You’ve definitely seen or heard about sustainability – right? Perhaps you even feel like you hear too much about it without even understanding what it’s really about. And it is certainly fair to say that sustainability can and does mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask and what you read. We won’t try to force a definition on anyone. We aren’t going to claim we have ‘the’ definition you absolutely should trust. What you really need to understand is that the general theme of sustainable practices is to promote long-term prosperity on Earth, for everyone, including the planet.
You’re probably familiar with aspects of sustainability already, especially recycling if you read our previous blog post 😉. It can feel all encompassing at times, and perhaps a little daunting… We do promote ourselves as a sustainable company, because we believe it’s the right thing to do and we believe our practices are sustainable. And you do need to keep your eyes on the lookout for greenwashing… While it is true that being sustainable could be considered ‘trendy’, there are many reasons it should feature as part of your business strategy. We’ve listed some of our reasons below for believing in sustainability, other than doing our bit to help the planet.
5 reasons why sustainability matters to your business right now
It makes sense in the long run
Sure, we all want to make money, and more of it fast! We appreciate that money makes the world go round, and without it we wouldn’t be in business! But we all know to ignore anything that sounds ‘too good to be true’. We cannot hide the truth and say that being sustainable and ethical is the only or even best way to make money… There are plenty of ways to make money (and lots of it!) without thinking too much about the future. But we’re not here to think about that!
If you care about your business and want it to live, you need to treat it with respect. Taking the environment into account in your business strategy can help you explore cost saving options too. For some businesses, reducing the time their staff spends in the office thanks to remote working means they could look at downsizing their office, ultimately reducing their carbon footprint – and of course, this helps save on rent!
You get a competitive edge
Many businesses are required to tender out their projects. Love or hate a competition, it’s often part of the game! While being sustainable won’t make your win a deal on its own, it can give you a big advantage over your competitors. We would recommend you keep a written record of how your business is sustainable and what areas you’re improving on. That way, you will easily be able to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market. Keeping solid records of your progress can help save you time so you don’t need to spend hours reflecting on how you meet the sustainability requirements for a tender. Efficiency is a core principle of sustainability!
It helps attract new talent
The pandemic and lockdown had a massive impact on the job market, both good and bad. However, a lot of people took this time to reflect on what truly matters to them in life. Plenty of organisations saw staff leave because they didn’t feel valued, or the company no longer aligned with their evolving view of the world. Being able to share your sustainability plan and values can ensure you are attracting candidates that are aligned with your values and are therefore more likely to be with you in the long run.
It makes you think differently… and that’s a good thing!
We do pride ourselves on following the ‘golden rules’ of sustainability in business: we promote cycling to work, we recycle carefully, and we even plant trees locally. But every business is unique. If you work in healthcare, you might not feel ready yet to reduce your disposable plastic use down to zero. For the travel and tourism industries, carbon positivity is currently difficult if not impossible. Instead of being discouraged by these facts, we like to think how we can approach the situation differently. Could you get your staff uniforms made in the UK to reduce transport emissions? Or what about looking into carbon offsetting? It’s okay to be different. 😎
You expand your networking potential
When thinking about sustainability, it can be super easy to think only about companies that are already mastering it… Yet we know from experience that sustainability is discussed in all industries. As a creative agency, we don’t need to be focused on the environment. But it’s a great starting point in a conversation. We talk to print suppliers who are finding new ways to source their inks and papers; we talk to clients deeply invested in the carbon footprint of their website. You don’t have to make sustainability the pillar of your business. Sustainability is about the planet. That means it’s about people, too. It’s about having an open mind, communicating, and collaborating. And that’s what you can expect from us!