Communities of the future will be very different from the ones we live in today. They will need to be different because we are currently facing a whole new set of socioeconomic, technological, and global forces which are quite different to the causes that brought us to where we are today. It will alter dramatically the way we live in our communities, their form and function, and, most critically, the way we plan and develop them. At stake is the quality of life, not only for ourselves but also for our descendants.
It’s time to stop thinking about sustainability as a green option. Sustainability is a core strategic competence for businesses in 2013 that want to be around for the long term.
10 ways to become more sustainable: It will improve your bottom line
- It makes good business sense to find ways to use less resources and do things more efficiently.
- Sustainability should be considered not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it makes business sense. If an initiative cannot be justified from a strategic, financial, operational, marketing, or employee recruitment/retention perspective, don’t do it.
- In almost every corner of a business there is a fundamental business reason for being more sustainable i.e. looking for how things can be done more efficiently and effectively with less resources, less impact. Energy savings alone can cover any of the costs involved in becoming more sustainable.
2. The Y generation want to work for a business that is interested in more than bottom line and profits for the boss.
- The highly educated, mobile and tech-savvy age group that falls within the demographic band known as Generation Y wants a workplace that’s like them: urban, flexible, collaborative, environmentally sensitive and unconventional.
3. There’s money to be made from reselling used products and materials.
- Many companies have found they can resell used products and materials that were formerly considered waste.
4. It’s for big small and large companies
- Smaller companies have an advantage because their competitiveness often depends on being lean, resourceful, and nimble, which sustainability enables.
- Bigger companies do have an advantage when it comes to influencing their supply chain to be sustainable and in influencing policy at the government level, but smaller companies can be just as effective, if not more so, at almost everything else.
5. Consumers and customers are asking for it
- Sustainability is not just about environmental issues. Its about how you treat your staff, your customers, the livelihoods of the people where your supplies come from, its about more for all and less for none.
- Who makes purchase decisions at companies? No points for the right answer. We are hearing from an increasing number of large B2B companies that their customers and prospects are asking about their sustainability efforts.
6. Becoming more transparent about what you do with your waste, how you are affecting your environment, what you policies are with regard to working conditions increases the level of trust.
7. Companies that set meaningful goals, and achieve them, have every right to highlight their successes. There is nothing better for building the credibility of your success like admitting to your failures.
8. Partnering with NGO’s adds to opportunity
- Many companies think of NGOs as adversaries, and are quite content if they are not approached by them. We believe that this is a missed opportunity to benefit from their expertise in material sourcing, water treatment and a host of other issues.
9. Even if you don’t make things – it makes good sense
- Some companies claim that because they don’t make things, they don’t buy much, and hence don’t have much of a carbon footprint. Or that their products don’t consume much energy, so their environmental impacts are minimal.
10. If you don’t do it now it’s likely that regulation will force you to do it and regulation is always more costly.
- Becoming a sustainable business is a strategic decision. Companies that choose to turn a blind eye to the benefits from becoming more sustainable are putting themselves at an immediate competitive disadvantage, and quite possibly set themselves up as targets for regulation in the long run.
By treating sustainability as a goal today, early movers will develop competencies that rivals will be hard-pressed to match. That competitive advantage will stand them in good stead, because sustainability will always be an integral part of development.