Sustainability is much more than a buzzword. Companies that adopt a comprehensive sustainability strategy can improve productivity, public relations, and profitability. Institutional investors have taken note and are showing an increased appetite for opportunities with companies that follow a sustainability model.
Go Green at All Levels
Eco-friendly business practices begin with recycling – and then keep going. Support sustainability by working with environmentally responsible suppliers and logistics partners. Help reduce carbon emissions related to employee commuting by choosing business locations accessible by public transit, enabling employees to work from home, and creating incentives for employees to carpool. Instituting green policies within the workplace supports employee wellness and productivity, which can save money over time by helping to lower healthcare costs and reduce employee absences due to illness. In certain industries, environmentally friendly internal policies can help companies stay compliant with changing environmental regulations.
Invest in Your Community
Companies that participate in their community are often rewarded with a positive public image, support from local government, and customer and employee loyalty. Creating an employee wellness program, sponsoring educational programs in schools, and doing local philanthropic work are great ways to build a company culture based on social responsibility. Also, partner with local universities to provide internships and other opportunities for students, which has the added benefit of helping attract new talent to your company.
See the Bigger PictureCorporate sustainability isn’t simply a PR ploy; the public can usually see through superficial gestures of social or environmental responsibility. The value of corporate sustainability comes from providing tangible benefits for the environment, community, employees, and stakeholders. It’s an ongoing process that requires a long-term investment and the commitment of your executive team. Some companies choose to appoint a chief sustainability officer to help lead this effort. Corporate sustainability sometimes requires a capital commitment, such as funding to renovate properties to qualify for LEED certification. Through careful reporting, you will be able to see concrete results and demonstrate your added value to current and prospective stakeholders.