Why is sustainability so important, and how it can benefit business?

May 11, 2021

sustainability can benefit business

Source: FLUKY FLUKY/Shutterstock

Reducing production costs, brand strengthening and enhancing the value of your products and services are just some of the advantages of investing in sustainability. Recently, we celebrated Earth Day, and it brings to mind the reflection on how the theme can impact businesses.

The transition to a low carbon economy and more sustainable business models is no longer a choice but a requirement in large companies. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, among other world leaders, invest in neutrality as a business strategy.

Investors have prioritized socially sustainable and profitable companies to invest their resources. They believe that sustainable companies generate value for shareholders in the long-term because they are more prepared to face social, economic, and environmental risks.

BlackRock, one of the main asset managers in the world, penalized 53 companies in July last year for not presenting well-defined processes of sustainability. The central message is clear: sustainability and climate change are reshaping finance and investment.


Sustainability and employment

sustainability and employmentSource: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Younger generations are climate-educated and have a sense of urgency about climate change. According to Global Energy Talent Index Report (GETI) 2019, employees are three times as likely to remain with a purpose-driven organization.

As a result, your hiring strategy may be more successful if you highlight an intelligent use of natural resources, energy efficiency, renewable energy and other sustainability practices in the workplace, conveying how the company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

A recent survey with over 1,000 employees at large U.S. companies found that sustainability is a critical issue for the current workforce.

  • More than 10% said that they are ready to take even a $5,000–$10,000 pay cut to join an environmentally responsible company.
  • Over 70% said they were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda.
  • Millennials – who will make up three-quarters of the workforce in coming years – are most likely to have done this; nearly 40% said that they’ve chosen a job in the past because the company performed better on sustainability than the alternative. Less than a quarter of gen X respondents said the same, and only 17% of baby boomers.

Sustainability efforts present an opportunity to tap new sources of capital and innovation. Ray Anderson, considered by many to be the greenest CEO in America, affirms that "Done right, sustainability doesn't cost. It pays."


How to become more sustainable?

CSRSource: one photo/Shutterstock

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support the present and ability of future generations. It should be viewed as an investment.

Many companies are doing it today. Fortune Global 500 firms invest around $20 billion a year in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. However, some companies can't do the same, and it is not a problem. If you aren't able to fully transition into a green company, you can start by making small changes towards sustainability.

Find here three steps to promote a more sustainable workplace.

Be sustainable in day-to-day operations

Companies can, and should, go beyond the requirements of government regulations. They should be thinking about operational challenges and assess supply chains to determine where the company may be able to implement new practices. For example, Boeing will be using waste heat from a new Seattle sewer trunk line to heat the company’s assembly facilities.

Invest in technology

Prioritizing digital solutions (software management solutions, apps or new technology), helps reduce energy usage and carbon emissions over the long term by increased adoption of automation or smart grids. In addition, automating lighting, air conditioning and heating systems with set times can make a major impact.

Set a sustainability strategy

To take a review of the environmental impact you have and assess how this could be reduced, looking at not only the footprint of the company that you work in but across your entire supply chain. From here priorities can be mapped and goals can be made. Part of these goals may include commitments to or pledges, such as community initiatives.


Airswift and sustainability

For Airswift, sustainability is the way to the future. It is action! That's why we encourage and promote initiatives in the economic, environmental, and social fields in our more than 60 offices worldwide.

As a business, we have many sustainability priorities, but we are committed to placing the human experience at the centre of everything we do.

Our Earth Week initiative aimed to:

  • EDUCATE ourselves and our communities about local environmental issues and how climate change will impact their region, the country, and the world.
  • PROMOTE values and behaviours that address environmental degradation and climate change in an inclusive and participatory setting.
  • EMPOWER ourselves and our communities with the skills necessary to take action to help fight climate change.
  • MAINTAIN new habits and remember that even the smallest actions can have a major impact.

Airswift’s sustainability initiative

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This post was written by: Nana Terra, Content Marketing Coordinator