In the past, the term ‘sustainability’ was discredited as a fad, buzz word, or an abstract concept filled with jargon. However, this is not the case anymore. Companies have woken up and smelt the coffee regarding the importance of sustainability due to the deterioration in the environment and the significant rise in global warming.
Sustainability in business has evolved over the past few years. Initially, it started with the goal of creating financial value, which now includes making employees happier, the offices more environment friendly, and reducing the carbon footprint.
Sustainability performance indicators now also consist of the creation of social change, community development, and greater collaboration with environmental groups and stakeholders. There are several advantages of sustainability initiatives in the workplace, which include:
- Reduces resource wastage
- Increases the ability of an organization to comply with regulations
- Attracts employees, investors, and customers
- Reduces costs and improves productivity
- Improves energy efficiency and reduces carbon risk
Let’s take a look at some of the ways to implement sustainability as part of your business:
- Incorporate Sustainability into Daily Operations: Some of the top organizations across the world have invested in environmental initiatives. Companies like Ikea and Apple have gone above and beyond the government regulations to implement environmentally friendly practices. Ikea is utilizing ocean-bound plastics to make its products, and Apple has employed green energy to power its manufacturing plants.
Your organization can set up a task force to focus on sustainable initiatives. Apart from this, your organization can also take advantage of sustainable activities that are happening in your city.
- Reinvent Supply Chains: According to studies conducted, a major impact on the environment caused by organizations is due to supply chains. These studies also stated companies that implemented sustainable practices led to increased brand value, higher growth rates, and improved processes.
To promote sustainability measures in organizations, supply chains can be digitized. Exciting technologies like machine learning, AI (artificial intelligence), and AR (augmented reality) can be implemented to reinvent supply chains. This would help in increasing productivity, reducing carbon emissions, improving employee engagement, and bringing about a small yet significant change in the environment.
- Green Commuting: Green commuting is another interesting sustainability initiative that organizations can introduce. They can encourage employees to reduce carbon emissions by carpooling, using public transport, using bicycles, or walking.
This activity can be made successful by providing employees with incentives, which will eventually help in building a sustainable company culture. Work from home is another option that organizations can opt for to reduce carbon emissions.
- Go Paperless: Organisations spend a small fortune on paper every month, and this usage is leading to a major environmental crisis. Millions of trees are being cut down to meet our requirements for the paper, which has had an immense negative impact on our environment.
The solitary solution to this problem is to go digital. It helps in saving money in terms of purchasing papers and making copies. Apart from this, it is much more convenient to make backups of documents digitally. This digital shift can help in reducing carbon footprint by a huge amount.
Over to You
The world’s environmental problems are too complex for a single company to solve. Companies need to band together to come up with solutions to help restore the environment. Brainstorming and collaborating with others often leads to innovations, encouraging regulators and policymakers to advocate for sustainable business policies. Such collaborations also result in behavioral shifts in society and can assist in addressing global warming at a lower cost.
To help this cause along, leaders from private and public sectors across the world have pledged support for climate action. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult for business owners to ignore the benefits of sustainable initiatives. In fact, a recent study conducted by UCLA stated that companies that adopted sustainable practices were 16% more productive.
Ultimately, it comes down to a company’s inclination to recognize sustainability as a strategic opportunity. The aforementioned sustainable initiatives are only the beginning of a process that can successfully transform a company’s business strategy into a sustainable business strategy.