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What is sustainability?

Operating a sustainable business goes right to the core of your strategy. It includes all the practices you and your employees use in day-to-day operations.  It’s about examining the way you work and taking the long-term view of how your business can flourish now and in the future.

A sustainable business:

  • includes environmental and social performance and takes into account their connection with financial results;
  • prepares itself for the future, making it more resilient to risk;
  • searches for new opportunities by considering environmental, social as well economic issues;
  • realises that being sustainable is just good business.

Who is it for?

Sustainable business is for companies of all shapes and sizes; Just Good Business focuses on SMEs. Small businesses are more flexible and able to change and react quickly. Our films show you how FDs and CEOs built sustainability into their businesses.

Why should I be interested?

Making your business more sustainable can deliver a number of benefits:

  • Cost savings: by being more efficient, you’ll do both the planet and yourself a favour. Reduce your energy use by implementing more efficient processes. Invest in more efficient technologies to help you cut costs considerably.
  • Innovation: explore new opportunities and enhance your innovation capabilities. The sustainability market is growing and a wide range of stakeholders are increasingly inclined to base their purchasing decisions on sustainability credentials. Improving your business sustainability can help you retain an existing customer base and attract new customers through improved brand image. And it can help you branch out to new products, services and markets.
  • Risk management: risks can come in many shapes and forms: for example, sudden changes in the price of key resources, economic turmoil, extreme weather or new forms of legislation. By adopting a long-term vision for your business and constantly keeping a look-out for future events, you’ll find yourself better prepared.
  • Increased productivity: make your workforce more productive. Empower your employees by helping them to feel engaged. Give them more meaning and a sense of achievement at work. Employee satisfaction results in a more productive workforce, which translates into costs savings as a result of lower employee turnover.
  • Better branding: expand your opportunities for positive marketing and branding. Differentiate yourself from your competitors by sharing an exciting story. Tell your stakeholders about your sustainable business practices. Build brand loyalty.

Where do I start?

You can begin by just looking around and seeing what is really happening in your business. Ask yourself:

  • How are people treated?
  • Is there waste in my processes?
  • How do my suppliers see the company?
  • How does the local community and my target market view my business?

There is a more structured process for thinking about sustainability and building it into your strategy. Have a look at our building sustainability page for more tips on getting started.