Business Case for Sustainability – Executive Summary
The overwhelming evidence shows that sustainability is going mainstream. Executives can no longer afford to relate to sustainability as a “nice to have” or a function that is separated from the “real” business. Those companies that proactively make sustainability core to their business strategy will drive innovation and create enthusiasm and loyalty from employees, customers, suppliers, communities and investors.
Based on research and articles written by different sustainable Institutes and my own experience, I have created a series of articles with concrete examples of how sustainability benefits the bottom line.
This article is an executive summary with main takeaways from the previous six articles. The articles below are linked to the origin articles.
Main takeaway: Much of the strategic value of sustainability comes from the need to continuously communicate with and learn, from key stakeholders. When companies fail to establish good relationships with their stakeholders, it can lead to increased conflict and reduced stakeholder cooperation. This can disrupt a company’s ability to operate on delivery and budget.
Main takeaway: Unlike traditional forms of business risk, social and environmental risks manifest themselves over a longer term. They often affect the business on many dimensions, and are largely outside the organization’s control. Managing risks therefore requires making investment decisions today for longer-term capacity building and developing adaptive strategies.
Main takeaway: Re-designing products to meet environmental standards or social needs offers new business opportunities.
Main takeaway: In addition to the financial benefits arising from increased innovation, companies also achieves significant cost savings through environmental sustainability-related operational efficiencies.
Main takeaway: Today’s consumers expect greater transparency, honesty and significant global impact from companies and businesses. Today’s consumers want the option to choose sustainable and competitively priced, high quality products.
Main takeaway: Research shows that 21st century employees focus more on mission, purpose, and work-life balance. Companies that invest in sustainability initiatives and a strategy focusing on purpose and value for society, tend to create a culture and engagement that is sought after by the employees.