There is a lot of talk happening about sustainability at the moment. The climate change debate is heating up, and more and more businesses are getting on board to start making real changes. But that means the big question needs to be addressed – what does corporate sustainability really mean, and how can businesses embrace it?
Because while consumers may be focusing on reducing their consumption of single-use plastics, businesses should be investing in new technologies and creating more efficient ways of operating to not only lower their impact on the environment but attract new audiences and stabilise their future.
What is the Definition of Sustainability?
The first step in working out what something should mean to your business is to understand what it is. When we talk about ‘sustainability’, it means:
“Something that can go on, and continue and be maintained at a certain rate or level.”
For consumers, that might mean their health, their environment or the health and environment of others – but also their budgets.
But sustainability also means:
“The avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.”
Which on a large scale is much more applicable to businesses. Businesses, particularly those in manufacturing, are the biggest consumers and wasters of natural resources on the planet – and it’s them who are making the real differences, both positive and negative. Because if more businesses were committed to reducing their use of natural resources, they could make a real impact on climate change and the general sustainability effort.
The Three Pillars for Business Sustainability
For businesses, sustainability is a completely different ballgame. At a corporate level, there are many more elements to consider, and the need to achieve sustainability across the board grows with every passing year. And while the same ideas of health, environment and budget apply, the way these are approached, implemented and managed is completely different. It’s clear that there are 3 areas of interest, known as the three pillars or the triple bottom line. These are:
- Environmental – Reducing your carbon footprint, packaging waste, waste use and overall effect on the environment.
- Social – Having the support and approval of employees, stakeholders and the community, treating employees fairly and being a good neighbour.
- Economic – Ensuring your business is profitable and compliant, with proper governance and risk management in place.
The Business Benefits
Research shows that companies with high ESG ratings have a lower cost of debt and equity, and that sustainability initiatives can help improve financial performance while fostering public support. According to McKinsey, nearly 3,000 employees said the strongest motivating factors to adopting a sustainable mindset are to: align with a company’s goals, missions, or values; build, maintain, or improve reputation; meet customer’s expectations; and develop new growth opportunities. In simple terms, “doing good” can have a direct impact on your company’s ability to do well.
At Bonus Eventus we are particularly passionate about that first pillar – reducing our carbon footprint and helping other businesses do the same so that they can reap the benefits of a sustainable business. After all, the biggest carbon emission of any business comes from its buildings, and by installing carbon-neutral HVAC systems powered by renewable energy you can reduce that to almost 0! If you would like to know more about how we do that, or how you can reduce your business carbon footprint, just get in touch with our team today and see what we can do.