Attention, Executives! Avoid These 6 Mistakes In Corporate Sustainability

With the field of sustainability continuously evolving as we speak, here's a list of managerial errors to avoid while leading the world's greatest companies

Sustainability, Economy, Sustainable Business, CSR, Leadership, Environment, Climate Change, The SustainabilityX® Magazine

 

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Over the years, executives keep things like finances and marketing in check and make crucial commercial and technical decisions for their companies. Their visions and strengths are what keep their companies productive and sustainable.


With the global pandemic still in full force, this couldn't be more relevant than now.


However, sustainability can be very complex, especially for executives.


Although sustainability may not be something major for executives to handle at the moment, it can still play a major role in a company. Therefore, minding only the “softer” risks isn’t enough to keep sustainability in check.


With that said, here are six common mistakes executives make in planning and executing sustainable growth, and how you can avoid them.


1. Not Thinking Of The Relevancy In Sustainability


“Not everyone knows how relevant sustainability can be in a business because it’s such a broad concept,” says Oscar Maltby, a business writer. “Many people assume that being sustainable equates to going ‘green.’


However, sustainability also involves things like social and economic impacts on the business. Therefore, you have to look at it in many ways, not just one. About 75% of job seekers want to know how sustainable a company is, before accepting an offer from that company.”


2. Ignoring Sustainability Risks


Risks are bound to happen in a business, especially when different parts of your business change over time. However, ignoring risks to sustainability and assuming that you have people handling them is never a good idea.


75% of a company’s value accounts for the following intangibles:

  • Brand

  • Reputation

  • Trust

  • Goodwill towards others

With that said, sustainability risks will happen, especially when least expected. And with customers expecting more from what they buy, and with trends coming and going in the market (no matter what you’re selling or providing), these risks can be extremely detrimental to your business.


Therefore, you have to make sure that risks, such as these, don’t fall affect your supply chain, or any other part of your business:

  • Human rights violations

  • Unethical business practices

  • Making products that aren’t socially acceptable

 

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3. Not Considering Transparency


Investors, like any customer, want transparency 100% of the time that they’re doing business with a company. Therefore, it’s important to keep transparency, when it comes to talking about sustainability.


Don’t ever assume that no one would want to read a sustainability report because it might be deemed “superficial” or “uninteresting.” These reports should be consistent and be understandable for customers and investors with a solid framework and clear data.


And, when making the report, fully assess any risks, and make that known to investors.


4. Trying To Fix Problems Yourself


When something goes wrong, it’s in your best interest to have it resolved right away.

However, if you try to fix the problem yourself, and you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll be doing more harm than good.


Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whenever there’s a problem that you can’t solve on your own.


5. Not Hiring The Right Person To Fix Problems


Hiring the first sustainability consultant that you see isn’t always a good thing to do. Why not? No two sustainability consultants are alike.


So, if you hire a consultant who turns out to be an expert in only water and waste, instead of, say, electricity, then that would be a waste of time and money.


Therefore, you’ll need to find a consultant that best fits your company’s needs, and won’t just focus on “operations.”


6. No Staff Engagement Or Buy-ins


“Educating your staff and creating buy-ins are effective in reducing sustainability risks, existing or potential,” says Lachlan Symonds, a project manager.


“It's important to talk about sustainability with your staff; or else they won’t be on board with something that they’re not aware of yet. And even though one or a few staff personnel may argue that sustainability isn’t important in their job, it is — but they won’t know that unless you tell them so. So, you have to tell your staff, so that they’ll be on board with it.”


When it comes to risks that are external, social, and environmental, you’ll need to consider sustainability in all aspects of your company; it cannot be swept under the rug.


With the world changing constantly, and investors and customers looking to you to provide excellent products and services, sustainability plays a major role in things.


At the end of the day, sustainability is what moves your company forward to a more efficient future.

 

Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at UK Writings where she writes articles for online publications. As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology, computers, and social media. And, as a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.