The importance of sustainability
Today’s business world demands social, environmental, economic sustainability. These three are often call the main pillars of sustainability, corresponding to people, planet, and profits. Business leaders realize that creating long-term value will foster company longevity. There are many benefits to being a sustainable company: adding brand value, attracting new talent, creating new opportunities, increasing efficiency, and meeting customer demands.
While we seek sustainability via many solutions, depending on a company’s focus, here are a few useful actions companies can take now:
- Align values. Businesses should focus on the most important sustainability issues which align with company strategy and core values.
- Do research. Read articles about sustainability, join industry groups, attend conferences, and hone in on the sustainability initiatives that your company can support.
- Focus on compliance. Adopt regulations on waste management, pollution, and energy efficiency. Include labor and human rights responsibilities.
- Contribute to community. Contribute to the community by partnering with other businesses, local governments, customers, and your employees to reach your sustainability goals.
- Foster transparency. Foster an open environment in the company as well as within the community through candid communication.
- Build diverse leadership. Focus on diversity and gender equality in building your leadership team, ensuring that your company will be sustainable into the future.
- Encourage collaboration. Start with having a conversation with your supply chain. Ensure that they have their own sustainability goals that are in alignment with your sustainability and business goals.
- Establish long-term goals. This helps to stay on track. Make sure these goals are thoughtfully researched and achievable.
- Remain accountable. Have a strong commitment to sustainability and continue to find ways to decrease your footprint.
It’s easy to understand why a focus on sustainability has become mainstream, with over 90% of CEOs believing that sustainability is imperative for business success. Initiatives underway include creating sustainable products and services, carving out a position for a chief sustainability officer, and preparing sustainability reports.
Many companies have already started by recycling waste, replacing bottled water with filtered tap water, and taking advantage of natural light in the office. At Living Abroad, our carbon footprint is very small. For the most part, we all work from home and did so, even before the pandemic. Since all our services are online, trees are spared as no paper products are needed. Our content can be customized and saved as a PDF to be read later on any devices, eliminating the need to print the information.
The reality is that we all need to do our part. What are you doing?