Does Sustainability Really Affect Every Business?

Sustainability is a buzzword right now, and it’s enough to give us all massive migraines; trying to keep up with all the seemingly conflicting narrative, statistics and advice about how we should be reacting to the problems of climate change and wider sustainability issues. Sometimes it’s we-all-need-to-do-our-bit, other times it’s only one particular business sector that has the greatest impact and, until that sector makes massive changes, it’s pointless anyone else doing anything at all!

The McKinsey report ‘The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring’, published in January 2022, acknowledges that there ‘is a call for more thoughtful, decisive and urgent action’ and concludes that ‘reaching net-zero emissions will require a transformation of the global economy’. In other words, as businesses, we need to implement carefully considered action, immediately!

This will inevitably change the way we all do business. The potential changes are numerous, ranging from how we source our energy to the transport we use to deliver our products and services. As a business that uses in-house servers, we may need to start using the Cloud; we may need to seriously consider where our packaging comes from. No section of business should be left out of any review.

It’s true that different sectors contribute differently and will be affected differently. However, this is not an opportunity to claim confusion and ignore taking the action required, even though it may seem insignificant and not worthy of attention. If we are to leave the planet in a suitable state to permit our descendants to live their lives without limitation, we all need to play our parts.

Action Aligned with Sustainable Development Goals

Despite the apparent confusion, we must have goals that address the requirements of a truly sustainable business. Thankfully, Future-Fit Foundation has established 23 Break-even Goals aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals contribute to their Benchmark, which tracks progress towards achieving a sustainable future.

Future-Fit is a non-profit organisation established to create an environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive future. With over thirty years of research experience, they are dedicated to working with businesses wishing to become future-fit.

Having 23 goals to work towards may seem a lot, especially for an SME business, which is why Future-Fit has developed a Risk Profiler that identifies the high-risk goals and prioritises a roadmap; designed to maximise impact. While this tool may still seem like extra hard work, it’s there to make your business a sustainably sellable option. And, let’s not forget being more sustainable can potentially sustain your bank balance along with the planet.

Certified Professional Advice

David Harman, of DJH Sustainability, is a Certified Professional of Future-Fit and is therefore formally recognised and qualified to assist you in future-proofing your company by using the facilities of the Future-Fit Foundation. He will guide you through the fog of sustainability and help you to set a prioritised plan, helping you prepare your business to become viable and continue into the future. No matter what changes materialise as the world becomes sustainable, we need to adapt to new ways of living and doing business.

As McKinsey concludes in their report, ‘as they initiate action, most CEOs will want to communicate a coherent case for change and take visible ownership of the sustainability agenda’.

To find out how you can make changes to your business to build a sustainable future, contact David to become a future-thinking CEO.