published on October 25, 2021 - 11:17 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Sustainability in business is a bigger topic than ever. Consumers, employees, and investors alike are pressuring organizations to report and improve on their sustainability metrics. A focus on revenue and sales growth is no longer enough to prove success; businesses must also show environmental and community impact. The Business Journals and Sensiba San Filippo LLP (SSF) analyzed Sustainability in Business trends and created a report to help business owners.

Employees and consumers are key players in setting sustainability agendas. Consumers have shown they are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, and employees have demonstrated their interest and loyalty towards sustainable companies. Retaining top talent is among the top reason companies engage in sustainability initiatives. Survey respondents chose these initiatives because of their impact on communities, future generations, and business outcomes. Job seekers will choose an employer that shares their values, so they can feel good about who they’re working for.

Beyond customer and employee satisfaction, the data shows sustainability efforts impact a company’s bottom line. Sustainable practices can help a company decrease operational risk, minimize waste, and reduce operating costs. In fact, 79% of survey respondents list reducing risk as a reason for implementing sustainability initiatives.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are also a trend in sustainability initiatives. Companies can expect a heightened awareness of these issues from consumers and shareholders alike. Companies who want to avoid scrambling to meet demands should put together a reporting methodology for DEI before it’s too late. The trends prove that customers and employees are already voicing their concerns about how companies are tracking and improving their DEI practices.

As businesses prepare for the future, they’re building initiatives like recycling programs, reducing waste, and reducing energy use in operations. Some of the issues that haven’t gained traction quite yet, such as poverty reduction and life in water, need more education and initiative. Influence from employees, consumers, and the C-Suite is likely to push more business resources towards these issues in the future.

Historically, Business owners and leaders have made decisions about how their companies operate based on revenue, profits, and sales growth. However, a shift is happening as investors and stakeholders turn their attention to adopting and monitoring the non-financial sustainability metrics. To learn more how businesses are approaching sustainability and the plans they have to incorporate sustainability into their business practices in the future, read SSF’s 2021 Sustainability Report. You can access the report here.

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