The value of Sustainability to Businesses

  • 4 Jun 2021
  • 2 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Acha Ouma

Sustainability is a critical component of a comprehensive plan for future success. Contrary to popular belief, sustainability is more than just environmentalism as it also recognizes the role of social and economic dimensions in delivering long term prosperity. Businesses must take active roles to demonstrate the importance of sustainability in driving business success.

With these changing times, it is vital for companies and businesses to consider sustainable models that are ahead of the curve taking into consideration national goals such as Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Big 4 agenda which are the country’s blueprint for development as well as international goals such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Everything in the present day points to clients, customers, investors and general stakeholders leaning towards and increasingly demanding sustainable business models  that design strong and responsible supply chains.

Sustainable business models are a shield and a sword so far as future problems are concerned. Sustainability helps to mitigate and build resilience against these problems through mapping and risk management systems that ensure solutions to anticipated problems in terms of sustainability dimensions including environmental, social and economic dimensions are adequately provided for. This has the effect of fostering positive relationships with the government and allows for collaborations with the government, among businesses and within the civil society to plan for the unpredictable.

Sustainable business models may help businesses save more through incentives, increased funding as well as building general financial resilience through actions such as onsite waste management and ensuring of future raw materials. In the long run, sustainable business models prove cost effective and much more attractive to clients and investors.

In terms of social responsibility, staff/employees also want to work for companies that uphold sustainable practices such as conducting energy audits in companies that deal with energy. Engaging with staff/employees on actions to improve sustainability builds a sense of involvement as part of members of a community as well as a responsible organization. Such businesses are more likely to win in the marketplace henceforth.

In the recent past, companies have shifted their models into those that foster sustainability through actions such as carbon reduction and others even setting net zero carbon goals/ net zero emissions goals. The interest in sustainability is likely to grow not only because of companies/ businesses individual initiatives but also because of pressure from environmental, social and economic circles i.e challenges as well as movements. This is happening even as far as small businesses are concerned as they have also been making a shift towards sustainable operations.

Companies that want to succeed cannot afford to ignore or get left behind in the global transition towards sustainability as sustainable business models mean gaining a competitive edge, first by adopting sustainability practices including sustainability programs as well as sustainability reporting among other systems.