Concepts for sustainability strategies
We live in extraordinary times. The world is changing faster than ever before. Companies are increasingly buffeted by big economic, social and environmental trends such as population growth, climate change, resource scarcity, technology advancement and social inequalities, to name a few.
New issues are emerging all the time and our understanding of established issues and their impacts are evolving rapidly. Stakeholders – employees, customers, investors and society more broadly – are becoming much more aware of these issues and have heightened expectations of how businesses should respond. Added to this, the regulatory environment is changing all the time.
A company’s sustainability strategy is its response, making sense of this complexity to prioritise the issues that really matter and setting out commitments and a plan for the business to adapt over the long-term. If the strategy is fit for purpose – focused, relevant, practical, ambitious, inclusive and outward-looking – it will enable sustainability to be embedded into operations, products and services, marketing and communications so it becomes part of a company’s DNA.
But more than this, sustainability should be transformative and now more than ever, we need it to be. We must all embrace a different way of doing things that not only supports businesses to have a lasting, positive impact on the economy, society and the environment but also ensures long-term business resilience and commercial success.
Embracing certain cutting-edge concepts is crucial to building this kind of approach. These include:
- Enhancing materiality to make it integral to the business
- Developing robust climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies
- Respecting planetary and social boundaries through context-based sustainability
- Innovating with new sustainable business models
Why businesses need an ethical supply chain
Earth Overshoot Day: the need for new ways of doing business
Climate Change Committee Report: Implications for business