The world of business isn’t excused from the topic of sustainability. In fact, brands and businesses need to address it as more and more global consumers become extra conscious about the products and services they purchase.
Incorporating a sustainability strategy is undeniably good business practice. Moreover, doing so has advantages that go beyond environmental and social security. In other words, corporate sustainability means greater prosperity, paving the way for long-lasting success.
Before diving into why sustainability is so important for your business, let’s first define what it is.
The goal of a sustainable business strategy is to have a beneficial effect on any or both of those areas, contributing to the solution of some of the most urgent issues facing the planet.
Sustainable business solutions help address several global concerns, such as:
Remember, sustainability in business is not entirely altruistic, despite how it may sound. After all, you can’t help make the world better if your company’s not doing well financially!
One way to ensure you’re still gaining while helping the planet is to follow the “triple bottom line” concept, which was first introduced in 1994 by John Elkington. The TBL theory states there should be three bottom lines instead of just one: profit, people, and the environment. This sustainable business method frequently results in improved business performance when done right.
The advantages of integrating sustainability into an organization’s strategy differ from business to business. For example, the shipping industry benefits from decarbonization by reducing air pollution in port communities and facilitating renewable energy growth. In tourism, sustainability means preserving natural areas, wildlife, and natural resources when creating and running tourism operations.
However, in a much broader sense, the benefits of sustainability in business can be listed as follows:
A CEO’s worst nightmare is becoming the subject of a scandal that makes the front page. Improper actions not only harm a company’s reputation and drive away customers, but dealing with a PR crisis can take significant human and financial resources away from your primary day-to-day operations.
You don’t want your business to be known for allowing an oil spill or making workers endure hazardous working conditions. Implementing a sustainable plan that safeguards the environment and your employees also protects you from any negative incidents.
If you’ve done any market research lately, you might have noticed more customers pushing for sustainable products and services. A growing majority of consumers worldwide are willing to change their purchase patterns to decrease their harmful effects on the environment.
Younger generations (Millennials and Gen Z) are willing to pay more for a product with sustainable ingredients or that claims to be made in a socially responsible manner. As a result, your company might gain market share if it commits to sustainable practices and products.
The great thing about sustainability is that it doesn’t interfere with your business goals. Plus, giving your organization a purpose can help you recruit a talented, motivated team to help you succeed financially.
Making your business a place that does good in the world rather than merely a place that pays the bills will provide you with a competitive edge when trying to recruit top talent.
A sustainable business model’s social component also aims to promote employees’ well-being. Fair pay, observing health and safety regulations, and offering a consistent work-life balance are just a few initiatives that can boost resilience, improve employee engagement, cut down on sick days, and create more effective teams.
Individuals may find it daunting even to consider where to start fighting climate change, but corporations can lead the way in bringing about widespread developments.
For instance, as consumers look for more environmentally friendly non-dairy substitutes, the market for non-dairy milk has been increasing in recent years. By developing a delicious, well-marketed product, they inspired thousands of people to tweak their daily habits for the betterment of all of us.
The same goes for Unilever, which pledged only to use palm oil derived from more sustainable sources. They have since collaborated with their competitors, governments, and NGOs to promote the use of sustainable palm oil throughout the entire industry. This made it possible for the world to change its mindset and behavior about using palm oil, which was causing record-breaking greenhouse gas emissions.
With sustainable business strategies, companies like yours can experience real cost reductions! For example, reducing the energy requirements for buildings might result in bigger savings for bottom-line earnings. In addition, switching to a less complex, more environmentally-friendly packaging option can save money because more elaborate packaging choices can be more expensive.
Plus, employee productivity may increase due to people preferring to work for ethically-driven companies.
In the upcoming years, sustainability will become even more crucial than it already is. That is why you must incorporate it into your corporate strategy. Making sustainability a pillar of your business ensures that you will meet investor pressure, customer demand, regulatory requirements, and talent acquisition needs while reducing costs and ensuring increased productivity.
Read more insightful articles about marketing, research, and innovation at MarketGenics’ blog!