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How To Keep Business Green By Supporting Sustainability

The emerging trend of environmental sustainability is gaining traction with a well-deserved urgency, and is lending differentiation and credibility to the businesses that are leading the charge

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Rising awareness for environmental sustainability 

Business history goes 3,000 years into the past & an understanding of the factors that impact the world of business helps organizations anticipate and adapt to the shifting expectations over time. 

The emerging trend of environmental sustainability is gaining traction with a well-deserved urgency, and is lending differentiation and credibility to the businesses that are leading the charge. After many decades of disregard, organizations across the globe are now rethinking the implications of their processes & practices on the environment & consciously incorporating practices to reduce the damage & increase the positive impact on environmental sustainability.

Turning intent into action 

The Boston Consulting Group states that 65% of executives today report environmental sustainability to be on at the top of their management agendas, up from just 46% in 2010. Sustainability, it’s becoming apparent, is fast becoming a critical business issue.

An MIT Sloan Management Review & Boston Consulting Group research from 2014 found that whereas 90% of executives find sustainability to be important, only 60% of companies incorporate sustainability in their strategy, and merely 25% had sustainability incorporated in their business model. 

Expectations on corporate responsibility are rising & more companies are recognizing that good intentions are no longer enough and must be backed by concrete action.

Why sustainability will help businesses flourish

Responsible decisions that reduce wastage and use lesser energy not only help reduce commerce’s strain on the environment, but also help in developing processes that will lead to businesses becoming completely sustainable in the long term, in the face of limited resource availability & regulatory crackdowns. Not to mention, customer favour.

Sustainability is quickly becoming a means to a competitive edge. In the hyper informed times we live in, modern consumers and investors alike are a well-informed lot leaning towards making sustainable choices that will ease the strain from environmental and social issues afflicting the world today. Compliance is an issue that concerns investors as evidenced by the BCG/MIT report that states 44% of investors say that they divest from companies with poor sustainability performance. 

The ‘goodness’ appeal for today’s conscious consumer 

A wave of consumers wanting to make ethical lifestyle choices and positive buying decisions is rising – and giving way to conscious consumerism. Wanting to balance the negative impact of consumerist practices, these are caring individuals who know their buying practices are affecting the world.

Drawing from the wholesome goodness that nature has to offer, while causing minimum strain on the planet, is the latest trend in the beauty & grooming industry. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), worldwide vegan cosmetics launches have more than doubled over the past five years. The global marketing firm details that new cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics launches represent a 175 percent increase from July 2013 to June 2018 indicating not only are consumers wanting to be good to the planet, but are also uncompromising when it comes to selecting goodness for themselves. 

Buying products and supporting businesses that resonate with their moral markers makes consumers feel contributive & good about themselves. And these feelings are shaping consumer behavior. Brands are capitalizing by not only making these changes in product but also acquiring green certifications that externally validate their having met the strict requirements of these certifying bodies. 

Being ethical leaders

The growing attention from governments, organizations and individuals towards conserving and repairing the damaging impact of commercial activity on the environment is making environmental sustainability a topical issue. Companies which do not work towards reducing their environmental impact stand to be restricted through taxes or regulations by concerned governments.

This is why sustainable businesses today are rightfully being viewed as socially-responsible market-leaders giving them a competitive advantage and placing them squarely as innovators with a heart. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Shankar Prasad

The author is Founder and Director, Pureplay Skin Sciences

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