The evolution of businesses and how they react to sustainability approaches

Written by Henry Young. Posted in World Business

Businesses seemed not to react to sustainability causes in the past, when environmental problems weren’t as acute as today. Since big brands started to adopt sustainability approaches, smaller ones are now focusing on becoming environmentally friendly too. This is a requirement that seems to be growing at a global level, regardless of the industries that are part of this movement. People stumble upon the idea of environmental responsibilities each day, whether it is on the Internet, the official websites of different corporations or social media platforms. Respecting nature and protecting the environment has been a hot topic in the past few years, considering the harmful effects of pollution and waste generation.

A green background for all companies that lead to negative environmental changes could modify the way people live. The biggest issue of adopting a sustainability approach has to do with financing. Not all businesses can afford investing in environmental protection as long as it reduces the overall profitability of the company. The first responsibility of companies that generate too much waste or pollute the air or waters around them should be finding sponsorships or a budgeting option to reduce the negative impact their direct activity has on the environment.

CO2 emissions

Reducing CO2 emissions in different industries can have a visible impact on climate change. Negative climate change can lead to higher sea levels, flooding or drought, ecosystem changes that truly make a difference on the quality of life on Earth. Considering these aspects, businesses started to look for ways to reduce the CO2 emissions that they produce through processing goods and materials. Industrial production leads to a tremendous amount of direct and indirect emissions. Starting by measuring the carbon footprint that a company produces and continuing with carbon capping, the changes that need to happen in businesses are numerous. Unfortunately, not all entrepreneurs are aware of the impact that their businesses have.

Sustainability portfolios

Companies are now focusing on building strong sustainability portfolios, as many investors are interested in collaborating with companies that became eco-friendly in the past few years. The need for environmentally friendly collaborations accentuated during the past year, when the colossal brands out there started to list their sustainability missions as part of their business portfolio. Standing up against the negative effects of pollution and too much waste is highly appreciated by investors who plan to create an affiliation with certain businesses or even by clients, who are selecting services based on this criterion in some cases. Thus, a good sustainability portfolio might lead to a higher profitability, even though entrepreneurs believe that such an action can lead to a profit reduction.

Proactive engagement – a stakeholders’ perspective

Taking a big leap and modifying the way entrepreneurs handle sustainability is part of the movement. If the desired changes don’t involve making active efforts to modify the way things are handled, the whole approach will fail and the only result obtained will be a loss of financing that led nowhere. Corporate sustainability involves making changes that require a proactive engagement. An approach that gets lodged in leveling-off won’t bring the expected outcome. Making sustainability approaches proactive involves some operational changes. All the departments of a company have to be receptive to change in order to make the approach work. Without engagement, coming from both the staff of a company and its customers who are meant to accept the changes, the aspirations of the whole action won’t be met. Engagement is the most important pillar of a sustainability plan.  

Environmental performance standards and transparency

There are some performance standards that should be met when referring to applying a sustainability approach. The first standard is related to assessing and managing the risks and impacts that a company has on the environment. The working conditions and the labor in the company have to be analyzed thoroughly to establish what step is going to be adopted next and what costs are involved. The same goes with resource efficiency, how are resources managed and what methods could be approached for preventing pollution. The performance standards may differ from one corporation to another.

Biodiversity is in danger

Global warming is the process of increasing the temperature of the atmosphere and water, caused by the release of greenhouse gases (methane, CO2). These gases are released into the atmosphere both as a result of man’s activities and as a result of natural phenomena such as volcanism. This also occurs due to the thinning or drilling of the ozone layer, which protects the planet from some of the solar radiation. Industries are responsible for most CO2 release and the greenhouse gas effect.

Redrafting a business’ action plans and sustainability strategies could help biodiversity. Mitigating the negative impacts that the business has on the environment by using eco-efficient goods, modifying the services offered and the technologies used should lead to a slower alteration of the ecosystem. If all businesses would adopt this change, the world would shortly become a better place. The Skip Company is one of the examples of businesses that focus on helping corporations reduce their environmental impact. There are many more other services that could help businesses save biodiversity through their actions.

Circular economy

As a result of aggressive consumption of resources, companies and individuals think about abandoning the existing linear economic models (extraction of raw materials, product processing, use, waste disposal) and adopt new models for sustainable management. Recycling is an essential part of ensuring the connection between the initial and the end point of the process by rehabilitating the materials in production. These dynamics provide circularity for the economy, involving the positive consequences of minimizing consumption of natural resources, developing business opportunities, optimizing costs and bringing more job positions to the table.

The world needs to transform its economic model from a growth pattern, a linear pattern that starts from the premise that resources are abundant, available and cheaply eliminated – to a pattern that favors reusing, repairing, reconditioning and recycling existing materials and products. By keeping the value of products and materials for as long as possible and generating less waste, the economy can become more competitive and more resilient, while reducing pressure on precious resources and the environment.