The importance of being sustainable, and how it can benefit business?
Environmental action is one of the most rational behaviours of firms, in terms of increasing efficiency, protecting nature, securing future, and sustainability. Corporate environmentalism is also essential for firms to gain consumer appreciate and support that will increase sales of goods or services.
Reducing production costs, brand strengthening and enhancing the value of your products and services are just some of the advantages of investing in sustainability. Recently, we celebrated Earth Day, and it brings to mind the reflection on how the theme can impact businesses.
The transition to a low carbon economy and more sustainable business models is no longer a choice but a requirement in large companies. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, among other world leaders, invest in neutrality as a business strategy.
Younger generations are climate-educated and have a sense of urgency about climate change. According to Global Energy Talent Index Report (GETI) 2019, employees are three times as likely to remain with a purpose-driven organization.
As a result, your hiring strategy may be more successful if you highlight an intelligent use of natural resources, energy efficiency, renewable energy and other sustainability practices in the workplace, conveying how the company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
A recent survey that sustainability is a critical issue for the current workforce.
- More than 10% said that they are ready to take even a $5,000–$10,000 pay cut to join an environmentally responsible company.
- Over 70% said they were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda.
- Nearly 40% of Millennials (who will make up three-quarters of the workforce in coming years) said that they’ve chosen a job in the past because the company performed better on sustainability than the alternative. Less than a quarter of gen X respondents said the same, and only 17% of baby boomers.
Sustainability efforts present an opportunity to tap new sources of capital and innovation. Ray Anderson (Founder and Chairman of Interface Inc.), considered by many to be the greenest CEO, affirms that "Done right, sustainability doesn't cost. It pays."
So, how can your business become more sustainable?
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support the present and ability of future generations. It should be viewed as an investment.
Many companies are achieving a carbon-negative status already! Scottish brewer and bar operator BrewDog announced that take twice as much carbon out of the air as they emit helping them to become the “world’s first carbon-negative international beer business” later last year.
However, some companies can't do the same, and it is not a problem. If you aren't able to fully transition into a green company, you can start by making small changes towards sustainability.
Here are three steps to promote a more sustainable workplace.
1. Be sustainable in day-to-day operations
Companies can, and should, go beyond the requirements of government regulations. They should be thinking about operational challenges and assess supply chains to determine where the company may be able to implement new practices. For example, Boeing will be using waste heat from a new Seattle sewer trunk line to heat the company’s assembly facilities.
2. Invest in technology
Prioritising digital solutions (software management solutions, apps or new technology), helps reduce energy usage and carbon emissions over the long term by increased adoption of automation or smart grids. In addition, automating lighting, air conditioning and heating systems with set times can make a major impact.
3. Set a sustainability strategy
To take a review of the environmental impact you have and assess how this could be reduced, looking at not only the footprint of the company that you work in but across your entire supply chain. From here priorities can be mapped and goals can be made. Part of these goals may include commitments to or pledges, such as community initiatives.
In a bid to do our bit for the environment we have begun a challenge to raise £500 over the course of June to plant 2,000 trees and offset over 11,800kg of Co2. You can donate here and be sure to follow our social channels to see how we get on!