Now more than ever, sustainability is essential for your business. Some may immediately write off greener goals expensive, but sustainability is essential for long term business growth.

Brands who base their business models around sustainability and customer-centricity are aligning their products and services with the priorities of their most valued customers. As a result, they’ve cornered their target markets whilst benefiting the environment.

Considering the social and environmental implications of your business can provide you with a competitive advantage, as well as generating customer value and profit. 

Sustainability is emerging as its own market

In 2019, the UK government announced its five-year sustainability plan. By the end of 2021, single-use plastics were banned, and earlier this month, a new tax on plastic packaging came into force. 

Governments and companies worldwide are developing more eco-friendly means of living and production to lessen our impact on the environment. As a result, a new market is emerging to achieve these goals.

In a 2020 global survey by Accenture, 60% of participants reported making more environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic.

Implementing sustainability goals for your business will contribute to doing good for the environment and also give you a head start in creating a competitive advantage for your company.

It’s financially viable

Immediate perceptions of sustainability may include expense. While this may be true initially, implementing sustainable strategies is essential for business growth.

The average SME could cut its energy bill by up to 25% by installing energy-efficient measures, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Simple changes can provide your business with financial benefits. For example, laptops use 85% less power than desk computers. Little amendments such as this across your business will greatly increase your sustainability and lower your costs. 

Conducting an audit to see your Business Energy is the first step in setting a sustainable energy usage strategy for your business. 

Brand perception optimisation

Whether you’re a SME or a global brand, how you operate your business is likely being viewed by everyone from your customers to your competitors- even leading corporations aren’t exempt from scandal. Amazon has a history of mistreating workers, and Volkswagen has admitted to cheating on car emission tests.

Larger companies may be able to weather these storms, but it could spell the end for smaller companies.

Implementing sustainability within your company and actively working to make your brand eco-friendly secludes you from the danger of damaging reputation incidents.  As a bonus, you may also achieve some good press for your efforts.

Your business is what you make it

As mentioned earlier, there is a growing market for sustainable businesses. Not only can you create a new competitive advantage for your company, but you can renew your business model.

With eco-friendly strategies being implemented across companies, new jobs are being created. Positions that previously haven’t existed such as Sustainability Officer and Energy Surveyor, are becoming more common. Developing sustainable measures could result in more jobs for your company.

Sustainability also opens up different communities and customers. Many charities, clubs and local areas are dedicated to purchasing from sustainable companies. Engaging with others who value sustainability can open your business to different markets and make valuable contacts.

Change can drive change

It’s no secret that we’re in a world under threat from climate change. Air pollution is the fourth-leading risk factor for deaths worldwide and, 2020 was the hottest year on record.

As we work to implement more eco-friendly measures to protect our planet, every little helps. It may seem redundant for a small company to attempt to affect climate change and sustainability significantly, but this is not always the case.

In 2020 The Happy Turtle Straw Company was founded by two brothers who wanted to lessen ocean pollution. The company now distributes paper straws across the globe and has had an impact on many brands ditching plastic straws. Smaller companies can influence others and grow their business in the process.