Incorporating sustainability into a business strategy is no longer a debate. In an ever-evolving world, considering a values-driven approach when developing business strategies can be vital, especially long-term success. Sustainability in business encompasses the impact companies have on the environment or society. It contributes to the health of the structure within which it operates. Therefore, it helps construct an environment in which the business can thrive.
Sustainable business strategies aim to have a positive impact on either the environment or society or combined. It helps to address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Many sustainable business models will earn profits by being socially responsible and protecting their use of the planet’s resources.
Climate change and sustainability continue to dominate topics of conversation as it has an impact on the corporate landscape.
Ways It Has Influenced Business Operations:
Business sustainability has come a long way. Today, more than 50% of CEOs in the UK are planning to increase their investments in sustainability. It could be by offering sustainable products and services or developing sustainability strategies.
Companies of all shapes and sizes need to analyse consumer attitudes. As people begin to learn more about climate change and its effects, their buying habits are shifting accordingly.
Since sustainability is not a trend that is likely to end anytime soon, here are some ways it has already influenced business operations both nationally and internationally.
Embraced Remote Working
With more work completed online, it has shown that there is less need for people to be in a physical office. Remote working has become increasingly popular over the years, in particular in the past 18 months. This new style of hybrid working has allowed employees to have work-life flexibility and eliminates the time commuting between home and the office.
The reduced commute is great for the environment. It means that there are fewer vehicles on the road and time spent waiting in traffic. All of which equates to less carbon dioxide emissions into the air.
Making this small change can help to reduce traffic and a company’s overall carbon footprint. In addition to this, with fewer people in the office, businesses can save money usually spent on stocking, lighting and heating the workplace for employees.
Impacted Supply Chains And Logistics
Incorporating sustainability into a company’s supply chains is complex. However, the failure to act on it might be a high risk for all. Many companies do not have a comprehensive understanding of the impact of their supply chain on sustainability.
Companies should have a comprehensive supply chain and logistics management system in place. One way to implement this is by looking into a course in logistics or an online supply chain management course.
Many supply chain and logistics management courses include topics that focus on how companies can be more sustainable in their supply chain management. A business can use this detailed insight to improve their current supply chain and logistics management process and improve sustainability.
Promoting Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
One of the best ways to keep waste out of landfills is by not sending it there. Businesses should aim to reduce their waste wherever possible. For instance, instead of using disposable plates, cups and utensils, use real glass and ceramics as an alternative. It reduces how much they are throwing away after a single use.
Companies should aim to reuse items wherever possible. If working in a warehouse, instead of throwing away a structurally intact box, reuse it. For those working in an office, employees should use both sides of the paper when printing. It reduces the amount of paper needed for things like an information booklet.
There might be occasions where reusing or reducing the use of an item is not possible. In these instances, recycling is the next best solution. Many cities are helpful and have provided bins for this. They have made the recycling process less complicated to ensure that the waste bin can be left as empty as possible.
4 Benefits Of Becoming A Sustainable Business
For companies that have already implemented sustainable business practices, some have already noticed a change in their company’s operation. From switching to energy-efficient appliances to altering their supply chain and logistics operations, there are various ways companies have improved their business operations. The benefits that a company could reap from becoming a sustainable business are plentiful. These are a few of the potential benefits of being more sustainable business.
- Attracts Better Quality Investments – Financial and investment analysts have recognised companies that have developed sustainability plans as important evaluator criteria. It could be how they have become more energy-efficient or how they are reducing their environmental impact. Showing investors how the company has become more environmentally friendly and plans to maintain sustainability can help the business obtain the funds needed to expand.
- Improve Brand Image And Offers Competitive Edge – By being a sustainable business, it can help to improve brand image. Consumers today are increasingly more aware of environmental concerns. As a result, they are more likely to purchase from or work with a company known for its sustainable practices. Practising sustainability can also help to give a company a competitive advantage over rival companies.
- Helps With Complying With Changing Regulations – Global warming, pollution and climate change are forcing regulations to be imposed on businesses to help fight against climate change. Another reason for these regulations is due to some companies ignoring the decline in the state of the environment. It could be not disposing of hazardous waste appropriately or being negligent towards their water and electricity usage. By incorporating sustainability into corporate practices as soon as possible, companies avoid penalties or fines under environmental legislation.
- Improve Recruitment Rate And Employee Retention – Similar to how consumers want to work with businesses that share the same sustainability values, employees want to work for an environmentally conscious company. Talented employees do not want to work for or be associated with businesses involved in ecological disasters. If a company showcases how it is respectful towards the environment and its employees, it can help to attract a high calibre of people to employ.
Regardless of the business or the sector, sustainability is a major challenge that matters beyond individual companies. Fortunately, a reassuring number of large companies are currently developing forward-thinking sustainability policies to implement into their business.
With a rising number of companies looking into new ways to make their business more sustainable business through policies and investments, it is clear that sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It is something that companies are aiming to achieve, as they aim to reduce their carbon footprint whilst meeting the demands of consumers.
Despite some steps taken by companies that might be smaller than others, they are all headed towards making their respected industry more sustainable business.