Keeping Sustainability at the Forefront of Corporate Decision-Making

Prangya Pandab on January 20, 2021

The subject of sustainability has been around for a long time, but today sustainable business practices are at the forefront of consumer attention. What brands sell, and how they do it, and to whom they sell their products will be crucial to marketing in 2021

Most enterprises do not realize the positive impact sustainable business efforts have on them, creating unparalleled advantages to those enterprises that do practice sustainability. Sustainable efforts are essential for many reasons – it helps better the planet, creates happier and healthier communities and highly efficient business operations.

Read More: Smart CMO strategy going into 2021

In times of great turmoil, it can be difficult for companies to see the bigger picture. Making quick, data-driven decisions to reach the right customer at the right moment is essential, especially when the business environment is uncertain. But bigger aspirational goals are still essential.

Tara Kelly, CEO of SPLICE Software
Tara Kelly, CEO of SPLICE Software

Tara Kelly, CEO of SPLICE Software, says, “Despite 2020’s challenges, there’s reason to be optimistic. Brands are now establishing robust digital support capabilities, similar to the rush from onsite systems to the cloud in the recent past.

Equality is more important than ever to consumers, thanks to the social movements spotlighting injustice that rose to prominence this year. In 2021, brands must understand that their core customer may have changed significantly in 2020. Step back and evaluate how these changes have affected your consumer before diving into 2021.”

The Need for Sustainability

Today, sustainability needs to be at the front and center for organizations. Business leaders are increasingly viewing sustainability as a crucial aspect of their mission and build it into the strategy to ensure business resilience. They also need to acknowledge the business risk of ignoring sustainability, whether through public perception, lack of investment in upcoming technologies, or supply chain disruptions.

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Consumers have become environmentally conscious, and they want to buy from brands that think like them. Hence, marketing sustainability will be crucial for businesses that want to keep or attract consumers with mindsets toward the environment, economic growth, and social issues.

Sustainability Makes Business Sense

Focusing on sustainability can improve the firm’s valuation and help management reduce capital costs. As more investors put money into businesses with more robust sustainability performance, larger pools of capital will be available to those businesses.

According to a study by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture, “between 2013-2019, companies with consistently high environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance enjoyed 4.7x higher operating margins and lower volatility than low ESG performers over the same period.”

Making Sustainability a Part of the Executive Structure 

Companies need to have a chief sustainability officer and a team working closely with tech and business leadership. The chief sustainability officer should be part of the board meetings, where the long-term health of the organization is considered.

They must be a bridge between tech leaders and business strategists, enabling them to look at sustainability through a new lens and helping them see how they can play a more prominent role in building a more sustainable world.

Champion the Importance of Sustainable Practices

Business leaders and CMOs must help the company meet ambitious sustainability goals and continuously champion the importance of sustainable practices.

Consumers look for companies that are well-rounded in their sustainability. Consumer patterns and buying behaviors in 2020 demonstrate the importance of sustainability. Sustainable business practices will continue to be a critical issue and is likely to increase in visibility during 2021.

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