Five astonishing benefits of making your business environmentally responsible

Jessica Robinson

It is a proven fact that sustainable development is the need of the hour. The planet and its resources are endangered given the over exploitation of nature to sustain human needs. However, now the world, in a collective manner, needs to sustain the environment. The world has 17 sustainable development goals to meet by 2030. At the current pace, the world is already lagging behind, and now is the time to enhance the momentum.

Why is there an immediate need to be sustainable?

Environmental pollution, greenhouse gases, and climate change are choking the earth. The World Health Organization sets the recommended limit for concentrations of particulate matter at 20. But as per environmental damage conclusions by the UN, this level is way beyond 80 in countries. Speaking of Australia, according to findings from Statista, the pollution levels in Canberra, the capital city, are now far beyond hazardous. On some days, the PM 2.5 particle concentration in Canberra exceeded three times the entry-level of being hazardous.

Besides, the ozone layer is depleting, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. These developments speak for the severity of environmental degradation and the immediate need to incorporate sustainable practices.

Moving forward, sustainable practices have to be stimulated at all levels. In this, businesses can play an active role. Needless to say, industrialization, to a large extent, is responsible for the ongoing environmental degradation. Having said that, it is significant that businesses now act sustainably to prevent irreversible damages. In fact, sustainable practices can give enterprises a competitive edge. Besides, it benefits the success of a business in umpteen ways. With the view to promote sustainable business practices, this blog sheds light on the merits of environmental conscience.

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Merits of giving your business a sustainable approach

Prospects of higher profitability

The most forward-looking CEOs of the world are already integrating sustainability in their business operations. Profits, people, and the planet can go hand in hand, and this is the idea the world needs to realize. Sustainable business practices can win larger trust among investors and customers. To substantiate, the findings of the Bank of America Merril Lynch establish a correlation between sustainability and profitability.

The findings featured by the World Economic Forum state that businesses with better ESG performances produce higher returns. Besides, with better Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) records, businesses are less vulnerable. They are less prone to massive declines in stock prices and bankruptcy.

The leading businesses of the world have already started going green. This paradigm shift enhances their profitability as well as their market reputation. For instance, Hewlett Packard, Cisco Systems, Intel, and Tesla are some big names on Forbes list of 100 most sustainable companies. To mention the most sustainable businesses in Australia, the National Australia Bank Limited takes the 42nd spot on Corporate Knight’s index of the world’s most sustainable businesses. It is the leading sustainable enterprise in Australia followed by Westpac Banking Corporation that is 75th on the index. In addition, Albox Australia, Beaumont Tiles, and Onetec Communications are also among the leading sustainable businesses in the country.

Positive stakeholder reputation

In today’s world, people are not much appreciative of businesses harming the environment. Given the power of social media and the rise in environmental activism, there is larger awareness. Having said that, businesses that integrate sustainable practices can attract more investors and customers. Sustainable businesses are now viewed as enterprises with a conscience. A report concluded by the Capgemini Research Institute illustrates that sustainability has an influence on buyers. As per this report, 79 percent of consumers now have a preference to buy from brands that show social and environmental responsibility.

The above insight is crucial for businesses to realize that consumer patterns are changing. The demand for sustainability and corporate social responsibility stands further amplified in COVID-19 times. To keep stakeholders happy and to retain them, it is salient to endorse environmental and social responsibility. This reputation can further have a positive impact on stock prices.

Progressive company culture

In addition to stakeholders, how employees view their organization is also essential. It has a direct impact on the levels of employee engagement and motivation. In an organization where there is an environmental concern, employees find the company culture positive. Such positivity promotes a greater sense of pride and loyalty among employees. Company culture is a determining factor for employee retention and hiring new talents, and as per Built In, 46 percent of candidates evaluate company cultures before applying for jobs. Hence, if sustainability is a part of the core values of a company, it will be known for having a progressive working environment.

Besides, the idea of employee wellness is also promoted in businesses that score high on ESG. Again, employee wellness and offering perks like in-house food, free coffee and life insurance are crucial determinants of engagement, productivity, and performance. So, the bottom line is that sustainable companies would have proud and enthusiastic employees. Further, employees will have a sense of safety in the workplace and would be able to give their uninterrupted dedication.

Reduction in operational and material costs

Being sustainable also saves finances in addition to contributing to environmental conservation. Workplaces that are sustainable prioritize recycling and reuse. This can lead to massive cutbacks in operational costs as well as the costs of materials. To cite an example, United Airlines is now manufacturing lightweight flights than before. While these flights lead to lesser carbon emissions and fuel consumption, they also save huge sums of money. As per Los Angeles Times, the airline has saved more than USD 2 billion by now, having cut down on fuel costs. Similarly, Amazon and Google are now investing in emission-free power. It is notable that these are among the largest energy consumers in the United States of America. They have now committed to power their data centers through renewable energy in a comprehensive way. To add, as businesses now look to work on a hybrid office model, sustainability is the way forward.

On similar lines, a small Australian enterprise is driving major environmental changes. RETURNR is a great sustainable initiative that aims to minimize the wastage related to food packaging. The company offers reusable food packaging hence replacing single-use plastics with reusable alternatives. To add, Sydney Water is another intelligible venture that pays heed to recycling and reusing. This company recycles wastewater, produces biosolids from wastewater solids, and uses renewable sources of energy to power its water treatment plants. Therefore, sustainability is the new smart, and it can prove to be unrealistically cost-saving.

Competitive marketing edge

Being sustainable can well be a competitive advantage for businesses. Brands can market themselves in a better way to appeal to people who believe in sustainability. Needless to say, as stated above, a huge segment of consumers is now happy to buy from sustainable businesses. For that, they may even bear larger costs because sustainability is now a principle for people. Businesses, in general, undertake a lot of deliberation to brainstorm unique marketing campaigns. They want to take their unique selling propositions among people. Given that, sustainability in itself can be a USP. It can give a new dimension to every marketing module. For instance, the sustainable practices of Woolworths Group make the brand even more popular and respected. A sustainable outlook gives the supermarket retail chain an edge over its market competitors.

Sustainability can give a company’s marketing strategies a larger boost than high-profile brand ambassadors. It can also become an integral part of taking the company’s story among buyers. This is why brands with marketing campaigns based on emotional appeal tend to do better. So, the environmental conscience can be used to create higher engagement for brand awareness.

To conclude, sustainable business practices are the need of the hour. Otherwise, humanity as one will have to bear the ramifications of environmental neglect. Given that, businesses need to press the accelerator on sustainability. While it helps businesses to enhance the overall environmental response, it also has some fabulous benefits for enterprises. From profitability to stock prices to client retention, sustainability can be a winning tactic. Also, there are times when businesses need to look beyond profits. Profits are not going to help a crippled planet after all.

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Jessica Robinson is a charismatic corporate leader, a selfless educator, and a versatile content creator. Despite a management degree, her vision behind blogging is not only to follow her passion but to create more informed societies. Her selflessness reflects in every piece of her work on The Speaking Polymath.

Melbourne, FL
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