Pollution, deforestation and depletion of natural resources have become widespread problems. They may even gradually become major threats to the human existence. Consequently, people are giving attention to these issues and making efforts to check them at all levels. As the world becomes environment conscious, sustainability has emerged as the number one priority for businesses. They realize that environmental risks extend much beyond deteriorating the quality of life but can challenge business productivity and profitability too. However, earning profits still remains the key objective of any entity as this is the reason of its existence. Still, there are a number of reasons that they should consider such risks seriously and also take the essential measures to address them.
1. Environmental degradation may have far-reaching impact on businesses
A recent global risk survey has identified sustainability issues such as serious climatic changes, extreme weather, and deterioration of water quality as unexpected yet major risks to corporate value. Businesses in the food and beverage segment are particularly vulnerable as their raw materials are likely to be damaged due to pollution and climatic factors. The energy sector is another vertical that is more viable to environmental degradation. These companies are totally dependent on natural resources such as coal and water for the production of energy. The depletion of these resources may have a direct impact on their production levels and ultimately, their growth and profitability. This may result in energy outages, which may further cause a ripple effect across the economy as a whole. This concern is big enough for businesses across the globe. So they should take tangible steps to prioritize sustainability at all levels.
2. Sustainability has become a regulatory compliance
Sustainability has been made a regulatory compliance for businesses in many countries. So they do not have opportunities to hide if they damage the environment in any way. For instance, those who earlier disposed the harmful chemicals in running rivers or dumped their industrial wastes in open areas cannot do so now. Several regulatory authorities monitor the activities of businesses today. Also, there are some NGOs who are also seriously dedicated to preventing environmental breaches by companies. Enterprises are taking steps towards being sustainable because they cannot risk their reputation if they are identified following such unscrupulous practices.
3. Sustainability keeps businesses in competition
Another reason that businesses of all sizes are concerned about being environment-friendly is that it gives them a competitive advantage. Sustainability has become an upcoming business trend, rubbing shoulders with those like information technology, industrial automation and market globalization. So embracing this trend is no longer a choice but a necessity for business enterprises that want to stay in the race and give competition to their rivals. Additionally, companies that follow eco-friendly practices are more likely to build a credible reputation in the market. Customers consider them to be more trustworthy because of the responsible approach they adopt towards the environment.
Now that the significance of a sustainable approach has been well expressed, businesses need to know all that is to be done to adopt it as a part of their existence. Here are some recommendations that they can follow to do so:
First and foremost, they need to align their core strategy with the objective of long-term sustainability. They should do it even if it means reframing their strategies and processes.
Compliance with the key regulations related to processes such as waste management, energy efficiency and pollution prevention is to be taken as a legal and social responsibility.
Being proactive is extremely important as it ensures that environmental issues are addressed even before they present any challenges.
Quantifying the return on their sustainability investments is a factor that motivates the enterprises to continue with their efforts to save the environment.
Transparency and responsibility towards their investors, employees and customers is another aspect of being environmentally-conscious.
A business that wants to contribute to saving the environment should get its stakeholders involved in the steps taken for this purpose.
Sustainability should gradually be made a part of the business ecosystem as this ensures that it will be an indispensable part of the business through its lifespan.
While making efforts in different aspects is critical, engaging the organization as a whole is essential to drive success for the efforts.
Partnering with professionals such as http://www.argyllenvironmental.co.uk/environmental-insurance that deliver expert services for environmental risk evaluation and management is also recommended.
Sustainability can bring unprecedented growth for any business in the long run, both in terms of revenues as well as reputation. So this is one investment that they should make without any doubts.