What is Sustainability in Business?
Sustainability is a concept that focuses on meeting the needs of a consumer without wastage. It emphasises not damaging the ability of future generations to meet their basic needs. While cost-cutting measures might seem attractive to a business from a fiscal point of view, they are detrimental to the wellbeing of the planet and the people on it. Sustainability in business is not a new concept, but its importance in recent times has developed and is now one of the main focuses of many businesses.
How are Businesses Embracing Sustainability?
It has become ever more popular for businesses in the west to embrace sustainable practices. As public awareness of unethical practices has come to light, consumers are becoming more visibly caring and morally conscious of businesses. If your business doesn’t want to get left behind, sustainability should play a central role in your production and business strategy.
By making a public commitment to sustainability, your business pledges to reduce waste, invest in the use of renewable energy purposes and work alongside companies who also place emphasis on sustainability in their business movements. It is also common but not a requirement, albeit morally impressive, if your business pledges its support for organisations that work towards more sustainable practices.
What are the Different Types of Sustainability in Business?
There are three core pillars of sustainability in business. They include:
- Economical – The profits you make as a business come from practices that place sustainability at the forefront of their strategy. It is also adapting your business manoeuvres to be as sustainable as possible, e.g. going paperless, investing in products and materials rather than going for the inexpensive option, focus on recovery and recycling etc.
- Environmental – Having a clear focus on the planet’s wellness and having business practices that reflect this is imperative to environmental sustainability. Responsible decisions that will lead to lowering your environmental footprint and not greenwashing but prioritising responsible and environmentally friendly practices are good examples of environmental sustainability. Any action that reduces your businesses negative impacts on the environment (carbon emission, lowering wastage, supporting regrowth and abundance of greenery)
- Social – A focus on people within and outside of your business is a way to make the community around your organisation more sustainable. Social variables include educating your workforce, equal opportunities for all employees, encouraging ethical and sustainable practices, e.g. a bike to work scheme, reusable water bottle scheme etc.
What are Some Sustainable Initiatives Your Business Can Adopt?
Depending on your business structure, there are many initiatives that companies around the world have embraced into their daily practices. There is no right or wrong way to become more sustainable, and any move towards a more sustainable practice is a good endeavour. Some of these include:
- Minimising your environmental footprint – ecological dyeing practices for fabrics, lowering wastage and uses of plastic, using natural and organic materials, embracing travel and delivery methods with lowered emissions etc.
- Implementing efficient water and waste disposal practices
- Creating higher quality products for an extended life cycle once they are in the hands of the consumer
- Creating an efficient and technologically conscious setting for workers which encourages reusing, reducing and recycling
- Using the social standing of the company to spread knowledge regarding pollution and more sustainable practices
- Using renewable energy to supply your business such as solar power, hydropower or wind turbines that can all be installed on the business’s property
- Planting trees and working against the reduction of greenery
Other useful links from our knowledge centre:
What is a Creditor?
What is Business Management?
What is a Tender in Business?
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