The importance of corporate sustainability and the strategies to incorporate it into your business for a greener tomorrow.
Table of Contents:
What is Sustainability
To sustain means to support something and aid it over the long term in order for it to keep running smoothly. Simply put, it consists of fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising any natural resources for future generations. At the same time, it ensures a balance between environmental care, economic growth, and social well-being.
Importance of Sustainability in Business
- Enhances brand reputation: Incorporating a sustainable strategy that protects the environment and your employees will enhance your brand reputation.
- Competitive advantage: It gives you a competitive advantage. 89 percent of executives believe that an organization with a bigger purpose will have greater employee satisfaction. If you make your company one that creates an impact on the planet – rather than just a place that provides monthly salary — it offers you a competitive advantage while attracting the best talent.
- Increase profitability: It will increase your profit. 57 percent of global consumers are willing to reduce their negative impact on the environment by changing their consumption habits. If your organization commits to sustainable products and practices, it could target more eco-conscious customers. Hence, it increases your sales.
- Helps to build a team: As an individual, it’s impossible to effect change in a meaningful way. As a purpose-driven organization, you can get the attention and retention of customers and employees to work together to address the world’s most pressing problems.
What is Corporate Sustainability
It’s the strategy by which a business delivers its goods and services in a manner that is both environmentally sustainable and supports its economic growth. By introducing a corporate sustainability strategy, your business should be committing to using natural resources consciously, investing for long-term growth through sustainable methods, and ensuring all people involved in your business process are treated fairly.
The 3 Pillars of Corporate Sustainability
The 3 main pillars of corporate sustainability are — Environment, Social, and Governance.
It often gets the most attention as we have numerous environmental issues to overcome. The collective efforts of people and businesses around the world can reduce harmful threats and keep them safe for future generations. Due to global warming, pollution, and biodiversity loss, many companies are focused on reducing their plastic usage, water usage, carbon footprints, plastic footprint, and other damage to the environment. This is only achievable with everyone doing their part and prioritizing business sustainability.
The Disposal Company is the first company in India to take the initiative to help brands achieve plastic neutrality. To be plastic-neutral, a company must ensure that for every kilogram of plastic used, a measured equivalent amount of plastic waste is recovered and removed from the environment.
A sustainable business should have the support and approval of its employees, stakeholders, and the community it operates in. On the employee end, businesses can concentrate on retention and engagement strategies like giving maternity and family benefits, flexible scheduling, and development opportunities. For community engagement, they can invest in local public projects or give sponsorship, and scholarships. A business also needs to be aware of its supply chain functions fair labor practices, safe working environment, gender equality, and child labor prevention.
This pillar is also called the economic pillar. A sustainable business is attractive to potential investors. By incorporating sustainable elements into your business strategy, you’ll be able to encourage new investors to fund your business ventures which push your economic growth.
Corporate Strategies For Sustainability
Corporate strategies for sustainability include taking in practices that reduce the negative impact of a company’s operations on the environment, society, and economy while ensuring the long-term success of the business. Here are some examples of corporate strategies for sustainability.
- Energy Efficiency: Companies can improve energy efficiency by using renewable energy sources, and implementing energy-efficient technologies. Energy-efficient LED light bulbs can be used instead of incandescent light bulbs in the office premises.
- Waste reduction: Companies can reduce waste by implementing circular economy principles, such as designing products for reuse or recycling, plastic neutrality, and minimizing the use of single-use materials. Companies should encourage employees to sip from reusable water bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles.
- Employee engagement and education: Companies can give employees training and education to understand sustainability and social responsibility to support their initiatives. Encouraging employees to participate in sustainability and social responsibility initiatives and rewarding their achievements — are the key steps to building employee engagement. Incentives can be offered to employees who are taking green commuting options like taking the bus, carpooling, or cycling to work.
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR): It is the voluntary initiative of businesses and corporations to ensure that all efforts are made to leave a positive impact through their activities. By investing in CSR initiatives, companies can promote social well-being, environmental sustainability, and long-term financial success. Companies can plant a tree for every item they sell.
Best Practices for Corporations
- Corporations should set measurable goals and track their progress over time to promote sustainability.
- Companies should engage with their stakeholders by hosting workshops or events, offering training and education programs, and soliciting feedback and ideas from stakeholders.
- Corporations should embed sustainability in their corporate culture by providing sustainability training for employees and incentivizing sustainability initiatives.
- Corporations should invest in sustainable practices and technologies like investing in renewable energy, sustainable materials, and waste reduction technologies.
- Companies should communicate their sustainability progress to stakeholders by publishing sustainability reports, hosting sustainability events, and engaging with social media platforms to promote their sustainability initiatives.
The Bottom Line
It is our responsibility to protect our planet for future generations. Corporate sustainability is crucial for growing a successful business that nurtures our ecosystem. Many brands are taking initiatives to become more sustainable.