Why operating sustainably and ethically is good for business

June 7, 2022

Why operating sustainably and ethically is good for business

There is still a perception that being sustainable and ethical in business is an expensive luxury. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. While there is an urgent need to do business sustainably for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do, forward-thinking organisations are discovering that sustainable business practices can also be profitable.

Here are some examples of how businesses may wish to become more sustainable:

Moving the needle

The Deloitte 2022 CxO Sustainability Report looks at the results of a survey of the attitudes towards climate change of more than 2,000 C-suite executives across 21 countries. 89% of executives agreed there is a global climate emergency, with 79% believing the world is at a tipping point for responding to climate change - up from 59% in a survey conducted a mere eight months earlier. Worryingly, 97% believe that climate change has already negatively impacted their business, with key issues including the operational impact of climate-related disasters and the cost of climate change mitigation.

Authors identified five ‘needle-moving’ actions organisations need to take in order to make a difference:

  • create climate-friendly products or services
  • introduce a requirement for suppliers and partners to meet specific sustainability criteria
  • ensure facilities are more resistant to climate impact
  • incorporate climate considerations into lobbying and political donations
  • tie sustainability performance to senior leaders’ salary and bonuses

While only 19% of organisations surveyed had implemented four or more of these ‘needle-moving’ actions, many of these 19% believed that their sustainability efforts have or will have a positive impact on their business. Almost half (45%) expected to see their climate strategies leading to increased revenue from new business, 38% expected to see increased revenue from long-standing business, and 55% expected a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

Increasing popularity in sustainable investment

Investment based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria is on the rise. Use of the search term ‘ESG’ has risen sharply over the last three years, and socially conscious investors are predicted to invest $53 trillion in ESG assets by 2025. It therefore stands to reason that ethical businesses have greater investment potential - another reason operating business sustainably and ethically is good for business.

How your business can become more sustainable

There are a number of quick wins that can help your business become more sustainable, such as using recycled and recyclable materials, installing energy-efficient equipment and technologies, making your premises more energy efficient, raising staff awareness, and cutting down on business travel. Solutions that need more planning are the development of sustainable products and services, updating your premises and facilities to make them more sustainable, requiring suppliers and business partners to have robust sustainability criteria, and linking executive bonuses to sustainability targets.

As a supplier of sustainable office furniture and fit-outs, we can definitely help you with updating your premises to make them more sustainable. We have won many sustainability awards for our circular approach to office furniture, send zero waste to landfill, are carbon neutral and have signed up to be Net Zero by 2050. Our green endeavours have resulted in more than £1.8m worth of savings for our clients, which shows that sustainability does not have to be expensive. So without lifting a finger, you will get a stunning office refit that’s carbon neutral and makes your budget go further. Any furniture you want to keep will be repaired or repurposed and incorporated into the new design. Furniture you no longer want will be rehomed with local charities or community groups, or sent away for recycling if it isn’t usable. Interested? Get in touch to find out more.

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