It is important that every business has a sustainable business strategy. This is hinged on the fact that it is one thing to establish a brand and another thing to make it grow. While the former is a short-term goal, the latter is a long-term goal and a summary of what sustainability encompasses.
What is Sustainability to a brand?
Whilst there’s a wealth of definitions, a sustainable business is essentially one that has little to no negative impact on the environment, community, society, or economy. What’s more, it’s a brand which effectively balances the need to make a profit whilst supporting people and the planet.
Why is sustainability vital to the development of a brand?
Generally, the impact of business can be seen in the environment and society. The goal of an efficient sustainable business strategy is to bring about a positive impact on either one of these areas. This can be achieved by taking actions and implementing policies relating to deforestation, the use of water and climate change. For example, a sustainable initiative for a yacht company might be to ban the use of plastic bottles on board and instead install taps.
The damage to our environment is an issue that demands our persistent and combined effort. Countries are united and dedicated to resolving this problem and so should businesses. Unfortunately, many businesses neglect their responsibility to the environment and society, and this results in issues such environmental degradation, social disparity, and injustice.
The benefit of Sustainability to your brand?
Considering consumers are now more aware than ever about the importance for brands to be mission-based and purpose-driven, being a sustainable brand is not only beneficial for the environment and the world at large but also for your businesses ultimate success.
Below, we explore some of the benefits associated with sustainable business:
- Investors consider the impact of an organization to the environment in which it runs its business. They deliberate on factors such as carbon and water usage, emissions, community development plans and efforts.
- According to The Guardian, businesses who are actively involved in tackling climate change have an 18% higher ROI than businesses who are not
- The sustainable business initiative is a thriving sector that creates new jobs and launches new business opportunities.
- Sustainability initiatives can help foster public support for your brand as it improves the organization’s reputation.
- Research shows that companies with high Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings have a positive financial record and are frequently low on debt.
- The process of collaborating with other businesses to discuss sustainability initiatives involves meetings and interactions which could be a useful opportunity for learning. It could also assist a business in making better decisions.
- Big organizations have a key role to play in setting good examples and best practices for smaller businesses within the same industry, therefore if they adopt a healthy Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiative it would bring a positive effect on the whole.
- As an organization interested in the ecosystem, there is a need to constantly reinvent the business plans and image and this implies that your organization would always be relevant because its policies and structure would be first on the list of recommendations to start-ups and beginner companies.
How to attain sustainability in a brand?
Whilst there’s no simple answer, there are achievable and effective actions which your business can take to become a brand founded on sustainability. To help your business attain sustainability, we’ve included some of the most simple and rewarding actions which you can implement within your company culture.
So, let’s dive in!
- Review your brand’s policies and set out objectives clearly, taking into consideration the SMART goal approach; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
A well-outlined objective should accurately capture the organization’s values and goals. In other words, it ought to define the organization in terms of who, what, when, where, and why. Once all these are defined, it’s far easier to continue meeting sustainability targets in the long run.
- Make responsible and healthy environmental choices within and outside the office premises. Business choices correlate with employees’ productivity, which is why providing them with rewards each time they engage in eco-conscious activities is a great idea.For example, setting up a weekly sustainability roster with various tasks such as recycling and plastic reduction and celebrating company wins on a Friday with after work drinks is a great initiative. Not only does this help to improve your company’s ability to reach your sustainability goals, it also provides employees with an opportunity to socialise and develop work ties.Employees who are used to sustainability lifestyles are much more likely to aid environmental initiatives to succeed at work each time they are implemented so encourage employees to keep these habits up at home!
- Volunteer at a community, invest in charitable courses or pledge support to any worldwide program committed to protecting the environment. For example, becoming a B-Corp is a great place to start.
- Avoid chemical emissions that deplete the ozone layer. Luckily, Multinational organizations like Apple and Ikea have made impressive progress by employing high sustainability initiatives to reduce their emissions.
What’s more, Apple now runs its facilities on 100% green energy. Similarly, Ikea uses ocean-bound plastics to make its products recyclable and re-sellable and plans to operate zero-emission delivery vehicles by the year 2025. Levi has also made similar innovations in line with the Paris Climate Agreement under the Science Based Targets Initiative, reflecting the importance and value of achieving sustainability within your business.
By implementing these simple changes, your business is well on its way to becoming a brand of the future.