How purposeful is your sustainability strategy?

Posted By Tina Brown

2 February, 2021

How sincere are the commitments of businesses to become sustainable? In the opening sentence of an Institute for Management Development article it states,

“62% of executives consider a sustainability strategy necessary to be competitive today.”

What troubles me about this statement is the phrase, ‘necessary to be competitive.’ How can it be that the central reason for becoming a sustainable business is to get one up on your competitors rather than saving the planet? Arguably, if this is true for most businesses, why does it matter? The consequence of employing these types of strategies is that the environment is positively impacted, so does the intent make a difference?

One of the keys to contentment within my role is that we are a purpose driven company, and one of our biggest focuses is to become a sustainable company.

So, when I consider that the fulfilment within my role is directly linked to the purpose or intent of the business, it absolutely does matter to me that our intentions stem from a true desire to have a positive impact on the environment, rather than a tick box exercise to fulfil a corporate responsibility objective.

It’s important that every single individual at We Are Fulfilment, our suppliers and even our clients too, are part of our journey.

IKEA launched a campaign recently, ‘Fortune Favours the Frugal’ - and without being overly preachy, it inspires people to think differently about their consumption habits, a chasm away from the abundance mentality. It also puts into perspective how such simple steps take you on a journey to making a real positive impact. Watching the advert left me feeling rather inspired, and I think it’s important that many other large scale corporations follow suit by highlighting important topics, such as sustainability and climate change, within their marketing. The voice of one company could be in the influence of a hundred others.

Sustainability is certainly one of those subject areas that crosses the work/life spectrum. It’s small habits, deliberate action and frugal thinking that makes for a successful sustainability strategy, not a 20 point plan and a mountain of KPI targets. For any strategy to be truly successful, business leaders have got to ask themselves, “Do we really want to be sustainable? Why? For what purpose?” It comes from within.

I received a comment on my most recent blog, ‘A Brand New Chapter: A More Sustainable Me’, which said, “A very good idea and one that if just 10% of us followed - would make a huge difference to mother earth.” This to me, sums up what is needed. It’s great that companies feel they need a sustainability strategy to remain ‘competitive’, because yes, all of these initiatives will have a positive impact on the environment, but just think what a business could do if each of their initiatives was backed up with true purpose and with an engaged workforce to drive it forward. What if that 10% became 50%, 60%?!

“Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us.” - Sir David Attenborough.