What can sustainability do for your business?

Listed Under: Blog, People, Sustainable Business

What can sustainability do for your business?


What can sustainability do for my business? Eoin McQuone explains the business benefits of putting sustainability at the heart of your strategy. Consumers and businesses want to buy from sustainable suppliers. Job applicants want to join businesses that are environmentally and socially responsible. Above all sustainability is a business opportunity as well as the right thing to do.

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What are the benefits for you,for your business?

Here are the benefits that I see. There's an opportunity to grow your profits through product, service or business model innovation. An opportunity to protect resources for the next generation of your business the next generation of your family and the opportunity to create passionate employees and customers by embracing a purpose beyond profit.

So, this is a survey that was done by Unilever a couple of years ago of 20,000 consumers across Europe. What they discovered is that a third of consumers are now choosing brands that they perceive to be doing social or environmental good. 

That number is only growing. How do we know it's growing? Because of the hundreds of brands within Unilever, the brands that are embracing social or environmental good are growing 30% faster than all the other brands in Unilever.

All together they estimated nearly a trillion euro business opportunity for businesses that put sustainability at their heart.

It's not just consumers. In a 2016 survey of business to business purchasers, three quarters of decision-makers said that a supplier's environmental performance or sustainability record was an important factor in their product selection. And 57% of them included sustainability record in their requests for proposal. So it's becoming really important for tenders.

In the world of construction, last year 90 percent of construction firms said they were building green buildings. So it's become really important there.

It's also becoming very very important for recruitment. So this recent UK survey, found that 42% of the UK workforce want to have a positive impact on the world. That rose to 62% for the so-called Millennial Generation, who're really going to form the core of the workforce in the next few decades.

Amazingly, nearly half of them also said that work that benefits other people is more important to them than a high salary. In fact, that did rise to 50% for the Millennials generation.

So when we put all that together, that's why I think sustainability presents the most vital entrepreneurial opportunity of the 21st century.

So, let's go back to my key messages at the start of this seminar.
1. Do you believe sustainability could be a business opportunity for you?
2. Do you want to leave a positive legacy for the next generation?
3. Are you ready to take the first step?

If you are...get in touch. I'd be really interested to talk to you about your thoughts and your ideas.

I'd like to leave you with one of my favourite quotes that really sums up my approach to business. It's from a best-selling book called "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by, author Michael Braungart (who started the chemistry lab of Greenpeace) and William McDonough, who is an award-winning architect who does amazing thing with buildings that are in tune with the local cultures around the world.

This is the vision that they set forth, I find this really inspiring.

"We see a world of abundance, not limits.
In the midst of a great deal of talk about reducing the human
ecological footprint we offer a different vision.

What if humans designed products and systems
that celebrate an abundance of human creativity,
culture and productivity?

That are so intelligent and safe our species leaves an ecological footprint to delight in, not lament.