Meta Description: Adopting a greener lifestyle has become less of a trend and more of a need in recent years, as environmental deterioration due to widespread pollution and climate change becomes more prominent. As a result of the global shift toward green consumption, traditional business models, too, must “adapt” to meet new market demands. Read ahead to find out the importance of business sustainability and how you can introduce it into your business.
Why is Sustainability Important in Businesses?
There has been an increase in the demand for multinational firms to act and manage sustainably. Nowadays, customers, investors and even employees are turning away from businesses that fail to follow green business practices. Thus in today’s world, sustainability plays a pivotal role in businesses-Being a sustainable, eco-conscious company is just as much about the wellness of your staff and local communities as much as it is about environmental health. Businesses, as the foundations of the global economy, must adapt their strategic operations and networks to realise the shared goals of a cleaner world and creating inclusive societies. Businesses focusing on sustainable performance gain competitive efficiency, easily comply with changing laws, and eventually adapt and thrive through new business opportunities.
Developing a Four-Step Action Plan for Sustainable Business
Given below is a Four-step Action Plan for Business Sustainability
Step-1:Establish a Sustainable Business Strategy
Establishing sustainability is important to an overall business strategy, and it involves the participation of all corporate operations. However, to do so, firms must first opt for integrated sustainability management throughout all business segments. Many CEOs have remarked how an eco-friendly business aims to build an economy that benefits everyone by prioritising the consumer and invests in their employees, communities, and the environment to develop long-term value. A recent survey of 200 senior executives from large MNCs has found that 75% believe that a well-executed sustainable business strategy gives them a greater competitive advantage.
Even though many business executives still see sustainable business practices as a tough cost related to regulatory conformance, it is quickly becoming a strategic requirement that opens growth prospects. Therefore, the future of business sustainability is heavily dependent on corporate leadership since these people are responsible for creating a sustainable business strategy. There is an urgent need for corporate leaders to prioritise long-term sustainability and develop tactics to emphasise their priorities and activities to individuals both inside and outside their firms. Thus CEOs must also take the responsibility to set up functional leaders adept at establishing precise and directive plans that lead up to and successfully operationalize the entire sustainable business strategy.
Step- 2: Prioritise Staff Across Your Value Chain
To improve social sustainability, sustainable companies must prioritise people across the value chain by respecting workforce diversity, human rights and safety, and creating chances for their development and advancement. Workplace inclusivity and diversity are crucial for a sustainable enterprise a workforce that is diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, handicap, or socio-economic background fosters more innovation and creativity. Experts estimate that inclusive businesses have a 1.7 times higher chance of being more productive and generating 2.3 times more cash flow for every employee. Hiring a broad mix of people is not just the first step toward achieving workplace diversity, but also eradicating systemic bias so that all employees experience a sense of identity, belonging, and inclusion.
Trivia: According to the World Economic Forum, 42%of employment will require changed skills within the next three years, and over one billion people will need new skill-sets by 2030. Because of the quick rate of change, sustainable companies must provide creative material and chances to foster a culture of lifelong learning and improvement
Step-3: Focus on Cost-based Actions for Environmental and Social Benefits
While it is critical to focus on efforts that have the maximum environmental or social advantages, it is equally crucial to examine the expenses (both monetary and time-based) associated with the actions to evaluate them further. Sustainable companies can initially start with low-cost initiatives and work their way up to the acts that need more effort, allowing sustainability campaigns time to develop and mature. Additionally, such fast victories will inspire staff workers to participate in the campaign by showcasing the outcomes of their actions. It will also be helpful in convincing senior executives or shareholders that their investment in these sustainability campaigns is paying off. In the long run, this will assist in obtaining permission for initiatives that may take longer to finish or entail a substantial financial investment.
Step-4: Manage Carbon and Climate Exposure Throughout the Business
Businesses can minimise their reputational and financial liabilities by monitoring and controlling climate-related emissions throughout their value chain, down to a single service and product level. Climate change is a result of carbon emissions. Putting a price on carbon “internalises” the possible external consequences of climate change. Such internal carbon pricing helps most sustainable companies prepare for future legislation like cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, responding to the concerns of the shareholders, establishing more resilient supply chains, etc. It also gives them a competitive advantage and demonstrates their business sustainability progress. Businesses can also investigate how to effectively manage carbon across all scopes for greater environmental consciousness and sustainability, including the emissions created in operations, the emissions created during power production, and emissions involved in extended business activities like transportation, distribution, and purchased goods and services. They must avoid producing new emissions, reduce current emissions, and possibly compensate for those that cannot be avoided/reduced.
We may conclude that eco-friendly companies of various sizes, industries, regions, and phases can choose to be sustainable. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” blueprint. As a result, eco-friendly companies must develop their own version of the action plan in order to collectively produce the beneficial consequences of environmental sustainability in business for the betterment of the natural world and societies everywhere.