Sustainability is becoming more and more important for people as the reality of climate change, which NASA says has a 95% likelihood of occurring due to human activity, sets in. Businesses need to start making major changes as climate change will affect their access to resources and consumption.
However, sustainability is not just a buzzword to implement so you can placate consumers. It can also improve your business. Here is your guide to sustainability for business owners.
What Does Sustainability Mean for Businesses?
In terms of business, sustainability is the way of running a company without negatively affecting the environment. Green or environmentally aware business practices take the social and environmental impact into account when developing strategies, not just profit.
John Elkington, the founder of SustainAbility, coined the term “triple bottom line” to help with conceptualizing this idea. The triple bottom line looks at profits, people, and the planet.
Why Should Businesses Care About Sustainability?
The biggest reason why businesses should care about sustainability is that unsustainable business practices played a big role in bringing us to the brink of disaster where we are at today.
On a more selfish level, businesses should care about sustainability because it’s good for the bottom line. Overall, 76% of Americans want companies to do something about climate change, and many in the business community agree. If your business does not develop sustainably, it might lose customers.
What Can Your Business Do?
No matter your role within your business, you can do something about sustainability.
If you are the owner or organizational leader, you have the most power to develop sustainable strategies and shift your organizational culture. If you are an administrator, manager, or HR supervisor, you can help shape company culture to value sustainability. Even regular employees can help by spearheading sustainable initiatives.
Sustainable growth can help your business save on operational costs and improve your reputation compared to the competition. There are challenges with incorporating sustainability into your business strategy, such as a lack of resources, but even small changes, such as enabling remote work, go a long way.