Updated: Aug 8
Sustainability has become more than a buzzword in today’s business parlance. From merely being a regulatory requirement, sustainability has now become a strategic concern for the corporate world.
Currently, more than 90% of the CEOs state that sustainability is important to their company’s success and companies develop sustainable products and services, create positions such as chief sustainability officer and publish sustainability reports for consumers, investors and public at large.
However, there is a small percentage of fence-sitters, mostly in small and medium enterprises who need more reasons to drive the sustainability agenda in the corporate strategies considering the additional investments.
Here is the list of four reasons why sustainability should be looking at seriously.
Sustainability as a branding strategy: It is a well-known fact that the tribe of environmentally conscious consumers has increased dramatically over the years and public consciousness on the topic is only going to go up. It makes economic sense to be on the good books of these consumers. Seventy-six per cent of millennials are focused on caring for the environment, a sentiment they incorporate in their purchasing habits. In fact, three out of four are willing to pay more for products or services from brands that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
Improved efficiency & lower costs: Integrating sustainability strategies tend to streamline operations and conserve resources. Focusing on these improvements can reduce operational costs. In Manufacturing, energy and water costs are the primary cost-drivers. The profits from the sustainability & efficiency approach can be only realized annually, unlike other short-term quick fixes. Switching to a renewable source of energy can also help in stabilizing energy prices.
Reduce environmental impact: In addition to improving the bottom line, the strategies towards sustainability also make a real difference towards environmental impact. Delivering on these changes will lead to a smaller carbon footprint and reduce the number of toxins released into the atmosphere. Future generations ultimately benefit from improved air and water quality, fewer landfills and more renewable energy sources. Corporates need to ऋthink the way they work and integrate the principle of ऋuse, ऋduce and ऋcycle.
Improve workforce morale and innovations: Sustainability improvements are a collaborative effort. The employees require to work together to identify and implement green and sustainable initiatives, it fosters a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement. By internally communicating the importance of changes and the impact they are having on the business and environment, businesses will positively influence the corporate culture. Additionally, employees need to be provided with training on personal and professional sustainability which would motivate them to think and act sustainably at work and home. This can also ignite innovation among employees as it demands frugal and low carbon strategies. It rings true for not only for large manufacturing but also for SMEs.
In sum, although sustainability is a challenge not only for small enterprises but also for larger corporations. A large environmental movement is already underway that is pushing companies to develop forward-thinking sustainability policies. It is really becoming clear that sustainability is a megatrend that simply isn’t going away!