What Sustainability Means for Business

what is sustainability in business

It is more important than ever for businesses to become sustainable. 

From big brands to local stores, people are looking at ways to make themselves more sustainable. 

It can have huge benefits for business, as well as the world and society that we live in. 

But what does sustainability in business mean? How can you make a business more sustainable like Walt Coulston

Keep reading to find out what you need to know about sustainable companies. 

What Is Sustainability in Business? 

Sustainability in business means two things: 

• The effect business has on society (this is also known as corporate social responsibility or ESG)  

• The effect business has on the environment. 

If a business is sustainable, it aims to meet the needs of today without stopping future generations from meeting the needs of tomorrow. This means that a business thinks and acts in the long-term, as the CEO of one Switzerland’s best banks (BLKB) explained in a recent report.

If possible, a sustainable business wants to make a positive impact on society and the environment. This means that a business can contribute to environmental recovery and stabilization, social justice and equality. At the very least, it does not want to make a negative impact. 

Why Is Sustainability in Business Important? 

If a business is sustainable, it is helping to tackle global issues that we all face. Improving society and protecting the environment is beneficial to everyone. 

Sustainability can also increase business success. Many companies used environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings to monitor their sustainability. 

According to a McKinsey report, brands with higher ESG ratings are more financially successful and have more public support. 

Benefits of Sustainable Business 

Save Money 

By becoming more sustainable, a business can save money. Large savings can be made by using eco-friendly technologies and reducing energy and time waste. 

Attract New Investors and Customers 

By addressing sustainability issues, a business can also attract new investors and customers. People are becoming much more aware of societal and environmental issues, and they are looking for ways to positively contribute towards them. 

A study found that 33% of consumers want to buy from brandings that are ‘doing social or environmental good’. A business that offers these opportunities, it can see an increase in investment and demand. 

Retain and Attract Employees 

By becoming more sustainable, a business can also retain current employees as well as attracting qualified new employees. Once again, people value the opportunity to contribute towards common goals. Employees – both current and prospective – will value the opportunity to work for a business that is improving society and the environment. 

How to Become More Sustainable in Business 

To become more sustainable, a business must aim to work in a way that benefits society and the environment. There are clear steps to take 

First, you need to understand the problem. Look at how your business operates, and to what extent it is positively contributing to society and the environment. Then look at ways it is negatively contributing, and what more could be done. 

For example, you may find your company's packaging for its products are wasteful or non-recyclable. Therefore you would want to find ways to reduce the amount going to landfills. You could remove unnecessary elements or find a new supplier with Impacked Packaging that uses recycled or sustainable materials. The possibilities are numerous.

Based on the gaps that you identify, define clear objectives. Try to make these ‘SMART’ objectives; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. 

Then you can establish your mission statement. This looks at the bigger picture, and expands on your objectives. Your mission statement should summarize what you are trying to do, why you are trying to do it. 

You can now create a long-term strategy. This is how the business is going to change and adapt to meet the mission statement. 

That is it green go-getters! Your business can now focus on implementing the business strategy to become more sustainable, benefiting society, the environment, and the business itself

Increasing Sustainability in Business 

In today’s culture, it looks like a business needs to focus on sustainability to succeed. This is a hugely positive shift. A sustainable business helps to improve society, the environment, and the business itself. 

Become a more sustainable business now, and start to see the benefits. Read more articles on the Bootstrap Business Blog to learn more about sustainability in business and going green.

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