The Benefits of Becoming a Sustainable Business

glass buildings reflecting trees, urban ecology concept

Over the past two decades, sustainability has become more than just a fad or buzz word. Research shows it has real business benefits when conscientiously integrated into company operations.

Increasingly, businesses are making strategic decisions around their corporate sustainability policies. This has gained them environmental and social benefits, plus significant financial advantages. Attracting investors, for example, is easier when you have a solid sustainability record. These factors all become part of the key to long-term profitability.

In this article, I explore five benefits of becoming a sustainable business:

Improved brand image

According to the HSBC’s Navigator report, 85% of businesses see environmental sustainability as a priority. Many see sustainability as fundamental to their success. Most large companies now report their annual CSR or ESG assessments, and enhanced brand awareness through “doing good” is becoming one of the pillars of advertising campaigns.

Consumers want to purchase from businesses that protect the environment. They often look more favourably to companies with a positive track record in social and environmental values.

Reduced costs

How do enhanced sustainable business practices lend themselves to efficient operations? Well implemented, they streamline work, protect resources, and also enhance employee productivity, all of which reduces costs.

Making energy savings can be as simple as turning off the lights and computers at the end of the day. Or they may be more complicated initiatives, like insulation of walls or the installation of renewable energy sources.

Solar water heating, and use of recycled, or ‘grey’ water in toilets are a couple of examples of how this can be done. Larger installations cost more, but often will have greater impact, and the long-term savings justify the investment.

Reduced waste

This is often the simplest and most obvious way to engage employees in sustainable practises. Most businesses segregate their waste at source. They have separate receptacles for recyclable waste, like paper, glass, and plastic. 

For a while now we have seen a move to reducing print outs of emails and reports. How often do you get a message that asks “do you need to print this email?” Changing incandescent lights to LEDs provides greater efficiency and brightness. Often this means fewer bulbs are required.

Waste recovery is a cost to business, and often adds up to a considerable sum. By reducing waste, and recycling more, those costs can be slashed, and the amount that goes to landfill is reduced.#

a group of businessmens hands holding a brown recycled paper card with 5r sign and icon. recycle reuse reduce refuse and repair for zero waste movement

Attracts employees

Everyone likes to be associated with the positive, especially younger generations – they have been raised on a steady diet of environmental protection messages. Most people do not want to patronise companies that behave badly or who play a part in ecological disasters or social welfare scandals. 

Take Boohoo as an example. Their share price dropped by almost half after allegations about where it sources its clothes. The factories they bought from had poor health and safety records, and employees were paid below minimum wage. Investors and customers all showed their disapproval, and the company suffered a huge loss in business.

These days you must show your company as respectful towards the environment and employees. Then you will attract the calibre of people you are looking to take on.

Attracts investors and clients

Not only can sustainability lower costs, it can result in an increase in profit. 

Investors do not want to put their hard-earned cash into a business that performs badly on the environment. There is a risk of public scrutiny and possible outcry if it hits the press. Prove your environmental credentials, and you’re a more attractive prospect.

Potential clients may have their own sustainability goals. If you are on the same page as them, it gives you an immediate advantage.    This is proven in a study conducted by Deutsche Bank. It revealed that companies with high ratings in environmental, social and governance factors outperformed the market in medium and long-range terms.

Achieving certification to ISO 14001

How can you show your business is committed to the protection of the environment? You can start by achieving certification to ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Systems.

More and more, companies need to demonstrate that they are thinking about how their business affects the world around them. Whether your concern is local or global, you need to identify how you can measure your impact.

How will you quantify, control and reduce any damaging or negative outcomes your processes are creating?

ISO 14001 helps with this by enabling an organisation to manage its environmental impacts. It ensures legal compliance and shows that you are committed to sustainable development.

Sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s an essential element of your business.

If you’d like to explore how to create an environmentally friendly policy by achieving ISO 14001, Brookfields would love to have a conversation with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ISO How to Guides


Join Our Mailing List

Get regular access to exclusive content and insights about the latest developments in ISO management standards, tips to make the journey to certification easier and freebies!

Make your ISO certification less painful and more beneficial

Ten Most Common Mistakes


Download my free guide to avoid the 10 most common mistakes organisations make when implementing a QMS.