09 May 3 Tactics for Companies Who Want to Become More Sustainable in 2017
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development recently hosted their third annual member meeting, themed “Redefining Corporate Value.” At the meeting, WBCSD president Peter Bakker and GreenBiz co-founder Joel Makower outlined three tactics and opportunities for corporate sustainability that your business can implement and explore.
The first tactic was this: in the new political climate of 2017, businesses must take a more aggressive approach in vocalizing the need for sustainability practices. Consumers and citizens feel cheated and used by the current system – only 15 percent of citizens believe the current system works in their best interest, noted Bakker, citing the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. Businesses should draw upon the lessons learned over the last few months and take big risks to make a stand for sustainability and authentically connect with customers who feel jaded and distrustful. Winning back the trust of customers and implementing corporate sustainability go hand in hand.
The second major takeaway detailed competitiveness: namely, that economic opportunities for growth and global competitiveness are directly linked to the degree of commitment businesses demonstrate in their sustainability efforts. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicate where these opportunities lie, but as Bakker admitted, “they are too big to implement in business.” He suggests focusing on a systems approach so your business can break down the goals and practice holistic solutions that tackle multiple SDGs at once.
The third takeaway revolves around getting CFOs and other high-level executives on board in order to implement real change. In order to integrate sustainability at all levels of a company, the CEOs and CFOs must be fully dedicated to the cause. “Risk management is a key way to engage,” said Bakker. New methods of understanding and interpreting risk management are important tools for getting CFOs to sign off on sustainability risks. Staying ahead of the curve and implementing sustainability now will help businesses financially in the years to come, Bakker asserted.
When you’re just beginning to make the move toward sustainability, consider making steps that will benefit others while also making your brand a big contributor to the circular economy. By partnering with Good360 you can donate your excess goods and products to nonprofits in need.