If you're having a sustainability strategy and plan in action – license to operate, product differentiation, resource efficiency or any other more holistic strategy – you're building your company's resilience. If not, re-prioritize everything and start now.
What's safe to say, is that the future will be different than today. We just don't know how much will it differ. So how could one build sustainability and resilience within a company, not knowing what the future will hold for us? Our best chance is to start planning for sustainability by asking ourselves these four questions:
- Megatrends: What are the global trends that will have an impact on my business over the next 5-10 years? This is even more critical for companies having extensive, vulnerable supply chains where the weakest link can interrupt the entire chain.
- Stakeholders: Who are the most important stakeholder groups we must engage with, in order to best understand all the interdependencies and feedback loops within our complex business system? Each stakeholder group will have their own unique perspective, knowledge and expectations and will thus help us to prioritize our sustainability aspects.
- Resilience: If diversity, efficiency, adaptive capacity and cohesion are properties of an inherently resilient organization, which sustainability aspects increase these properties in our organization particularly? Maybe we can't have too many remote employees, but we can do better in defining our business purpose, strategic priorities or enhance employee engagement in a more innovative and consistent manner.
- Strategy: Given all these factors, what's our sustainability strategy for the years to come? Companies hardly live more than 50 years – what would the life expectancy be for our own organization?
Digitalization, artificial intelligence, resource depletion, climate change, water scarcity, political unrest and urbanization are but a few of the mega-trends that are affecting businesses now and will certainly continue to do so in the future. Let us help you navigate through your upcoming and unforeseen challenges, towards a more sustainable, resilient and profitable business.
We can help you identify the main sustainability aspects and issues your business is likely to encounter, and prioritize these issues from both a sustainability and commercial point of view. Moreover, we will translate these prioritized aspects into achievable, tangible goals and programs with measurable indicators, aligned with and supporting your company's overall business strategy and taking into account employee buy-in and corporate communications.
Some of the benefits are listed below.
- Enhanced reputation and brand loyalty. Companies with strong reputation are less likely to suffer severe damages if a crisis situation occurs.
- Improved access to capital. People who read sustainability reports from cover to cover work for banks.
- Streamlined processes and systems. Understanding dependencies and having a more holistic view of your business will help you improve your processes.
- Better risk management. In case your risk management procedure doesn't include all the environmental and social aspects of the whole life-cycle of your product, a sustainability plan will.
- Increased efficiency. Digging deeper into environmental aspects will most probably help you find ways to reduce waste and use less raw materials.
- Improved employee engagement. Employees tend to be happier when they feel they can commit to the overall goals of the company they work for.
- Decreased negative environmental, social and governance impacts. The real point of running a sustainability program. We all aspire to have a healthier and fairer world.
All in all we believe that running an efficient, well-tailored sustainability program adds on your company's resilience, promotes sustainable growth and leads to long-term profitability.
Let us help you navigate through your upcoming and unforeseen challenges, towards a more sustainable, resilient and profitable business."Generally speaking, sustainability and resilience are mutually reinforcing. The more sustainable we are, the less we expose ourselves to unpredictable disruptions; the more resilient we are, the less we risk compromising our future well-being."
Fiksel et al., 2013.