Sustainability in Business

The rapidly increasing growth of the importance of sustainability for businesses can be seen across all industries – with 62% of executives stating that to be competitive, businesses must adopt a sustainability strategy. On top of this, an extra 22% believe it will play an even greater role in future (Haanaes, 2016).

So, what does it mean to have sustainability in a business?

According to Alexandra Spiliakos from The Harvard Business School Online, sustainability practices are done so a company/brand/business can avoid a negative impact on the environment, community, or society in the long term (Spiliakos).

Notable examples of these business strategies can be seen in companies such as:

  • Nike – waste and footprint reduction
  • Unilever – waste and footprint reduction
  • IKEA – waste and footprint reduction, maximising material usage
  • BMW – reduction of pollution and increasing energy efficiency (Haanaes)


But how can this be done for your business?

With sustainability, the specific approach taken by businesses is tailored by what effect the business has or wants to have on the environment or on society. Because there is such a broad list of elements to consider, each businesses’ sustainability approach needs to be made in response to its own internal goals and functionalities.

Therefore, certain sustainability strategies may take the form of:

  • Usage of sustainable materials in manufacturing/production 
  • Reduction of greenhouse gasses
  • Usage of renewable energy sources for power
  • Supporting the local community by dedicating sponsorship funds (Spiliakos)

Given that there is an obvious positive impact from adopting a sustainability approach on the environment and society (outwards), further positive impact can also affect the image and potential of a business (inwards). Commitment to sustainability causes business success (Gavin, 2018), whilst nowadays, a seemingly recurrent aspect of the investment process involves assessments of sections such as company carbon footprints, community development efforts and board diversity (Spiliakos). Therefore, if a business’s sustainability plan is strong enough to incite change in the outer world, it will draw back greater achievement for the business itself also.

Plastic Bottles

Two of Posh Cockney’s clients are following suit in dedicating their operations to greater sustainability. Concentrated on ethical fishing and minimising plastic waste, the Nipo-Brazilin fusion restaurant Temakinho believes sustainability is the key to the future. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean restaurant Olives N’ Meze is totally plastic-free, whilst the produce they serve is prepared and served entirely from scratch.

So, there you have it. As everyone knows, the dangers and awareness of climate change is an essential and unavoidable topic today. All businesses should want to enhance their appeal, growth, and impact on the market, but not just financially. 

As shown from the exponential growth of sustainable ideologies undertaken by companies today, it is undoubtedly clear that companies need to assess their own goals and ethics, and form that construct a custom business strategy dedicated to sustainability. This strategy should take into account the economic and/or social benefits it could be inciting, and work towards these benefits to contribute not only to the world around them but to their own productivity and success.


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