3 Reasons why Businesses Should Embrace Sustainability
Written by: Darren Cheng and Keith Samson
Since the onset of the industrial revolution in the 19th Century, our environment has without a doubt taken a turn for the worse. From the increase in severe weather phenomena to higher wildlife extinction rates and rising sea levels. Is it time for businesses to re-think their attitude toward sustainable practices?
As producers and consumers, we have to alter our mindsets regarding consumption to fit a long-term picture that outstrips short-term profit gains. The questions we should look to ask ourselves are a simple one: can our current economic climate support development for generations to come? This article will highlight 3 reasons why businesses should embrace sustainability.
Creates Long-Term Business-Value
Sustainable strategies used by businesses allow them to avert the risks of today, and equip them with the foresight to tackle the challenges of the future. In short, the push towards sustainability equips a business with a long-term goal that will serve to streamline and reimagine business processes to the most optimal state. A study by McKinsey shows that business that have incorporated sustainable practices in their operations have seen an improvement in operational efficiency in terms of lowered costs by 33%.
Every rational business owner wants two things: profit and longevity. While sustainability has traditionally been marketed as an idealistic crusade, it’s clear to see in this day & age that sustainable practices can bring about the marriage of capitalism with a conscience—a long-term communion, not a compromise.
Drives Consumer Demand
Contrary to popular belief, consumers nowadays are recognising the need for sustainability, and as such, are willing to pay more for ethical products leveraged through organic means. With sustainable initiatives, companies are better able to differentiate themselves from their competitors and as a result garner greater brand loyalty amongst customers. According to a recent Nielsen survey, more than 48% of customers would alter their buying habits to engage with sustainable products. Consumers shape the market—and it’s clear as day that the business that thrive in the future to come, are the ones embracing supportive production structures for all aspects of society.
Creates Greater Brand Recognition
Sustainability is a crucial multi-faceted marketing tool that can benefit both your operations, and society at large. It raises brand awareness for your high-quality products that provide greater progress across social, economic and environmental pillars for generations. It’s no secret that our world is suffering from the disastrous effects of our reckless mindsets in economic production, and with general public sentiment shifting from accommodation to an embracing of sustainable values, it’s clear to see that the companies that are in prime position to excel financially and reputably, are the ones that have caught onto these trends from the get-go (think Tesla, Starbucks, IKEA).
In conclusion, looking at the shift in consumers preferences towards sustainable products and services, it is clear that businesses should re-evaluate their processes and try to embrace sustainability as an emerging trend.