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Sustainable Business

Today we are going to explain sustainability from a business approach, and how companies manage to apply and perform sustainable practices to their current business models.

What's Sustainability?

Sustainability is meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”- Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland for the 1987 report “Our Common Future,” produced by the World Commission on Environment and Development under the direction of the United Nations.

Businesses must consider not just their own long-term financial success, but also overall environmental and social implications when considering sustainability. This so-called triple bottom line (TBL) considers business from an economic, environmental, and social standpoint, and analyzes corporate success based on profit, people, and the environment.

Doing Well and Doing Good: Companies that act in their own best interests are known as doing well (for themselves) while simultaneously doing good (for others), or "doing well by doing good."

What Does It Mean to Be a Sustainable Business?

As previously said, sustainable business practices include not just profits but also the impact of activities on the environment, natural resources, and future generations.

From a business standpoint, there are several advantages to achieving sustainability:

  1. Reduced energy, material, and trash use, as well as associated expenses.

  2. Insurance premiums and legal risks are reduced.

  3. Product or service differentiation, as well as brand.

  4. To generate new goods and service new customers, a strong commitment to innovation is required.

  5. Increased customer awareness of the company's image and reputation, particularly among those who are worried about the environment and their personal effect on it.

  6. Investor interest will be piqued. When it comes to deciding how to invest, an increasing percentage of investors analyze a company's sustainability standards.

  7. Companies that engage responsibly in social and environmental problems are less likely to face risks, and their future growth rates may be boosted. Investors will benefit from both of these aspects.

  8. Employees that care about the environment and sustainability will be more attracted and retained.

External variables such as government rules and regulations, as well as customer and investor interests and expectations, all affect a company's decision to become more sustainable. Social trends and values, demography, new information, and the media all have a big effect on these external influences.

If you want to know more about greenwashing, we recommend you to read the article we published a few months ago: Greenwashing - everything you need to know.

What Holds Companies Back from Implementing Sustainable Business Practices?

There is a learning curve associated with sustainable business practices—ranging from basic compliance to completely changing the business environment—and in many respects a large majority of businesses are just at the initial learning stage.

Three of the major barriers that impede decisive corporate action are a lack of understanding of what sustainability is and what it means to an enterprise, difficulty modeling the business case for sustainability, and flaws in execution, even after a plan has been developed.

What are the benefits of doing so?

  • Sustainable business practices might put you ahead of the pack. Companies that have a long-term business strategy may be able to achieve a cost or benefit (differentiation) edge.

  • Creating shared value is a term used to describe an organizational activity or endeavor that benefits society while also benefiting the company.

  • When a big number of firms work together to produce self-sustaining solutions to environmental concerns, society as a whole benefits significantly.

What strategy should companies follow?

  • To begin, determine their environmental effect (e.g., contribution to carbon emissions).

  • Then figure out which impact(s) they'd most benefit from resolving.

  • Then figure out the most efficient methods to accomplish it.

Let us know if you liked this post and if you would like us to write a post about different sustainable business strategies.

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