Sustainability is becoming increasingly important for all companies across all sectors, with 62% of executives rendering sustainability strategy necessary in order to be competitive in the market today. When it comes down to business, sustainability is a commercial approach to creating long-term value by considering the ecological, social, and economic environment. By doing research and engaging with sustainable practices, organisations not only positively impact the environment around them but also foster company longevity. It is indisputable that expectations regarding corporate social responsibility have increased. No longer are large scale corporations able to hide their environmental wrong doings behind closed doors. With the rise of concern regarding climate change and the increased call for transparency by consumers, companies are recognising that their good intentions must materialise.
How and Why Companies Are Adopting Sustainability in Their Operations: The Transition from Traditional to Sustainable Business.
There are some notable market leaders, both large and small, cementing their own sustainable practices. Ikea, for instance, has moved towards more sustainable retailing, catapulted by its collaboration across its supply chains in order to grossly reduce waste. Ikea has taken actions such as sourcing 100% of its wood, paper and cardboard from more sustainable sources that are defined as recycled or FSC certified wood. Ikea is also committed to using cotton from more sustainable sources such as ‘better cotton’. It has articulated that, as a global business, it produces as much renewable energy as it consumes.
Ikea is not only committed to securing long term sustainable materials for its furnishings but is also heavily invested in community impact. While it can be easy to solely associate sustainability with environmental factors there are wider aspects at play. The concept of sustainability incorporates what is known as the ‘3 P’s’: people, the planet and prosperity. Oftentimes, there is confusion surrounding the social and economic causes that are also integrated with the idea of improving our environment.
Since 2009, IKEA has stated that it has been eradicating child labour in its supply chains to the best of their ability. Its code of conduct also touches upon international conventions and declarations including the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (1948). IKEA is obviously an incredibly profitable organisation which some might argue constitutes an advantageous position to excel in sustainable efforts. However, Ikea as a large company has the power and capability of sustainable action, but what about smaller companies? Can a company be responsible from the start?
Bambooth for example, is a small Irish business that is committed to spreading awareness about sustainability across the length and breadth of Ireland. Bambooth is an example of a small-scale business who had big ideas on bettering the planet. They are the antithesis of a common opinion that sustainability strategies are for the big guns. Bambooth and Caddyboo with many other small businesses are championing a more ethical path in the market today.
There are businesses of all sizes fighting for sustainability all over the world and this fight is just beginning. Surveys show that 88 percent of business school students think that learning about social and environmental issues is an ultimate priority. In tandem with this belief, the percentage of university business courses that require students to take a course dedicated to business and society increased from 34% in 2001 to 79% in 2011. Specific academic programs on business sustainability can now be found in 46% of the top 100 US Master of Business Administrations.
This is an initiative that Caddyboo welcomes considering that sustainability is something that is at the heart of our business model. At Caddyboo, we are building a sustainable community with people and companies who care and we are always eager to find new organic methods to improve the world around us.
At Caddyboo, we are not only involved with charities that promote environmental protection through methods like eco-friendly packaging, but also with more socially orientated initiatives. We have recently been collaborating with ‘The Story of Missing Children Europe’ for example, who are doing extraordinary work for children who had been and might have suffered sexual and emotional abuse.
The transition to sustainability is something which is becoming increasingly common among businesses around the world. It doesn’t matter how large or small your business is or how long it will take you to see a definitive impact, it’s a good time to be part of the transition to sustainability and to get moving with better practices.
With the clock on climate change ticking and an unsettling amount of social and economic issues still dominating the headlines, there’s no time like the present to get working.