A growing number of organisations are integrating sustainability into their business strategy, realising they can do well by doing good, and that business today is about more than just making a profit. As climate change, economic inequality, and other major problems impact communities worldwide, companies are increasingly expected to be purpose-driven and contribute to the greater good.
There are lots of ways in which being more sustainable will help your business. It will help you become more efficient, improve your brand value and reputation, provide a platform for innovation, help attract and retain staff, achieve better growth, cut costs, and increase profit.
In addition to environmental and social benefits, companies that incorporate sustainability into decision-making processes can reap significant financial advantages and attract more interest from investors, which is key to long-term profitability.
Why is sustainability important?
Beyond helping curb those global challenges, sustainability can drive business success. Several investors today use Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics to analyse an organisation’s ethical impact and sustainability practices. Investors look at factors such as a company’s carbon footprint, water usage, community development efforts, and board diversity.
Research shows that companies with high ESG ratings have a lower cost of debt and equity, and that sustainability initiatives can help improve financial performance while fostering public support.
5 questions to align your business growth strategies with your mission
Doing good can have a direct impact on your company’s ability to do well. Here are five steps you can follow so that you, too, can align your business growth strategy with your mission.
- How much waste is the organisation creating?
- Is our company culture struggling?
- Are our hiring practices attracting diverse job candidates?
- Is our product targeted to help a certain audience?
- What impact does our company have on the local community?
Answering these types of questions will help you establish your company’s sustainability objectives.
Once you’ve agreed on concrete objectives, you’re ready to define your company’s mission. A distinct mission statement is an important part of becoming a more sustainable business.
Consider how your mission statement will grow as your company grows. A mission statement should help a business evolve with the market. An effective mission statement also outlines your company’s focus on doing.” It should effectively capture your organisation’s values and purpose and serve as a guiding light of why you do what you do. In other words, your mission statement should define your company’s five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.
How to craft a sustainable business strategy
In crafting a sustainable business strategy, it’s important to ensure your company remains profitable. This is your number one priority. You can’t help your cause if you can’t stay in business. And as proven, your sustainability efforts may help you become more profitable.
Quick Tip: Need a starting point for crafting your strategy? Consider internal and external opportunities to create value around your mission. Ask your team questions like, “Will our customers pay more for our product if we produce it more sustainably?” or, “Can an enhanced business process decrease our emissions?” If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may have the beginnings of your strategy, while simultaneously increasing your productivity and profit.
As you’re implementing your strategy, remember to revisit your process periodically to assure your objectives, mission, and progress remain aligned.
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