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Why Sustainability and Business Go Hand in Hand

Why Sustainability and Business Go Hand in Hand
25 January 2024
 

ThisWeekinFM Partner Planet Mark explains how to embed sustainability into your business to strengthen its commercial resilience. 

In recent years, sustainability has moved from being a ”’nice-to-have” to a business imperative. More than ever investors, employees and consumers are seeking out businesses with credible environmental credentials. Pair this with tightening legislation, harsher fines and increased scrutiny of unethical brands, and it’s easy to see why businesses must align with the global mission to tackle the climate crisis.

But where do you start? And can you really be sustainable and maintain a healthy bottom line? Can businesses really cut costs while they’re cutting carbon?

For the past ten years, Planet Mark has closely observed the impact of their sustainability certifications. These certifications have achieved annual carbon reductions and contributed to business growth, offering more than a mere stamp of environmental approval. 

In this piece, Planet Mark delves into the symbiotic relationship between sustainability and business, offering valuable insights and practical advice on integrating sustainability into your operations. Discover how embracing sustainability can fortify your commercial resilience, elevate your brand positioning, and enhance operational effectiveness.

 

The Sustainability Shift

 

Since the Paris Climate Agreement, Governments, consumers, suppliers and investors have become increasingly aware of the climate crisis and are relying on organisations to understand and reduce their impact. The UK has seen a sharp acceleration in their climate effort with regulations such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which require large organisations to publicly disclose emissions data and review practices to reduce energy consumption. Organisations that incorporate sustainability sooner are more likely to have a competitive advantage and reduce the risk of future fines for non-compliance. 

As the climate crisis grows, so does the pressure for organisations to work with, rather than against, sustainability. The sooner you can get ahead of compliance and integrate sustainability into your everyday practices, the better for your brand and your bottom line. 

Here are some of the business benefits your organisation can achieve by embracing sustainability:

 

Strengthen Your Commercial Resilience

 

Sustainability is more than a tick box for compliance - it's also an opportunity to save money by decarbonising. Reducing your carbon footprint involves identifying areas for operational improvements such as strategic waste management, streamlining your supply chain and switching to renewable energy to support reductions of scopes 1, 2 and 3. 

Planet Mark has helped members like Higgins Construction Group PLC achieve cost savings with a switch to renewable energy. 

 

"Planet Mark's energy service has helped us move from a grid-average fuel mix to 100 per cent renewable energy and saved us significant amounts of money in the process"

–Julie Brooks

Director of Compliance, Higgins Construction Group PLC

 

Furthermore, wherever carbon exists, there are associated costs. By documenting your emission scopes, you open the door to pinpointing opportunities for significant carbon reduction and potential cost savings.

 

Strengthen Your Brand Position

 

Organisations with truly credible sustainability credentials can strengthen their brand position and avoid claims that cause reputable damage. The global efforts to tackle the climate crisis have shifted consumer behaviour as they work towards reducing their negative impact. Now over 80 per cent of consumers are more loyal to organisations that support social or environmental issues. Similarly, consumers reduce their use of a brand if they discover they are acting in an unsustainable way. 

Securing external certification for your organisation's sustainability efforts can play a pivotal role in mitigating your risk of a poor brand image and elevate transparency and brand advocacy among key stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, clients, and others. 

Why? Certification serves as a tangible verification of your commitment to sustainable practices, fostering trust and credibility in the eyes of your audience. Moreover, it provides a structured framework for communicating your environmental and social responsibility efforts, reinforcing your position as a responsible business. 

By actively seeking and obtaining external certification, you demonstrate a proactive approach to sustainability, aligning your values with the expectations of your stakeholders. 

 

Improve Your Operational Effectiveness

 

Pressure on large organisations to comply with regulations and set credible net zero targets has created a knock-on effect on businesses within their supply chain. Whether you are a direct supplier, partner or seeking investment, these large organisations are requesting you align with their net zero and sustainability commitments. 

Fostering sustainability can help your organisation unlock supply chain effectiveness to collaborate and align your organisation's sustainability commitments with your value chain. This will enable your organisation to identify new solutions and create knowledge sharing on best practices within your supply chain to drive collective action at systemic and industry levels.  

Picture: a photograph of a person working at a laptop at a desk, with their back to the camera. Plants can be seen on either side of the shot. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Planet Mark | Published 25 January 2024

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