As irreversible environmental tragedies continue to take place: the current fires in the Amazon, the melting of glaciers in Greenland, and the bleaching of Australia’s coral reef, sustainability development becomes less of a public relations tactic and more of an expected business practice.
In 2014, it became mandatory for European companies with over 500 employees to report on environmental and sustainability issues by the end of 2016. In the present day, you can locate announcements and initiatives from every country on how they intend to regulate companies’ sustainability efforts.
A study from Newsweek details that companies with an active sustainability strategy perform better. Nielsen data backs up this claim with statistics proving consumers are actively searching for publically-sustainable companies and products. These customers are choosing green-forward businesses over their less-transparent, often-times less expensive counterparts.
So, there you have it. Three major reasons why your business NEEDS to think green: For the greater good, inevitable regulation changes, and consumer loyalty. Now that we’ve laid this out, and hopefully lit a fire under your feet, we want to give you 3 common initiatives that your company can implement to be proactive.
For the Environment: Implement Change
There are an infinite number of tactics that your company can adopt to become more sustainable. Some of those tactics include building a sustainable supply chain, striving for zero-waste, working with like-minded vendors, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with renewable energy. Forbes has curated a list of 101 businesses committed to sustainability and the tactics they used to get there.
What we really want to hone in on is that no company is “exempt” of being sustainable, despite the industry. Take, for example, Ford Motor Company. The automotive industry is known to be among the heaviest polluters [i.e. Volkswagen emissions scandal, or should we say “scandals”].
In the past ten years, Ford has integrated a ten-part environmental policy that encompasses their:
Move to sustainable fabrics in their vehicles
Recyclable vehicle parts in their Ford Focus and Ford Escape
Clean Diesel alternatives for pickup trucks
Paint fumes repurposed as fuel
The bottom line is, you have to make change. No one is free from sustainable development and any efforts can make a world of difference for your business.
For the Policy: Be Strategic
On January 24th, 2019, the United Nations shared the first-ever environmental policies worldwide report. The report concludes that the entire world is flooded with environmental concerns, and the vast majority of countries have at least one environmental law or regulation in place.
You may be wondering - what’s the problem then?
Well, deforestation, rising global temperatures, and more environmental tragedies are still taking place. This, along with research completed by the Environmental Law Institute, lead us to conclude that policies are not being followed.
Director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute, Carl Bruch, states in the Pacific Standard “It's not that we shouldn't develop more laws, but the emphasis needs to shift from development of policies and institutions to implementation and enforcement.”
From this insight, we hope you will take strategic action and implement sustainable change sooner rather than later. Right now, corporate environmental moves are big. Big enough to make national or even international news. Wouldn’t you rather make positive change and reap the benefits of positive press than make change because the government is saying you have to?
We’ll let you think on that.
For the Economy: Spread the Word
Julia Wilson, the VP of Global Responsibility and Sustainability at Nielsen can be quoted saying “Eighty percent of the public last year  expected company CEOs to take a stance on social issues. We see more people taking action; almost eighty percent of the respondents have done something to support “just” companies, either buying from them or working for [them] or investing in [them] or taking some other form of action.”
Consumers are spending more time than ever researching companies before they make a purchase. Patterns show that conscious purchasing like this will impact change on its own. So, take this advice. Change your processes, increase your sustainability efforts, and tell the world!
Share on your company’s LinkedIn, get a press release distributed through the newswire, and tell everyone you know of your company’s forward-thinking initiatives. Your brand loyalty will expand with your existing customers, and new customers will choose your company over your competitors.
Need help convincing your team to commit to sustainability? Not sure where to start strategically? Reach out to us via email (email@example.com) or through our contact form. We can help you navigate this shift in any market across the globe.