Sustainability is important for your business. Some impacts of sustainable business practices aren’t immediately apparent and show up months or even years later in environmental improvements. Others have a quicker effect.
Either way, sustainability is here to stay for many good reasons. Businesses are most interested in sustainability due to growth and profitability. Learn ways sustainability benefits your bottom line.
Consumer Demand and Brand Image
Sustainability is important to consumers. The events of the early 2020s have sharpened concerns about preserving the planet’s ability to support human life. Between historic storms and fires, new diseases, and the astonishing statistics about the presence of plastic everywhere, people are suffering legitimate existential dread.
Consumers won’t tolerate, or buy from, companies that don’t show a commitment to sustainability. Green practices must be part of a company’s identity, or it will lose market share to competitors that do a better job of communicating and acting upon sustainability efforts.
Sustainability saves money, which is one way it benefits your bottom line right away. Many industries have found creative ways to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” materials. Businesses as disparate as metalworking and fashion have worked to substantially increase their energy efficiency. Using more competent machines or selling pre-owned clothing and equipment saves money and creates new revenue streams that neither consume raw materials nor waste more.
Attractiveness to Investors
Businesses seeking funding will likely have to show prospective investors they take sustainability seriously. When a lender, prospective business partner, or potential shareholder looks at your business performance, they’ll discover how you save money and protect your brand through sustainable practices. They’ll observe how you plan to capitalize on future innovations in sustainable operations.
As the tight labor market eases off in the fourth quarter of 2022, onboarding new employees is a substantial investment for any business. It’s always less expensive to retain and retrain employees than it is to start from scratch recruiting and hiring new workers.
When applying for jobs, prospective employees want to know they’d be working for a company that respects the people and the planet as much as profit—those are the three things that make up the “triple bottom line” first proposed by author and entrepreneur, John Elkington, back in 1994. He recently proposed a reexamination of the concept in response to a trend attempting to reduce the concept simply to an accounting method rather than a systemic change in how companies do business.
Your strategic plan must include sustainability if your business is to survive and thrive. Every little improvement, from reducing energy consumption to recycling, is a step in the right direction.