Integrating sustainability: overcoming a lack of capacity and resources

17/02/22 Gaining competitive advantage through a more sustainable business proposition can be achieved by all companies, irrespective of size. Some, however, are still daunted by the challenges, known and unknown, of building a sustainable business. And the perceived burdens on resources of new commitments such as measuring and managing the impact of ESG over time.

Below, you’ll find examples of how capacity concerns in relation to sustainability can be readily overcome. You can take advantage of a more comprehensive set of solutions in our joint publication with ecoDa "A practical guide for boards and leadership teams on sustainability".

1. Taking your people with you. Critical to embedding sustainability into your business will be the engagement of employees and wider stakeholders with your vision, strategy, and how it will benefit them over time.

Key also will be the involvement of employees (of all levels) in working parties that contribute meaningfully to your sustainable goals. These groups can, in turn, own responsibilities ranging from the measurement of tasks (such as employee CO2 reductions) to creating new parameters for the recruitment of a more diverse workforce.

2. Embedding sustainability into everyone’s role. Sustainability-related tasks can also be added (within reason) to employees’ existing functions, job descriptions and personal development objectives. This will often be an extension of their existing responsibilities, rather than increasing workload. Yet, by definition, this will often increase the purpose and value of individuals’ roles. According to a recent global survey1, published by Hewlett Packard1, employees are more productive, motivated, and engaged when working for an employer who is a leader on social responsibility.

3. Using your business size to evolve faster. With traditionally fewer rigid hierarchies and processes, medium-sized enterprises have the proven ability to adapt faster to a more sustainable business model. Change can be implemented more quickly, with medium-sized enterprises needing less resources and capital than larger ones. 

To better understand how advanced your business is on its ‘sustainability journey’, why not access Mazars’ online ESG Diagnostic and Health Check tool? Easy-to-use,  it will guide you by highlighting the risks - and opportunities - specific to your business in relation to sustainability.

 1HP Workforce Sustainability Survey

Bongiwe Mbunge

The sustainable living call is to all humanity, with business being an instrumental leaver to launch this worthy cause. Can we reassess our daily choices, for the greater good?

Bongiwe Mbunge Partner - Business Sustainability

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