Besides many other conspicuous benefits, e-learning can help small businesses become sustainable too. Let’s explore how you can make your small business sustainable with e-learning.

What is a sustainable business?

Running a small business is no cakewalk. You have to be on your toes at all the times to keep the fire burning. You may be in the shoes of a visionary at one moment, brainstorming the strategy to scale-up your business, and making some menial reports the very next moment because your executive is on leave.

In such a chaotic environment, business owners are often out of bandwidth to focus on making their business sustainable. It comes out as an ancillary task when compared to the primary goal or the “bottom line” of a business- profit.

But the fact is that if you focus on making your business sustainable, your profit levels may automatically climb up. After all, sustainability means the effective utilization of resources so that it doesn’t affect the environment and society in a negative way, besides being economically viable.

This three-pronged approach of focusing on the economic, social and environmental impact of a business is called the “Triple Bottom Line” and can be helpful in increasing the profitability by making your business sustainable.

How e-learning contributes to sustainability

Lowers commuting

Unless you are walking or cycling, the daily commute is a huge contributor to global warming and air pollution. Vehicles produce a lot of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases which have a steep negative impact on our environment. Electric vehicles may be considered a lesser evil as compared to fossil fuel driven vehicles, but the production and disposition of their batteries is a challenge too.

E-learning eliminates the need to travel to a commonplace at the same time to attend the training programs. This ensures that your team members can easily take up their training programs from anywhere in the world through any device like laptop, desktop, mobile phone or tablet.

Once you implement a Learning Management System in your organization, you simply have to create courses and training programs of any kind and upload them to a central server. Your employees just have to log in to the LMS software with their respective credentials to access these programs and get going.

Lessens printing

It’s a well-known fact that paper and stationery have a deteriorating effect on the environment. While most of the paper comes from trees for which forests need to be cut down, the process of converting tree pulp into paper is atrociously water-intensive too.

If you are conducting physical training programs that need the employees to be present in an auditorium or classroom, use of printouts and stationery is inevitable.

E-learning software helps you go completely online with the negligible use of printed documents to successfully implement the training modules.

Scalable infrastructure

Every small business wants to grow in size and become a large organization with several employees and substantial turnover. But the scaling-up of business volume is not directly proportional to the number of employees in most cases. Such a scenario is not financially sustainable for your business.

You may have to increase the size of your team first in order to increase your work output and profitability. This poses a shortage of infrastructure and building space many-a-times, affecting training programs too, besides the daily work. You may have to rent out space out of your office to impart training to your employees which can be a major expenditure.

But e-learning doesn’t have any such limitation. You can simply upgrade your learning management system to cater to the increased number of employees and they all can access their training programs remotely.

Hence, the scalability of your e-learning software infrastructure ensures the financial sustainability of your small business.

Higher productivity

Sustainability means the efficient utilization of existing resources. Your employees or “human resources” are the most important resource that your business has. Well, except for time, which is unarguably the most precious resource that anyone can have.

e-learning is itself a very efficient process of imparting training to your employees. You don’t need to excruciatingly coordinate with the employees and instructors to remain available as per the training schedule. Nor do you require to book an auditorium or training equipment.

Every employee can receive the training in their own time and at their own pace with e-learning software.

Besides, the main purpose of most training programs is to enhance the skill levels of their employees and enrich their minds with the policies and systems of their organization.

Frequent training modules ensure that employees undergo a continuous learning process to boost their work-place efficiency and become more productive. Once your team is aligned with the mission, vision, and goals of your business, you can achieve better results in lesser time. This is a win-win situation for both you and your employees.

Leaner business processes

Apart from training your employees, you should leverage e-learning as a business owner too. Use it to enhance your knowledge about the industry that you are in and become a subject-matter expert. Take out time to learn about business management. Along with soft skills and many other things that might lead to the success of your business.

Utilize your enhanced knowledge to create leaner business processes, manage your business better and significantly improve the efficiency of your business.

As you increase your efficiency, you are generating higher output from your business using the same amount of resources. In short, you are making your business sustainable.


Becoming a sustainable business is not an option, but a compulsion in today’s time. Most industries are producing waste that depletes the environment. Which means business owners must take the responsibility and make efforts to make their business model sustainable. Although expecting a drastic improvement is a misnomer, relying more on e-learning is definitely a viable step for good.


About the Contributor
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & e-learning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.