Initially viewed as a series of costs, the business case for sustainability is becoming increasingly apparent. By embracing the long-term strategic and competitive advantages of sustainability, businesses of all sizes find that they can have a significant impact, and at the same time meet – and exceed – their business objectives.
Heightened Talent Attraction and Engagement
Environmental and social responsibility programs put a business’s values into action.
And, by actively engaging employees in the process, such efforts can improve the morale and productivity of existing employees, while increasing competitive advantage in the recruitment and attraction of new talent.
A company’s commitment to sustainability and its communications pays off in stronger employee engagement. It ranks third in the top ten drivers of employee engagement, and the result for employers is up to 87% lower turnover and 20% better performance. – Corporate Leadership Council, 2011.
Enhanced Brand and Reputation
Brand is one of a business’s most valuable assets. It represents the company’s intangible worth – its reputation in the market.
Sustainability programs reinforce the vision, values, and integrity of a business. A visible commitment to environmental responsibility can help foster strong relationships with customers, employees, and the local and global community.
Market Leadership Beyond Regulation
Sustainability helps firms get ahead of supply chain pressure and ever-stricter regulations. By adopting sustainable practices early, businesses avoid the financial and logistical challenges often faced in a later rush to regulatory compliancy. These first movers also have a strong opportunity to influence and innovate the future of sustainability regulation within their industry.
Increased Bottom Line
Done right, sustainability practices increase margins through lowered costs: increased efficiencies and conservation efforts result in reduced resource outputs, including water, energy, and waste services, and therefore lower operating expenditures.
Once a business has embarked upon its sustainability path, marketing and advertising its green successes and social responsibility can help build brand and enhance market share.