Businesses must shift to an embedded sustainability strategy to guarantee growth and competitive advantage in the future

Pensions Insight

Integrating sustainability into your business is becoming increasingly critical. It is no longer a nice addition to a business but a core strategic risk consideration. Colliding economic, social and environmental conditions are creating an unstable future. The need for creativity and openness to change is fundamental to any business interested in future growth and survival.

The real winners will be the companies that conduct a thorough analysis of their sustainability and business impact areas. Are businesses really spotting the right signals, trends and impacts? Are they integrating these risk areas into their risk registers to gain competitive advantage?

True sustainability requires a transformative business model. A successful green agenda should be embedded into a corporate strategy and made central to core business policies, practices and investment decisions.

Sustainability should not be seen as a optional cost; it is an essential investment.”

For many businesses, a sustainable transition is limited to carbon and energy management. But there is a growing need for companies to shift this approach and shape a new sustainable agility in facing the challenges of the future. Hot spots include access to raw material, natural resources, utilities, assets value, operational performance, supply partnerships, markets and customer bases.

This agility will not only ensure ongoing competitive advantage but could yield further profitability linked to sustainable investments. Sustainability should not be seen as a optional cost; it is an essential investment.

Once businesses have a clear view of the cradle-to-cradle impacts, they will have the room and foresight to collaborate, grow, innovate and inspire change. But making the required culture shift to a sustainable future is challenging. Your sustainability strategy must reflect the needs of the business, its consumers, its stakeholders, the markets it operates in and your core business ambitions.

A glossy strategy document is no good if the business isn’t genuinely and deeply engaged with sustainability values.

Organisations with the most enterprising and transformational sustainability approaches will carve out a strong and healthy hold over their competitors. Businesses should not be led by anxiety. Ingenuity and ambitions are essential factors in manoeuvring change.

David Beer is managing director of IndustryRE Sustainability