Sustainability in Business: Why Change is Needed Now
With climate change back on the agenda, businesses need to embrace sustainable solutions and step up their commitment to innovation for long-term success.
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Sustainability in business has long been a subject of debate as people become more aware of how consumption directly impacts the planet in which we live in. With the world's oceans already filled with tons of plastic, and species of fish consuming large amounts of toxic waste, our entire eco-system is in danger of collapse if we don't take quick action. We've also seen the sheer impact of human activity on the fragile coral reefs, fundamental to the entire underwater ecosystem - another seismic problem that needs resolving and fast.
Big brands having been looking at ways to re-invent how they do business. From developing 100% sustainable footwear to biodegradable plastic bags, there are many initiatives that companies are pushing forward to make sustainability a priority. And with sustainability in mind, we need to incorporate this attitude so that we can accelerate our awareness of these issues, and find solutions to solve them.
What is brand purpose and why does it matter?
Brand purpose is what companies stand for and believe in, how they want to make a difference, and what they will do to make change happen in society. In today's economic environment, sustainability goes hand-in-hand with brand purpose. With savvy consumers looking at brands that give back and help to support the environment, it's more important now than ever for businesses to have a core brand purpose within everything that they do.
Whether businesses sell shampoos, cars or phones, they need to consider sustainability as a long-term goal so that they can play their role in helping our planet recover from more than 150 years of industrialization and mass market consumption.
And why does it matter? Because people are becoming more aware of how important it is to have sustainability, and brands that don't catch up will be left behind by companies that fully embrace this shift.
Sustainability now and in the future: Why we need to adopt sustainable innovations
It's no secret that sustainability is a key priority for many of us, and there are tangible steps businesses can take to ensure they are aligned for success. From upgrading buildings and infrastructure to forging ahead with greener, more efficient production standards - there are numerous opportunities for brands to reduce waste in the supply chain and incorporate sustainability within their company culture.
Sustainable innovations through the growth of the digital economy is also a key area where investment in digital solutions can improve our productivity and connect us faster to each other. Whether it's software management solutions, apps or new technological enhancements to reduce energy usage - sustainable innovations that reduce our carbon footprint over the long-term are the way forward.
But adapting to this new way of doing things is not easy. Hiring practices need to change. Embracing working from home, automation and how products are manufactured and distributed, are just some of the areas that need a full rethink. With our globally connected economy, can we really envisage a future where products are manufactured 10,000 miles away from where we live, or can we do this faster, and locally with the help of technological innovation?
How brands and individuals can implement sustainable innovations
At the end of the day it takes time to create transformational change, but we have seen over the years how people can come together to forge new sustainable innovations. From cars to homes, a new green revolution is in the making and we're seeing incredible technological breakthroughs in areas such as power generation, food production and transportation, as well as in scientific fields, in space exploration and at the workplace.
As individuals we can take the necessary steps to make the small but important changes such as reducing our power usage, embracing new, more efficient technologies, changing our work habits and choosing carefully the businesses that we buy from.
Brands also need to continually look at how they can reduce their environmental impact and adapt to more environmentally friendly solutions. They should consider carefully how they can make their operations quicker and leaner while using less resources than before. This includes using automation, AI and adapting to new technologies from hydrogen fuel cells to solar power to reduce their carbon footprint. Product development can also be enhanced where procedures are regularly reviewed in order to improve efficiencies, implement new standards and create even more impactful experiences for end users - while helping the planet.
Sustainability for the long-term
Many industries are already adapting to new ways of working while embracing emerging technological solutions. Businesses that manage to align their activities with more sustainable innovations will become the thought leaders of today, and ultimately help to drive innovation to tackle the big problem of climate change.