Managing A Sustainable Business Strategy
The Importance of Sustainability
Sustainable business strategy plays a vital role in driving environmental and social change. However, companies prepared to invest in sustainability initiatives in the short term can expect significant long-term benefits. UN Sustainable Development Goals are useful guidelines for organisations looking to build a solid foundation for a sustainable strategy.
Successfully integrating SDGs allows companies to promote positive change when it comes to social and environmental issues. Furthermore, organisations that embrace sustainability can look forward to increased resilience and healthier profit margins.
Key Benefits of a Sustainable Business Strategy
A sustainable business strategy doesn't just benefit society and the environment. When properly implemented, sustainable practices can help an organisation thrive. Below are some of the key advantages of sustainable business strategy, along with some best practice guidance on how to apply them.
Capitalise on Consumer Appetite for Sustainability
Consumers are thinking greener than ever before. According to a recent study, more than a third of consumers are prepared to pay more for sustainable products and services. Additionally, more than 85% of global consumers have adopted greener approaches when making purchasing decisions.
Organisations adjusting their strategy to meet these shifting demands aren't just contributing to the circular economy, they're also meeting several key environment-related SDGs. Adapting to this change in consumer appetites also makes sense financially. By catering to sustainability-conscious consumers, organisations give themselves a significant competitive advantage. Those that fail to meet this demand and thriving market risk rendering themselves obsolete.
Using SDGs to Attract the Best Talent
Many businesses resist sustainable strategy under the assumption that it will limit growth and opportunities. However, sustainable philosophies can allow a business to flourish and should be considered an asset to any organisation. Businesses that embrace sustainability can also expect to land the best candidates for key roles. However, companies need to ensure they're strongly adhering to a sustainable strategy.
Jobseekers are becoming far more selective when it comes to choosing the companies they work for. According to a recent study, as many as 34% of UK workers would refuse a position with a company that didn't share their own environmental and social sustainability values.
When it comes to recruiting the best possible candidates, organisations need to ensure they're going the extra mile when establishing their commitment to sustainability. This goes beyond signalling superficial green credentials. Several SDGs can be integrated into recruitment strategies, including gender and reduced inequality goals. If your organisation operates in other territories, you can also commit to improving work conditions of deprived communities and fostering local economic growth.
A business with a true commitment to sustainability is likely to experience greater levels of employee satisfaction. This will not only improve your employee retention rates but also bolster your reputation as a force for change.
How Sustainability Mitigates and Manages Risk
Adopting sustainable practices is an effective way of mitigating risks. The obvious benefit here is that your brand is protected from bad publicity, but by integrating sustainability into risk management, you're also actively contributing to several key SDGs. This includes environment-related goals like responsible consumption and production, provision of clean water and sanitation, and protection of life below water and on land.
These initiatives not only contribute to sustainable development but also greatly reduce the risk of injury to your employees and the incidence of environmental disasters. In addition to safeguarding the well-being of your workforce, you also protect yourself from irreparable damage to your brand reputation.
Embracing Cooperation to Realise True Sustainability
Real change can only be achieved through cooperation. Even with the best intentions, smaller companies may find it difficult to strive towards sustainability. Thankfully, UN's Sustainable Development Goals actively encourage global partnerships between organisations to ensure objectives are met.
To effectively manage a sustainable business strategy, companies need to work closely together to ensure maximum impact. In the manufacturing and food processing industries, this can involve promoting responsible consumption and production.
By exclusively using materials from sustainable sources, several environmental-related objectives can be realised. This in turn has positive implications for social sustainability issues, including human rights concerns, income inequality, and more.
There are also far larger considerations involved here. Environmental degradation is an existential risk that threatens future development and our continued existence as a species. International cooperation is the only way to overcome the most pressing global issues. In recent years, more companies than ever have partnered with competitors to achieve sustainability goals. Although this may seem counterproductive when it comes to maintaining a competitive advantage, cooperation is key if industries are to meet demanding environmental targets and negate the impact of climate change.
Sustainability isn't simply about rising to a challenge or compromising your goals. Rather, adopting a sustainable business strategy can bring significant benefits to your operation. By embracing sustainability, you can capitalise on the growing appetites for an environmentally-conscious market and facilitate real growth. Furthermore, legitimate green credentials can help you attract and retain the best talent. Integrating sustainability can prove overwhelming in the short term. However, lucrative long-term benefits await those ready to commit to sustainability goals.
Author Bio: This article was written by Eloise Tobler of Wisetek Store. Wisetek Store is part of the larger Wisetek Group and are committed to the principles of the Circular Economy.
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