Getting to the heart of the matter
These are all worthy measures that can help to trim waste and improve your brand perception. But just changing your light bulbs to LEDs or adopting a recycling program will only get you so far. To be truly effective, sustainable practices should embrace good housekeeping and be tailored to your core business, too.
The following steps can help to take your business forward in a more strategic direction:
1. Decide what matters most to you and pursue effective sustainable measures you genuinely care about. Authenticity is key to winning over savvy consumers.
2. Review your vision. Perhaps you need a more ambitious goal to propel your business towards a more sustainable future.
3. Engage deeply with all your stakeholders, then aim to marry your business goals with their broader needs to create shared value.
4. Look closely at your end-to-end operations. This will help you identify which areas to focus on to support your sustainability efforts and ensure gains in one area don’t lead to losses in another.
5. Consider ways to optimise your product offering and operating models to deliver value in a sustainable way. By recognising sustainability as a key business offering, EnergyAustralia created their Business Carbon Neutral plan* to assist businesses in investing in a sustainable future.
6. Aim for clear, consistent messaging and be mindful that with increased awareness comes increased scrutiny. Coles supermarkets drew criticism for its ‘Little Shop’ plastic collectables after touting its commitment to sustainability with a ban on single-use plastic bags.
7. Embrace the concept of the triple bottom line and aim to measure your social and environmental impacts, as well as your financial performance. This will provide a more holistic view of how you’re tracking and help to foster sustainable results.