Business

Why Sustainability Matters To Businesses

Will your company pull through this Covid-19 pandemic?

report published by The Edge Markets in October last year, detailed that a total of 2,713 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia closed down between March and October 2020. 

Image via Scanlux Packaging

The United Nations had released a new 2030 Agenda in September 2015, it discussed the 17 life-changing goals on sustainable development that should be implemented by all the countries. A glaring goal among the 17 is the 9th goal which suggests the developing countries should centralize on researching new technologies in industrial and infrastructure as well as the utilization of energy for maximum efficiency in a way that is hoping to slow down the depletion of resources. As the environmental issues are related to economic activities throughout the world.

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Businesses ranging from small retail enterprises to world’s well-known and valuable corporations nowadays are eagerly trying to find the ideal ways to survive this Covid-19 pandemic. However,  the coronavirus is not the only problem we are facing. Environmental issues such as global warming, plastic and toxic wastes also stares us in the face.

Mainly due to the factors stated above, there is a dire need for companies to focus on their business' sustainability.

What can we do?

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In order to take the first step towards business sustainability, one must first consider and identify the factors involved to transition the business such as the social, economic and ecological aspects and align them with the intended goal of operating and making profits in the long run.

A sustainable business is also about proper administration and awareness of social responsibilities. A good relationship between employer and employee is always the key to sustain the companyIt is important for the company to help maintain the mental welfare of its employees to establish a good working environment.

Image via Retail Dietitians Business Alliance 

Next, Companies must fulfill their responsibilities to make sure every business action taken is beneficial to the social environment by offering the best level of service afforded to their customers.

A sustainable business is not just to satisfy its customers today but also able to meet the customers’ requirements in the future.

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Most companies are probably struggling on how to implement strategies on sustainability and are they doing it properly. Here are some possible solutions:

  1. Find balance between business goals and sustainability for better implementationThe result of implementation of sustainability strategies should ease the business operation and benefit the company in return. We should avoid discrepancy in executing both business and sustainability strategies and look for a balance in everything.

  2. Prioritise Compliance before competitive advantageA company must start obeying the regulations in keeping the environment safe and also the employee’s welfare. A steadily growing business will guarantee profits in the future. A recent research has shown that 44% of investors will not invest in companies with poor performance on sustainability.

  3. Champion sustainability transparency to gain trust from the community
    Public awareness on conserving and preserving the environment is increasing lately due to the rise of information and communication technologies, the investors are more concerned on the strategies and operating conditions. Therefore, companies should accomplish transparency which promote sustainability practices and gain trust from the community.

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Many companies in Malaysia have already taken the path towards business sustainability.

For your information, Malaysia is ranked 8th in Asia with highest plastic consumption and wastage. The first example is The Food Purveyor (TFP) which is the parent company of Village Grocer and Ben’s Independent Grocer (B.I.G.), had decided to step up and save the Earth by giving 20 points to customers who shopped in the store with their own eco bags. All bakeries packaging under TFP is replaced with recycled paper, while some product packaging is made with eco-friendly materials.

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Even Fast food goliath McDonald's has ceased serving plastic straws since August 2018 in line with the 'Say no to Straws' campaign. Most of their customers when interviewed, supported the decision and further acknowledged the impacts of plastic waste and pollution on marine life and the environment altogether.

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In Short, sustainability should not be overlooked as it involves the wellbeing of the ecosystem in the long run. While companies face unprecedented times due to Covid-19, it is  also prudent for companies to ensure sustainability.

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In your opinion, what will be the limitations that every corporate needs to be taken into consideration to ensure smoothness during the execution process? Feel free to drop us an email at info@xaviermah.my

 

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