Businesses are founded and run for economic purposes. The development of sustainable strategies requires the linking of sustainability to the creation of shareholder value. To link shareholder (economic) value with environmental or social value creation requires the development of a business case for sustainability. This produces a situation where enhanced economic success is achieved with positive social and/or environmental impacts. The link between sustainability and business benefit is not automatic, meaning that strategic business objectives must be purposefully linked to and oriented towards sustainability.
After the Industrial Revolution, business owners across the globe didn’t spend too much time stressing about their potential impact on the planet and its people. The rise of industrialization was a game-changing catalyst for technology, trade, and convenience. Over the last few decades amidst the rise in devastating natural disasters, labor scandals, massive oil spills, and trash-islands floating across the ocean, consumers and businesses started paying attention to the practices each business performs no matter what the industry they are in.
Businesses now frame their strategy not only for mere profitability but also take various decisions considering the sustainable way their main organization functions perform.
Sometimes the way the consumers behave is how businesses function. If we as consumers do not buy products wrapped in plastics, businesses will start packaging them in eco-friendly ways, and there’s a possibility of the alternative solutions being available at cheaper prices because of the economics of scale. Here are few ways by which sustainable business strategies are being followed and we as earth-habitants can also practice a few of them in our daily lives.
WITHIN THE OFFICE
1. Go paperless – Do not take printouts or paper copies unless necessary. The Indian Government too has been promoting this and you can almost get all your official government work done online without using a single paper. Biometric verification methods have come in handy where you do not need to take a printout to sign pages and tonnes of paper documents.
2. Ditch the plastic – Switch to metal bottles in your meeting rooms. Start buying from vendors who only provide you goods in eco-friendly packaging.
3. Recycle – Recycle your e-waste as well. In this age of digital devices, and the frequency we change them due to newer technologies every day, recycling them also provides businesses the metals they would need at a cheaper cost than having to make them from scratch.
Limit overproduction and reduce waste: With newer technologies coming in every day, mass production of objects and discarding them when they don’t get sold is not the right business approach. Fortunately, software with business intelligence helps us with the right data to make decisions to produce just as much that is needed.
Depending on your industry, and the depth of your supply chain, it is necessary to determine the ethics, trade, and practices from where your raw materials come from especially across cross borders. Few companies have been time and again facing this difficulty especially in the cosmetics industry. . To make a more sustainable business and supply chain, you need to understand how your suppliers extract or produce raw materials, and more difficultly, if these suppliers have ethical labor and trade practices in action
Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology allow businesses to take a closer look at vendor and supplier procurement practices, as well as monitor and report on environmental and working conditions.
Electric vehicles in catching up at a fast pace and businesses are moving towards using them across their logistic fleet as well. But the problem still exists when products are used in cargo ships and air cargo and the amount of pollution they cause. It is a problem that is yet to be tackled but businesses still use techniques such as route optimization and space optimization to make use of the available space to deliver as much as possible
FEW ORGANISATIONS WHICH HELP BUSINESSES MAKE SUSTAINABLE STRATEGY DECISIONS
– The Sustainability Consortium (TSC)
– World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
– The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
– Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Even the smallest changes can help make the biggest impacts. If you’re practicing even one of the business sustainability strategies, both in your personal or your professional life, your efforts are valuable, and you are making a difference. Be proud of yourself, of your company, of your supply chain, of your profits, of your community, and, of course, be proud of your planet.