Sustainability is a subject that keeps evolving, and every new day there are new developments to make the world a better place and ensure there is a better future for coming generations. Sustainability has so far been identified widely as a vital concern and a must-have for businesses. With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has arguably never been a time in living history when businesses’ communications plans, engagement strategies, and sustainability discussions have had to develop more quickly.
While there were concerns that COVID-19 would derail the sustainability agenda, the so-called “Green Recovery” movement has exploded. Some businesses have established strategies and others need to establish strategies to communicate on their sustainability journey, commitments and initiatives. Therefore, there is a great need for businesses to fine tune their approach to the critical Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) framework and put in place mechanisms that will ensure they navigate both voluntary and mandatory guidelines on sustainability.
This year, businesses need to engage their customers in sustainability. Green marketing will help businesses reach time-bound targets and improve brand value, awareness, and reputation, especially in industries where product use accounts for a large portion of the indirect environmental footprint, such as transportation and fast-moving consumer products.
Many investors are becoming more ESG-conscious as a result of changing regulations and reputational, physical, and transition risks due to the changing climate. Investors are pressuring end-user enterprises to become more sustainable. Creating simple awareness presents an opportunity to jumpstart sustainability conversations to concert effective participation in line with global best and innovative practices.
It is imperative that companies, businesses, and organizations train employees on business ethics and develop an ethics and anti-corruption policy, approved at the board level and move from climate ambition to action. There is also a great need to provide pathways to carry out comprehensive materiality assessments.
The interest in progressing the implementation of ESG disclosures present opportunities for businesses and companies alike to earn a brand value by continuously strengthening corporate reputation as well as augmenting thought and conversational leadership. Also, ESG transparency encourages innovation including earning some incentives (rebates, tax holidays, revenue expansion) in some markets.
Transition to a circular economy is slowly taking shape and developing at a rapid speed as companies are learning how to incorporate the model of production and consumption that involves reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products.
There is a pressing need for businesses to be transparent on their climate risks. This is where the need to report on emissions, waste and water usage, energy use and social impact comes into play. It is through climate risk transparency that tremendous progress will be realized in the sustainability space.