7 Ways How Companies Can Improve Their Sustainability Practices

Sustainability is no longer a debatable issue. It is one of the most frequently used buzzwords of the future development of society, business, and the planet. No matter how we use the term 'sustainability', the importance will remain the same. The question is only how can companies become more sustainable.

The ever-expanding dictionary of business lingo includes the word ‘sustainability’. In spite of its depth, it is often used as a catch-all term to show the company’s good intentions towards the environment. So how to make sustainability work for the companies? First and foremost think about the long-term vision, mission, and design actions on the basis of that. Of course, this is not at all an easy task. For any company changing their long-term sustainability plan requires taking fair and responsive actions for their targeted customers, stakeholders, communities, and environment. This requires re-evaluating the business’ sustainability credentials. It is a huge task but it is not undoable. 

Businesses are looking for methods to keep their sustainability and generate revenue long-term by promoting their consideration of social, ecological, and environmental practices. This consideration is assumed for the company’s long-run sustainable strategy. However, here are seven ways of compelling examples to improve sustainability through company practices that may be useful for management.


Combined Company’s Vision, Strategy, and Sustainability

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A company’s management needs to set a road map that supports both the company’s vision, business strategy, and sustainability. However, it is rare that companies are participating in such a long-term policy manner; instead, it is manipulated for quick revenue, absence of commitment, and ignorance. Though there are some positive examples that other companies may follow. The global brand Unilever came forward with Unilever’s Planet Positive program. The sustainability initiative aims to protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests, and oceans by 2030. 


Compliance and Competitive Advantage

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It is obvious for a company to meet its compliance, and that often includes the regulations of how a company needs to manage their industrial waste, pollution, employees, and labor rights responsibly. It is an influential rising factor for the investors regarding their investment decision. The new research claims that investors are carefully going away due to compliance risk. 2021 EY Global Institutional Investor Survey findings say that 74% of institutional investors said they prefer to move back from companies with a lack of sustainability compliance, while 90% agree to invest in a company that pays attention to sustainability. Companies that are moving fast towards sustainability features may get a competitive advantage in this regard.


Qualifying in the Business Case

As sustainability becomes an unavoidable compliance issue for companies, they struggle to ensure return from investment in sustainability. To gain benefits over other companies, a company needs to connect sustainability with other business areas. However, only a few are doing it in practice.


Being Transparent

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To evaluate the sustainability impact and improve the practices, it is crucial to ensure access to information for stakeholders. Stakeholders should be offered open dialogue by publishing information and maintaining clarity and accuracy. Companies also need to accept criticism, identify fault, and improve in action.


Stakeholder Engagement

The recent McKinsey Global survey showed the importance of engaging the board. The board is important to efficiently collaborate with the important stakeholder group of NGOs, international organizations, and government agencies.


Engage with the Ecosystem

It is proven that mutual support is essential for efficient sustainability practices, particularly in a crisis situation and in shaping bigger solutions. The BCG statistics reveal that 67% of top-level in the company consider that success in sustainability requires mutual cooperation.


Engage the Company Broadly

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Responsible participation on every level by a company creates the core value of a company. An ideal example of engagement is Salesforce. Salesforce ensures that every employee and section is accountable to sustainability that is currently linked to its core values. Now, the company has its own business. Therefore, it may leverage the company’s full potential, do pre-active steps on climate, and then organize the sustainability in the business model.

Implementing good sustainability practices requires a well-managed long-term plan by each company. Approaching sustainability also influences people’s support internally and externally. Therefore, all companies now think how they could contribute more towards sustainable practices and nurture their relationship with nature, people, and the planet. 


Photo: d.ee_angelo/Shutterstock


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