On the back of the world’s push for a global net zero by 2050, more businesses than ever before have started to incorporate sustainability into their success strategy.
In fact, according to a 2020 GRI study, a whopping 73% of the world’s most influential companies are now transparent with their sustainability performance.
Not only do greener companies garner more engagement from active, eco-conscious consumers, but taking steps to go green in 2023 could see business owners save on energy costs in an era of high inflation and enjoy an industry-wide competitive advantage.
“The companies that are going to be successful in the long run are those that take sustainability seriously.” states sustainability expert and author of Green To Gold, Andrew Wilson.
“It’s not just about doing the right thing for the planet, it’s about creating value for shareholders and building a more resilient business model,” he adds.
Sustainable companies are not only tipped to do well in the next decade but significantly outperform their peers, according to a study by the University of Oxford. The question is, could those who don’t invest in going green be at risk of damaging their reputation moving forward?
Stick with us as we delve into the 3 reasons why remaining silent on sustainability could not only risk your reputation but sink your company in 2023.
Rising customer expectations and employee wellness
Conscious consumerism is on the rise. Especially amongst the younger generation, consumers are now twice as likely to consider environmental factors such as waste and climate change impact when purchasing a product online.
60% of online customers claim that they are making more eco-friendly purchases than they were before the pandemic.
As a result, businesses that want to remain successful among Gen Z and Millennial demographics must prioritise their sustainable efforts and make sure their audience knows about it.
This includes implementing transparent sustainability reporting, promoting greener services and selling products that are both reliable and environmentally friendly. By prioritising the creation of a more sustainable business model, company leaders will see their reputation flourish and their customer loyalty skyrocket.
Employees, on the other hand, expect similar approaches. Apart from aspects that directly affect employee well-being (e.g. quality equipment that protects employees’ health, like ergonomic chairs and anti-blue light monitors that protect vision), employees expect a business to make ethical business decisions (e.g. waste reduction, recycling, improving energy efficiency, and overall reduction of pollution).
Keeping costs low
We’re living in an era of high inflation, high-interest rates, and ginormous energy bills. If you’re looking for another reason to go green as a business, minimising company costs could be a key encouragement.
Keeping a startup alive in the current cost of living crisis can be tricky. If you fail to streamline your energy production, you’re harming not only the planet but also your pocket.
Building a greener business model could significantly impact your cost savings. Investing in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, can reduce business dependence on harmful and expensive fossil fuels.
Better still, according to a report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, sustainable companies could unlock up to $12 trillion in economic opportunities by 2030. As investors, major developments and government grants turn towards a greener future, they will continue to pour money into sustainable business practices.
“Sustainability is not just an environmental issue, it’s a business issue. It’s about managing risk, reducing costs, and creating value for customers and stakeholders,” claims Muhtar Kent, former CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “The companies that embrace sustainability will be the ones that succeed in the long term.”
Embracing a competitive advantage
Did you know that 62% of business leaders believe that their company can create more value by implementing a greener business model?
Embracing sustainability can drive innovation and even result in a competitive advantage. By taking on greener practices, being transparent with process reports and marketing sustainable values, business owners with a green mindset quickly differentiate themselves from their competitors and quickly catch the attention of their consumers.
By staying ahead of the sustainability curve, your company will remain on trend with the globe’s push for net zero and follow patterns of conscious consumerism that continue to grow.
“Business must be the driver for change,” says Unilever’s former CEO, Paul Polman. “We have the resources, the innovation, and the creativity to tackle the challenges of climate change and sustainable development. It is in our interest, and in the interest of future generations, to do so.”
The question is, when will you start?