Driving value through sustainability

| November 8, 2019

In Australia, businesses of all types are coming to terms with the role they play in curbing climate change, and how they can meet the expectations of an increasingly socially conscious consumer base. With 70 per cent of under 30’s willing to take a pay cut to work for a brand who practices sustainability and responsible practices, and an ever increasing incidence of brand boycotting for not practicing sustainability, there has never been a more pertinent time to consider how your business can embed these principles into your business model.

Sustainability is no longer the privilege of large, multi-national organisations with thousands of employees. We are seeing reputation damage and boycotting of smaller businesses who are unethical in their practices which is almost always catastrophic as they are not able to ride out the wave while they re-build their brand. Similarly, local consumers are becoming increasingly disillusioned by big business and are levitating towards socially and environmentally conscious smaller businesses for the same services, opening up new markets for SMEs.

The problem has traditionally been that SMEs often run a tight ship, without spare resources and so sustainability practices and considerations have been a second priority. This is changing as our society’s focus on sustainability increases and a connected world means devastating brand impacts if negative media arises, not to mention the growth market opportunities that will be missed if you don’t consider this a potential market differentiator.

What can medium SMEs do that won’t break the bank?

A Local Look: Many SMEs embed a sustainability focus by looking local. What local partnerships exist to reduce waste? Perhaps moving away from same-day goods delivery to a made-to-order model would support these local partnerships with suppliers. Local sourcing also has a reduced carbon footprint.

A Policy: A policy is a great place to start, and a simple way to declare your businesses commitment to sustainability. It communicates to your stakeholders your commitment to move forward with sustainability and embed these principles in your day-to-day work and with a little guidance can be simple and cost-effective to develop.

Small and Medium businesses in Australia have reported greater market share by attracting environmentally conscious customers once they started some simple practices, which don’t have to break the bank!

To learn more about how practicing sustainability could benefit your business, or to get started on this journey, get in touch with The Glacier Group on their website or via info@glaciergroup.com.au