By: Majed Hargaaya

why-making-your-business-more-sustainable-doesnt-have-to-be-expensive-or-hard

Embedding sustainability in business operations includes the principle of shared value, which
entails the creation of economic value in a way that contributes value to society by addressing
societal needs and challenges. The key methods that companies can create shared value include re-conceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain and enabling local cluster development.

Shared value coincides with developing strategies for the adoption of sustainable practices in the
areas of natural resources, energy, and operational efficiency as it pertains to the activities
conducted by a business. This involves reducing inputs and overhead costs, mitigating regulatory
sanctions, hedging exposure to volatile prices and possible supply chain disruptions, and
mitigating environmental degradation that may occur through the operation of the business.

Incorporating sustainability rewards business with a multitude of benefits

Incorporating sustainability rewards business with a multitude of benefits such as:

  • Improving process efficiencies through the delivery of more value or service with less resources
  • Waste and energy cost reduction
  • Anticipation of risk
  • Improved compliance management with environmental regulations through pollution pervention

Companies that have thoroughly embedded sustainability into their operations have consistently
demonstrated increased market capitalization and stock growth, lower insurance premiums, and
improved access to capital. Part of the increasing importance of business sustainability is the
direct efforts in collaborating with NGOs and governments that leads to access to new markets,
efficient supply-chain management, and the strengthening of regulatory and community relations
that often coincides with the mitigation of government sanctions. Stakeholder relations also
increase through the engagement of the communities in which a business operates, leading to
expanded customer bases and improved brand image and loyalty.

About the Author and RSI
RSI is an exchange for engaging and partnering with thought leaders, innovators and organizations to advance the sustainability and resiliency of businesses, institutions and communities to thrive into the future. Our exchange, through formal and informal discussions, action learning accelerators, publications, online and in print, provides access to progressive leaders and actionable insights for Canadians and our global partners. We leverage our intergenerational network of thought leaders at the forefront of change, innovation and sustainability to accelerate future-ready capabilities in a disruptive era.

Majed Hargaaya is an RSI Ambassador, graduate student at Harvard University and sustainability consultant.