Written by Annelore Louis
Competitive advantage is likely the most valuable reason to incorporate sustainability in your business strategy today. Nevertheless, the vast majority of businesses face challenges when implementing sustainability into their strategy. These three are the most common challenges faced by businesses on their journey toward becoming sustainable.
1. Inherent complexity
Defining what sustainability means and entails is a challenge on its own, but measuring the impact of specific initiatives on a company’s performance is an even bigger one. Though most recognize that a focus on sustainability is needed, it is often set aside because of its sheer complexity. “How to involve it? Which framework or model to use?” - Who knows?
2. Lack of knowledge and expertise
Literally, who knows? Little among us have a good sense of what sustainability is and how to integrate it within a company’s strategy. Take for instance a company’s everyday processes: aspects such as quality, flexibility, and cycle time are conventional measures to get a grasp on a process’ performance. However, do we know how to measure the sustainable impact of a process?
3. No sense of urgency
As mentioned, many recognize that sustainability should be integrated into a company’s day-to-day business. However, companies are lacking a sense of urgency. For decades, businesses’ strategies were built around short-term profitability. Measuring sustainability's financial impact is complex, so why involve it at all? Broadening the mindset of businesses to look further than a few years in time is difficult. Investing in sustainability might not deliver within a few years, but it will in the long run.
These challenges pose already a big hurdle, and the list is far from exhaustive. One can wonder: “Why would companies even think about starting to implement a sustainable business strategy?” Many reasons can be given, such as increased brand l
loyalty, additional access to funding, an additional source of innovation for your company, etc. However, why are multiple reasons needed when we can give you a truly compelling one? According to BrightWolves’ sustainability survey, 60% of employees believe their employer should be doing more concerning sustainability. The war for talent is real and employees are a company’s driving force. Investing in sustainability now and showing that you are acting in parallel with their beliefs is crucial to increasing motivation and drive within your organization.
Not convinced yet or interested to learn more? Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Our in-house expert Peter-Jan Roose is launching a sustainable finance series in which he discusses the most important upcoming regulations in sustainable finance. Register now and receive the episodes in your mailbox.