Driving change for a better future
In an era of rapid transformation, embracing sustainability in business strategy has become imperative. It’s more than just corporate responsibility – investors, customers and potential employees consider it in their decision making processes.
Sustainability today is not just about mitigating global challenges; it’s about seizing opportunities for business success. Forward-thinking companies understand that a values-driven approach isn’t just an ethical choice but a strategic one. By aligning with their goals, enhancing reputation, meeting evolving customer expectations, and tapping into new growth avenues, businesses can unlock their full potential. In our Business Growth Manager, Jacqui Stimpson’s latest blog, Discover how integrating sustainability into your business mindset fosters long-term viability, propelling you towards a future where purpose and profit go hand in hand.
Why is this important for business strategy?
In today’s ever-evolving world, debating whether to incorporate sustainability into your business strategy is no longer an option. Beyond helping to curb global issues sustainability can help with business success. Considering a values-driven approach when developing business strategies can be vital to long-term success.
A growing number of businesses are realising they can do well by doing good and many business investors are now looking for environmental, social impact and governance metrics to understand a businesses ethical impact and sustainable practices before investing.
So the strongest motivating factors for businesses to adopt a sustainability mindset is to align to their company’s goals, missions or values, build/maintain/improve reputation, meet customer expectations and develop new growth opportunities.
The road to sustainability will not happen overnight it will take time so the following will help you understand how to get you started on the journey.
What does sustainability mean in business?
In business, sustainability refers to doing business without negatively impacting the environment, community, or society as a whole.
Sustainability in business generally addresses two main categories:
- The effect business has on the environment,
- The effect business has on society.
The goal of a sustainable business strategy is to make a positive impact on at least one of those areas.
When companies fail to assume responsibility, the opposite can happen, leading to issues like environmental degradation, inequality, and social injustice.
Sustainable businesses consider a wide array of environmental, economic, and social factors when making business decisions. These organisations monitor the impact of their operations to ensure that short-term profits don’t turn into long-term liabilities.
Examples of sustainable business practices include using sustainable materials in manufacturing practices, optimising supply chains to reduce greenhouse gases, and so on.
Four simple steps from purpose to performance
1.Assess the problem and define objectives
The first step to driving change is assessing what sustainability means to your team, company, industry, and client. Consider the big problems each of these groups thinks is a priority.
To guide this process, consider asking questions, such as:
- How much waste is the organization creating?
- Is our company culture struggling?
- Are our hiring practices attracting diverse job candidates?
- Is our product targeted to help a certain audience?
- What impact does our company have on the local community?
Answering these types of questions will help you establish your company’s sustainability objectives.
2. Establish your mission
Once you’ve agreed on concrete objectives, you’re ready to define your company’s mission. A distinct mission statement is an important part of becoming a more sustainable business.
An effective mission statement outlines your company’s focus on “doing.” It should capture your organisation’s values and purpose and serve as a guiding light of why you do what you do.
In other words, your mission statement should define your company’s five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why.
3. Craft your strategy
Once you’ve created a strong mission statement, you’re ready to realign your organisation with a sustainable business strategy
Consider the triple bottom line which refers to how a company’s actions impact profit, people, and the planet. With this framework in mind, you can develop a sustainable business strategy that’s also profitable.
Small changes can be the starting point for large-scale impact.
For instance, does your company typically leave the electricity and heat on overnight, even when there are no employees on site? Imagine how much you could save, in both cost and energy resources, if the last person in the office shut them off, or if you used a timer or motion sensor to automatically turn them off after the last person left.
4. Implement strategy and assess results
It’s one thing to talk about a newfound motivation to do well and do good, but it’s another to take a public stance, pledge quantifiable results, and actually achieve them.
With your mission and strategy set, you’re ready to make strides toward reaching your objectives.
As you’re implementing your strategy remember to revisit your process periodically to assure your objectives, mission, and progress remain aligned.
Since COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference there is a myriad of support available to businesses to help them on their journey.
You can be supported to access this support in a sustainable, healthy working environment by being based at Launchpad Southend.
As an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM Official accredited building, we offer a work space with social and environmental impact at our core, which is perfectly aligned for innovative sustainable businesses.
Contact us to book a tour and find out more about how we can help you talk the talk and walk the walk of sustainability.