Making sustainable business practices is not only an environmental choice or a value proposition – it is a way of taking meaningful action to plan for the future. It is a critical consideration when developing business practices so that they not only positively impact their world and reduce negative impacts but protect the business against potential problems down the road.
Sustainability is not simply a moral quandary – it is a critical part of good business practice. Businesses that heavily factor sustainability in their value proposition, and follow up with critical action, are preparing both themselves and their organization for the future.
What is future-proofing?
Future-proofing is a term frequently used in the design and production of digital technology, but it is a concept that is intrinsically tied to sustainability. Planning and preparing your business for not only the present world – but for the world to come – is at its heart, sustainable action. And, in turn, by applying this same motivation to all areas of sustainability, businesses can ensure that not only their products and services avoid obsolescence – but that their business model is built to last as well.
It is critical when building a sustainable business, or in transitioning an existing business, to build with measurable impact. There are many different mechanisms that can be used to measure sustainability – including tracking waste production, emissions, and carbon footprints. Businesses can also track wages in conjunction to cost of living, diversity and inclusion, and many other labour statistics.
There are also different certifications that businesses can aim for in order to communicate their sustainability to customers effectively – like B Corporation certification, Rainforest Alliance certification, and Fairtrade certification, to name a few.
Setting Yourself up for Future Success
In setting up a business for present and future success through tangible and marketable resource awareness, organizations are positioning their business so that it, too, can be sustained over time. As the planet continues to change and as resources become increasingly scarce, a business that has built its practices on renewing its physical and social resources in pace with their use is a business that can continue to operate without needing to overhaul its operations. This kind of future positioning is more easily done when the organization in question has a clear value proposition outlining its reasons for sustainability and an achievable action plan for achieving that sustainability.
A Value Proposition
A value proposition is an important place to start, but it is the continuous action that follows this proposition that creates a sustainable, future-proof business. Organizations need to create a foundation that embraces the values of sustainability and, in turn, embraces the values of protecting and planning for the future.
Without sustainable action, there may be no future and, if there is, then businesses who don’t act now are simply delaying the inevitable – at some point, they will need to change the way that they conduct business in order to remain relevant and able to function. As public opinion moves more and more in favour of sustainability, organizations looking to position themselves for the future need to consider their impact when deciding upon the core build of their business.
Businesses are future-proofing themselves in addition to protecting our world when they consider their long-term impact on natural and social resources. By embracing sustainability, businesses are aiming to last past their present and into future generations.