When a money-minded publication like Fortune says, “Like it or not, sustainability is now the core of your business,” you know a seismic shift in corporate social responsibility is taking place. The fact that some businesses are not yet sure what that looks like for them is irrelevant. The point is, when sustainable business practices benefit the bottom line, things get real serious and companies stop asking: “Why are sustainable business practices important?”
In this article, Fortune demonstrates how inventive new products like Unilever’s washing up fluids, designed to require less water, are resulting in a spike in sales in drought-prone markets. While other businesses are benefitting in the area of cost-savings. Just a few operational tweaks can lead to less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and big savings—millions for some—while giving us all a better shot at a future on this planet.
But, it’s not just the big guys who are benefitting from more eco-friendly practices. According to Fortune, businesses of all sizes, and across a wide range of industries, are adding to their bottom line while establishing themselves as leaders in corporate social responsibility. For example, a water utility company did some benchmarking and determined that an eco-tune up could help them cut operating costs by 25%. And, a major brewer found over one hundred ways to reduce GHG emissions and save $200 million over five years.
From the article:
“Real sustainability efforts are core business efforts; because they are not always easy, they can help a company to raise its game and perform better in all kinds of ways.”
So, how can you adopt sustainability practices that impact your bottom line? According to Fortune, the steps go something like this:
- Define your sustainability priorities.
- Evaluate your sustainability costs and benefits.
- Set specific and achievable sustainability goals (e.g., Eliminate X thousand pounds of packaging).
- Create consistent sustainability incentives for management and suppliers.
Sustainability is serious—yes—but based on this Fortune article, and your company’s level of commitment to corporate social responsibility, it can potentially have a seriously positive impact on your bottom line.