Defining Sustainability in Business – What Does it Mean to Have a Sustainable Business?

In our last posts we’ve covered some common myths when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility practices and strategies.

Here are the main highlighted ideas and some myths we’ve debunked in the previous post: 

  • CSR is too Expensive
  • No one is Interested about CSR, therefore you shouldn’t do it
  • Companies Shouldnt Focus their Efforts on CSR
  • There is no innovation in CSR practices
  • CSR is a Waste of Time and Money
  • CSR is too Complicated to Plan 

In today’s article, we are defining Sustainability in Business. What does it mean to have sustainable practices in your Business? What are the benefits long term? What are the costs involved? Who needs to take the lead? These are a few questions that can arise when we think about business sustainability.

Introduction – What is Business Sustainability? 

Sustainability is a practice. However, a very simple definition of sustainability defines it as the practice to exist constantly. With sustainability we have the possibility to meet our needs without having a negative impact on the next generations. Sustainability can be obtained at any level, including: social, economic and environmental.

In today’s world, it is no longer optional to have a sustainability practice in place, no matter if we are referring to professional or personal matters.. Having sustainability practices and raising awareness towards them is slowly becoming the norm. There is no longer a surprise that in a professional environment, the more a leader you are, the more responsibility you have, therefore the activities and the practices that you do, are becoming more important and impact others.

Business Sustainability among everything else, is a new way of reshaping your daily tasks. It requires a new way of doing things, as it involves rethinking all the processes and activities that your current business is doing. Some questions we can ask ourselves that check where we stand with Business Sustainability are:

  1. Do we know what Business Sustainability is? Are our employees, customers and stakeholders aware of this practice?
  2. Do we see value in Business Sustainability? If we see value, how do we measure it?
  3. Are we currently having any sustainability and CSR practices in our firm? How can we start implementing them?
  4. Do we know what we need and what it implies to create more business sustainability practices in our activities? How much help do we need? Where do we get the help that we need?
  5. Does it make a difference? Is it required? How can we take the lead?
  6. How does having a Business Sustainability / CSR practice affect our brand / image?
  7. What does it mean if we aren’t engaging in Business Sustainability and CSR strategies? Does it affect our brand / image and efforts we make negatively?

Who needs to take the lead?

As stated previously, the more of a leader you are, the bigger the responsibilities you have. In our opinion, everyone needs to take the lead, however, business owners and organizational leaders need to help others take the first step towards change. The more power someone has, the more they can influence others and influence doesn’t have to be considered a bad word. Psychologically speaking, we as human beings, influence everyone around us without even knowing, so it’s important to know where we stand and what are the values we want to have more awareness of.

Alongside business owners, managers, supervisors, human resource professionals and employees can get involved and propose sustainability initiatives and CSR strategies. The more demand is, the easiest is for business models to change and adapt. 

The Benefits of Business Sustainability

One of the benefits of Business Sustainability is that it creates change that impacts in positive ways future generations. The more value we can bring now, the bigger the impact will be later. There are studies that underline how the new generation is more interested in Businesses that are sustainable and are actively making a change: environmentally, economically and socially. The new generation is more likely to work or get involved and purchase from companies that are creating and are responsible for positive change. 

Another benefit of creating Business Sustainability is that it encourages others to be more aware of the changes that they make and step up their game. Having a CSR strategy and a sustainable business practice, gives you a competitive advantage and separates you from your competition. 

Besides creating change and gaining a competitive advantage, creating a business that is sustainable from various aspects is a business that is more likely to be present and successful in the next years and the next decade. Investing in a CSR strategy can take your business one step further to your company’s mission and core values. Having a sustainable business practice implemented in your firm, can ensure you that your company’s mission and core values match and are valuable aspects that are being put in the right perspective.

Costs Involved when using Business Sustainability Strategies

Starting a CSR strategy or re-building a sustainable business model can take a long time and it can be costly. The investment that you will be putting in your CSR strategy depends on how much involvement you want to get and how much time you are willing to allocate to this practice.

At CSRgrowth.com we know that a strong CSR strategy requires both time and money but it also has a great impact and creates significant change.

Feel free to reach out to us or schedule a call here to discuss what are the options for building a lasting CSR strategy and re-build your business model in order to be more sustainable. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, this article highlighted what is business sustainability, what are the benefits of having a business that is more sustainable and what does it involve. (cost and time wise).

In this article, we also highlighted some of the most important questions you can ask yourself as a business owner, account manager, leader or a passionate employee to have a better image of where your business/or the company that you are working for, stands with Business Sustainability practices.

Next Article

Stay close as in the next article, we’ll write about the questions you should ask yourself before implementing a CSR Strategy.

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