There’s been a monumental shift in prioritizing sustainability as a strategy in the world of business. This, in part, is due to the impact on companies by the global crises which are unfolding.
From the growing climate crisis and global pandemics to supply chain and staffing issues, it’s a turbulent time for any company. Some believe the answer lies in a sound sustainability strategy.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the topic, first looking at what a sustainability strategy is before looking at what it should take into account.
What is a sustainability strategy?
A sustainability strategy is becoming more critical to the long-term success of many businesses.
The purpose of such a strategy is to encourage a company to make decisions with key considerations in mind. These include:
- Environmental considerations
- Social impacts
- Economic impacts
We’ll consider these in more detail below, but in short, accounting for these key considerations can help a business grow. For example, it can help firms reduce waste and introduce more efficient and environmentally effective manufacturing processes.
One company that’s embraced sustainability in all aspects of its business is Ikea.
The Swedish furniture and home decor firm has adopted a sustainability strategy regarding everything it does. For example, it sources the majority of its wood from sustainable forests, as well as its cotton from environmentally friendly farms.
In addition to the manufacturing side of its business, it’s also invested heavily to reduce its retail stores’ environmental impact, installing technology such as solar panels on its roofs.
Let’s take a look at the social impact considerations in more detail.
Social impact considerations
Social impact considerations relate to the harm that a business’s activities have on society as a whole. One industry that has taken action to address the potential harm it inflicts is gambling.
Research has found that for some people, gambling can become addictive. That addiction can lead to depression and anxiety, as well as financial woes. In order to assist gamblers who struggle with addiction, betting companies have made efforts to address these issues, including providing tools such as deposit limits and time limits.
Around the globe, governments are tightening regulations when it comes to betting. In the UK, for instance, all adverts for sportsbooks and betting companies must carry warnings that encourage people to gamble responsibly. Similar sustainable endeavors in NZ have also attempted to tighten regulations.
This is an important development for industries such as gambling. The harm betting can inflict is real and by putting customer welfare at the heart of their sustainability strategy, betting companies could reap the benefits and ensure they continue to operate for years to come.
Considering the environment
The importance of sustainability strategies in helping the environment cannot be overstated. As the world faces growing environmental challenges such as unpredictable weather and extreme droughts, it is becoming increasingly important to develop and implement sustainable strategies that minimize our impact on the planet.
These strategies can help to reduce carbon emissions, conserve resources and promote cleaner and healthier lifestyles. In everyday business, these efforts can come in the form of introducing recycling bins or only stocking reusable products.
Developing a sustainability strategy can also help to create jobs, increase economic opportunities for communities and improve overall quality of life. It can also help increase public awareness of environmental issues , leading to more conscious consumer choices.
A great example of this is The Body Shop. The beauty company only uses ethical, high-quality ingredients and accessories. They gather these from farmers, producers and artisans from all over the world. This, in turn, has helped educate many people on harmful practices within the beauty industry, such as testing products on animals.
By implementing sustainable strategies, we can make a real difference in preserving our planet for future generations.
Improving trust and transparency
By taking steps to reduce their environmental impact, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and show customers that they care about the planet. This helps build trust and loyalty.
For example, using sustainable materials in their products or packaging shows customers a company is making an effort to reduce waste and conserve resources. Customers will be more likely to trust a company that is making this effort as it demonstrates that they genuinely care about more than just profits.
Through transparency in communications, companies can show that they are committed to creating long-term value for their customers. By investing in sustainability strategies, businesses can build strong networks and relationships that will help ensure long-term success.
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