Sustainability is becoming more and more important for all businesses, across all sectors. 62% of executives agree that a sustainability plan is required to be successful now and 22% believe that it will be profitable in the future. Sustainability is not just about recycling or fair trading policies, which are as relevant as they are. It influences any aspect of an organisation, from its supply chain processes to its talent practises, to the actual workspace itself. In 2020 and beyond, this change to sustainable business will take place in a variety of significant transformational ways.
A recent BCG study looked at how global market views towards environmental problems have changed since the onset of the pandemic. 90% of customer respondents said they were felt the same about or were more worried about these concerns since the outbreak of COVID-19, and approximately 95% said that their personal actions could help minimise waste, fix climate change, and conserve wildlife and habitats. Moreover, 27% to 30% stated that this confidence has been reinforced as a result of the crisis.
In this article, we will talk about the need for sustainability in the modern world and how businesses should adopt it.
The Need To Adopt Sustainability
Today, consumers have become extremely self-aware and are conscious of the environment. Hence, they put added pressure on companies to be sustainable and promote companies that have already adopted measures accordingly. No doubt, companies that are consumer-savvy are picking on these consumer insights and have been responding to this demand. In the current scenario, companies fall into three broad categories based on their actions.
At a minimum, businesses have introduced initiatives targeted at the wellbeing of workers, the implementation of social distance and hygiene standards and the promotion of suppliers.
Some firms are going further through adjusting sustainability agendas to the changes in customer behaviour induced by the pandemic, such as localising supply chains, implementing technology such as blockchain to improve efficiency in food procurement and production, adapting pack forms and sizes for online purchases, and prioritising goods appropriate for home use.
Smart consumer firms are doing it differently. These businesses are finding new prospects by incorporating sustainability through core market processes and making it part of the organisation's strategic fabric, whether by minimising packaging, cutting waste in supply chains or maximising distribution routes.
Given that businesses are now making some radical changes in their policies, product lines, and business structures, it makes sense to create sustainability along the way—rather than attempting to retrofit at a later stage.
There is another good cause to stay focused on sustainability efforts: competitors are pushing forward steadily on their agendas.
When it comes to traceability, for example, Unilever has added to its environmental goals – net zero emissions from its goods, from cradle to shelves by 2039 and commitments of €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in climate-friendly projects over the next decade – a pledge to mark all its 70,000 products with information about how much greenhouse gas they produce from raw materials, processing, etc.
How To Adopt And Promote Sustainability?
Companies should concentrate on building back, but in doing so, they need to ensure that they set up properly, reinvent supply chain processes and adopt digital solutions that also advance accountability, traceability and impact assessment. They should engage the sustainability team in conversations about how to integrate environmental and social implications into the improvements that are being implemented as part of the recovery plan.
For businesses, all of this is related to long-term growth. When we look to the future, one thing is clear: while others will give way to sustainability and social effect, consumer businesses that want to reboot and re-engage will make rapid strides on their objectives—and that will not only allow them to gain greater profits from their re-investment but will also give them a distinct competitive edge.
To learn more about the market and what trends are evolving in the sustainability niche, you could consider opting for ESG consulting from companies like SG Analytics.
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