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The positive impacts of sustainability on brand equity; the positive associations between a company’s employee value proposition and sustainability; and the virtues of an action plan framework. In this article, we will explore what a sustainability mindset can do for your business – from reducing costs to increasing sales; from enabling innovation to acting as a conduit for your organization’s purpose. 


Energy reductions, anyone?

Take a look around your organization. Do you see opportunities for reducing waste and energy usage beyond the usual efforts? If you answered yes, how would you go about it? Would your co-workers see energy reduction as an individual’s responsibility? Does your workplace have the capacity to introduce individual ‘energy reduction’ targets and financial incentives? By working with a professional sustainability provider, you will be advised whether this concept and others are a good fit for your organizational culture. Equally, a provider can help sound out whether alternate sustainability initiatives are more meaningful to your people, via depth interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

Perhaps your co-workers’ preferred currency is not cash, but trust, and they’d prefer to work from home two days a week to cut down on office costs and travel time. If this sounds like your company and the culture is right, get thee to a sustainability expert and start calculating your energy savings! A little-known fact amongst corporates is that flexible work arrangements have a ‘triple bottom line effect. That is to say, working from home can improve employee wellbeing; reduce carbon emissions and office costs, and strengthen local economies through suburban place-making... 


Sustainability as a revenue-driving force

Sustainable brands = premium brands = higher price perception = higher revenues. A helping hand in helping the planet, enough said. 


The innovation catalyst

Some organizations see innovation as a subset of sustainability, and others see sustainability as a subset of innovation. Regardless of whether you empower your product team to pursue sustainable design, or your sustainability team to pursue innovation, by mixing the two teams together and intentionally colliding ideas, companies can yield game-changing results. If you work closely with a professional sustainability provider, request a knowledge session on sustainable innovation – and don’t forget to invite multiple teams!

FMCG brands are advised to pay particular heed to the increasing number of conscious consumers who think nothing of trading ‘convenience’ for low waste and plastic-free alternatives. Newmarket players such as Loop (who package and deliver groceries in recyclable stainless steel canisters) are fast changing the game, disrupting FMCG brands’ plastics paradigm. With Loop continuing to attract sustainably-minded consumers, the world is entering a ‘new normal’ level of conscious consumerism. Brave be the brand that flouts this trend! Your sustainability provider should understand the strategic implications of this change and put a plan in place to help your organization adapt. 


No purpose, no play

In today’s world, organizations with no stated purpose are consigning themselves to antiquity. With Millennials now making up the majority of the world’s workforce, it pays to have a purpose statement that is more than just a tagline to appeal to this influential generation. To read authentically, purpose statements should incorporate sustainability or social impact principles. Likewise, it’s important to ensure a purpose statement is long enough to convey to stakeholders what the organization stands for and what social impacts the organization aims to achieve. If your organization’s purpose statement can’t disclose the above, go back to the drawing board and start again. New research shows that companies that are strong on purpose tend to outperform companies that do not explicitly state their purpose or do not link their purpose to social impacts and sustainability principles. Start the work today to reap the benefits in 2022 and beyond.

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