A rising number of businesses are incorporating sustainability into their corporate strategy, realizing that doing good may also help them succeed. According to a recent McKinsey poll, 70% of respondents indicated their organizations have formal sustainability governance in place. But what does it entail to be “sustainably” successful in business? And is this something your business really needs to be concerned about?
Sustainability in business refers to conducting business without having – or having a minimum – negative influence on the environment, communities, or society as a whole.
In general, there are two types of sustainability in business:
The purpose of a long-term business plan focused on sustainability is to positively impact at least one of these areas. When businesses refuse to take responsibility for their actions in this way, problems such as environmental degradation, inequity, and social injustice can arise. Increasingly, the more immediate effect is that the company’s brand image suffers.
When making business decisions, sustainable businesses evaluate a wide range of environmental, economic, and social factors. These businesses keep an eye on the impact of their activities to make sure that short-term gains don’t become long-term liabilities.
Many successful businesses engage in sustainable business practices; yet, no two ESG strategies are identical.
Because they are tied to bigger corporate goals and organizational values, sustainable business strategies are specific to the company. For example, in the corporate world, sustainability might mean:
Sustainability may help businesses succeed in addition to addressing global issues. Many investors now evaluate an organization’s ethical impact and sustainability practices using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures. Investors look at a company’s carbon footprints, recycling practices, local development efforts, and board diversity, among other things.
According to research, organizations with strong ESG ratings have reduced loan and equity costs, and sustainability activities can help companies improve their financial performance while gaining public support.
Consumers on all levels are also increasingly placing an emphasis on doing business with those who operate sustainably. Not just in that the products they offer themselves are sustainable, but that the corporate strategy reflects this as a whole. So important is this to many consumers that research has shown that both B2C and B2B buyers are willing to pay a premium to support such businesses.
The most powerful motivators for adopting a sustainable mentality, according to McKinsey, were aligning with a company’s aims, missions, or values; building, maintaining, or improving brand reputation; meeting customer expectations; and developing new growth prospects.
In very basic terms, if and when we are asked how sustainable business consultancies like Pearl Lemon Consulting can help a company, we would answer our goal is to motivate, engage, and empower businesses to rethink their business models, strategy, and goals in order to find the “sweet spot,” that results in long-term economic prosperity, societal equality, and environmental benefit.
We assist our sustainable business consulting clients across niches – and global locations – in making smarter decisions, incorporating sustainability into their operations, and empowering businesses to become future-ready.
But what does this look like in practice? As your sustainable business consulting team, we can:
Whenever we work with a sustainable business consulting client, we begin by completing a full sustainability analysis. We undertake this with one specific question in mind to answer: what does sustainability look like for your business?
Business demands and possibilities vary when it comes to sustainability, which is a vast, multifaceted topic. Understanding your individual circumstances is always our starting point.
We assist you in developing a customized approach that takes into account your strategic objectives, corporate culture, and current stage in your sustainability journey.
We collaborate with our operational and industry specialists to integrate sustainability into our proposed business solutions, rather than treating it as a separate issue. And as achieving sustainability is rarely something businesses can do alone, we can assist you in identifying and forming multi-stakeholder relationships to address sustainability issues that will call for outside help.
For many businesses, becoming a more sustainable business is not an easy path, and it is often not without significant challenges. As your sustainable business consultants, we won’t just present you with a plan and then walk away leaving you to struggle through its implementation, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Whether this means meeting with stakeholders at the employee level to explain coming changes, addressing objections that might occur, or getting involved in the practical side of implementation, we can help.
One area where many businesses do need help is in educating and training their workforce in new, sustainable business practices. Together with our experienced partners, we can help you do this, while also helping to achieve the buy-in you will need from your employees and senior management to make the sustainable business initiatives we propose a workable reality.
As a member of the wider Pearl Lemon Group, also tap our public relations, content creation and marketing resources to help ensure that the public – and specifically your clients, customers and target audience – are aware of your positive efforts in various areas of sustainability. As buying from businesses with high ESG ratings is increasingly important to both B2B and B2C consumers, we’ll help ensure that everyone knows you are doing your part, and doing good.
Ready to learn more about sustainable business consulting and how it could benefit your business?
Contact us today and let’s get that conversation started.