In the corporate world, strategies are devised to earn profits. We have seen a major shift in business strategies in the past few years. Companies stepped forward in taking sustainable approaches to their business practices. A sustainable business offers long-term success and profitability. So, why is sustainability important in business? Let’s have a look!
What Is a Sustainable Business?
Sustainable business promises to have minimal adverse effects on the environment. These businesses have a positive impact on the environment, society and culture. It’s no wonder that many companies have revamped their businesses on basic sustainable strategies. For some, it is more than making profits.
Why Is Sustainability Important in Business?
Sustainability in business is important for both long-term and short-term benefits. If we continue to maintain harmful processes, we will end up with deficiencies in fossil fuels. It will also harm the environment and can be a threat to rare sea species. Some businesses rely entirely upon clean water and a non-toxic environment.
Studies have shown that plastic islands are twice the size of one state. It is a serious threat to sea life. People consume seafood, and microplastic in the food may trigger health issues.
According to a report, over 30 billion tons of solid waste will be produced by 2050. Businesses must take serious measures to cope with such hazards to society and the environment.
Investing in sustainable strategies might cost your business, but it is pack with many advantages. Companies with more sustainable practices make big profits. To gain large profits, devise strategies on a proactive approach. It will help your business reduce the crisis risk and mitigate potential harm.
Pillars of Sustainability
The social pillar refers to the values given to an individual in society. This pillar measures the respect given to individual rights. For businesses based on this sustainable pillar is important to assess issues like gender inequality, social wellbeing, fair policies and solidarity.
This pillar is established based on protecting environmental laws. This pillar measures the risk that is affecting nature. It also evaluates if those risks are impacting the company’s activities. Companies that are producing excessive carbon emissions usually adopt this pillar. Some sustainable approaches in this pillar include energy and water conservation.
This pillar leads an organization to contribute to economic growth and development. It is also defined as a company’s ability to contribute for a long-term horizon. For economic sustainability, a company must have an enough resources and labor.
Benefits of Sustainability in Business
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant shift in consumer behavior. This shift influenced purchasing decisions made by consumers. Consumer behavior towards sustainable products has grown in the past few years. Considering this change in consumer preferences, companies adopted new sustainable policies. Here are some benefits of why your business needs sustainability.
Improved Brand Identity
Doing good has become a norm for many businesses. It includes conserving nature, wildlife and much more. We have seen many multinational companies adopt sustainable approaches for their business. For example, Unilever set a goal to achieve a sustainable business model by 2020. Now, more than 70% of its operations are sustainable. It includes energy and water conservation as well as community interaction etc.
This approach towards sustainability enhanced their brand identity among consumers. Hence, it is recognized as the world’s best multinational sustainable business.
Reduced Operational Costs
A sustainable business model requires a heavy upfront investment. But over time, it promises long-term benefits in cost reduction. For example, installing solar energy might be a high investment, but it will save dollars. Moreover, reusing recycled products also helps businesses lower production costs.
Rescued Carbon Footprints
Our atmosphere is trapped by poisonous gasses such as carbon emissions. Carbon emissions are affecting the climate and causing global warming. Due to global warming, threats have risen for wildlife, sea life, and humans. In light of these environmental threats, companies have vowed to go sustainable. With a more sustainable approach, there will be less carbon footprint in the environment. Big corporations like Google and Microsoft are investing big to reduce carbon emissions. Companies are also making efforts to use clean energy.
Improved Public Image
In recent years, we have seen a drastic change in consumer preferences toward brands. Studies show that now over 70% of consumers purchase environmentally friendly products. People get attracted to businesses that are taking efforts to support the environment. This shift in consumer behavior has made brands adopt sustainable measures. Implementing this practice improves the public perception of the brand. It also helps businesses in increasing their revenue and market share.
How to Make a Sustainable Strategy
Assess the Problem
For any strategy you make, it is important to know your company’s pain points. Start by assessing your problems within the organization. For example, how does your company respond in supporting environmental wellness? How much waste is your company producing? How do you respond to the community’s well being? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will find it easy to set your sustainability goals.
Focus on What Matters Most to You
Once organizations assess the problem, it should select the core problem. The company should be highly decisive when focusing on core areas. Your goal should be related to the issue(s) and the organization’s welfare. By highlighting the core issue, you might ask these questions;
- if it will impact the company’s sales and growth.
- If it will attract investors and stakeholders and even consumers.
For example, if you think excessive carbon emission is affecting your company’s reputation, then only focus on curbing carbon footprints. Indulging in so many sustainable practices will lose the company’s efficiency. Prioritize what to do and establish a team to work on it.
Gather Data and Make a Strategy
Once you set your goal around sustainable practices, craft your business strategy. You can realign your business on sustainable measures. While creating strategy, it is important to consider that your business will make a profit. You have to stay in business to support any sustainable cause. You may use the triple bottom line to know if it impacts the company’s profit, people and planet. Once you have solidified your strategy, its time to make strides toward sustainable goals.
There Is No Business on a Dead Planet
It is a common saying that “when sustainability is viewed as being a matter of survival for your business, it means you are about to make a great change”. Now you have a better understanding of how a sustainable system works. It will help your business increase your company’s value among consumers.
Featured Image: TalentLMS