As a business or organization matures, its sustainability efforts should permeate nearly every aspect of its strategy, core values, and culture. And when sustainability becomes part of both an internal and external brand identity, it’s the sign of a sustainability leader.
While sustainable companies benefit the planet through reduced carbon emissions, they also receive positive benefits, including:
• Competitive advantages
• Enhanced financial performance
• Engaged employees
For those benefits to take hold, a diplomatic and tactful strategy is essential. Below are just a few points for organizations to consider when presenting sustainability goals and progress to employees, customers, and investors.
Looking for more strategies and ways to make sustainability part of your core values and culture?
Communicate to stakeholders
If you already model sustainable behaviors, do you also go the extra mile to communicate your efforts? Sometimes it can be as simple as a few social posts, an email newsletter, or a section of your website dedicated to your efforts. You can also talk about your sustainability efforts on your product’s packaging to educate customers at critical points in their journey. If you’re putting in the work, you should reap the benefits, which will factor into your bottom line in the long run.
Maintain a competitive advantage
Sustainability creates a competitive advantage when it comes to capital investments. Sound environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices lead to operational efficiencies and reduced costs. Plus, sustainability commitments tend to influence publicly traded firms and stockholder relations. In fact, studies show a positive correlation between ESG performance and stock prices.
Connect sustainability with core values
Attracting and retaining top talent will always be essential to growth, even as the workforce evolves. But to put a number on it: Millennials—who will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025—are five times more likely to stay with an employer if they feel a strong connection to its purpose.
A strong culture of sustainability should address short-term needs and a vision for the future. Quite often, independent, grassroots efforts that begin with employees will jumpstart a sustainable culture. For example, local river cleanups or office-wide recycling programs can lead to broader strategies and ambitious goals over time. Just make sure your employees are empowered to take ownership of your sustainability program.