Corporate sustainability can be challenging, especially if you aren’t in the business world yourself.
In fact, there are lots of different strategies and practices out there that all fall under the umbrella of corporate sustainability, and finding the right ones to use in your company can be confusing even if you do work in corporate sustainability yourself!
To help sort through these strategies and find the right one(s) for your company.
Table of Contents
What is corporate sustainability?
Corporate sustainability is an umbrella term for a wide range of practices and policies businesses use to reduce their impact on people and the planet.
Some examples include waste reduction strategies, energy efficiency efforts, pollution control protocols, the use of refurbished all-in-one computers, and employee training programs to improve organizational performance while reducing costs.
Any corporate sustainability strategy aims to lessen or eliminate negative environmental impacts while also improving operations to increase profit margins.
Why is corporate sustainability important?
Corporate sustainability refers to a company’s efforts to prioritize environmental and social responsibility for short-term profits. It isn’t simply an add-on service.
Corporate sustainability strategies are essential because they make consumers more willing to support your business and its products. More than that, though, corporate sustainability is critical for any company—even those whose core operations don’t seem directly tied in with nature or humanity.
Corporate Sustainability Strategies
Here are seven examples of corporate sustainability strategies that have been proven to work in real-world scenarios.
Strategic planning is an essential business practice for any company that wants to maintain a competitive edge and grow profitably over time. The benefits of strategic planning can be broken down into three categories: competitive, financial, and opportunity.
However, it’s essential to create a plan that aligns with your business goals to reap these benefits. By identifying your strengths and weaknesses and your opportunities for future growth, you can strategically develop a plan to help you achieve your desired results.
Corporate sustainability initiatives are hardly a new concept, but they have become more and more mainstream in recent years. With that growth has come an increasing need for companies to figure out how to best communicate their sustainability efforts with customers and stakeholders to further those efforts and as a PR tool.
A recent study from Accenture found that 73 per cent of consumers want to buy from companies that support social and environmental initiatives; 71 per cent say they’re willing to pay extra for products made by sustainable companies.
Everyone claims to be green these days, but few companies do anything about it. According to one study, 90% of respondents said they wanted their company to be more sustainable; only 30% had established a sustainability strategy.
But how can you know if your business is working toward sustainability if you don’t measure your progress?
Engagement and Education
Most organizations are already doing some level of sustainability outreach, but often only to their employees. While that’s a necessary start, you should also be educating customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders about your company’s approach to sustainability.
For instance, Nike encourages consumers to recycle its shoeboxes through a Just Do It Recycling program. The shoeboxes can be recycled at any participating Nike store or drop-off location.
Working with NGOs and the Community
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is getting attention from companies across all industries. Try to increase their focus on sustainability and determine how they can align with environmental, social, and governance issues.
By working with NGOs and communities to make CSRs part of your organization’s business plan. You’ll be able to understand that community better than your competitors.
Getting Buy-In From Senior Management
To implement a sustainability strategy within your company, you’ll need buy-in from senior management. With support from higher-ups, it’s easier to set clear goals and hold employees accountable for their contributions to sustainability efforts.
This is important for setting an example for other employees as well. Senior leaders who set sustainable practices as norms influence whether or not other employees live sustainably in their own daily lives.
One of the biggest challenges companies face regarding sustainability is internal collaboration.
Different departments and teams will have different goals and perspectives, which means sustainability needs to be incorporated into these groups’ mission statements, action plans, meeting agendas, etc.
Before it can begin to work internally toward a company-wide goal. While some may see sustainable practices as an obstacle or complication within their department. Others will embrace them for what they can do to reduce costs and other aspects of a company’s operations.
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