9th September 2022

How does sustainability add value to a business?

By TFRG Team

Sustainability in business should be more than just introducing a few eco-friendly initiatives to your customers and showcasing how green you are through marketing activity.

If done authentically, implementing a robust sustainability strategy can add value to your business and create an innovative way of working, supporting your business’ bottom line long term.

Why is sustainable development good for business?

Sustainability provides businesses with an opportunity to look at their business model in a new light and shake up the norm with better ways of working. There are several advantages to implementing sustainable practices within your business that are not only financial.

Positive reputation

Building a positive reputation means aligning your business’ ethos and actions with your customers. With more and more consumers ‘going green’ it has become a significant factor when it comes to purchasing goods and services.

It’s crucial for businesses to show that they are not just here to make a quick buck and that they have a real interest in sustainability in the long term to gain support from loyal customers. As markets become more competitive, sustainability can be an authentic way of standing out.

Competitive advantage

Companies that have robust sustainability strategies see an 18% higher return on investment when compared to those firms who don’t implement sustainable practices. By introducing environmental initiatives within your business, you not only allow your brand to stand out and offer customers something different within the market, but with the higher ROI, your business can invest into new technology, staff or green campaigns. This allows you to widen the gap between you and your competitors and create a significant competitive advantage.

How being sustainable can grow profits?

Cost efficiency

Introducing a sustainability strategy and making it a long-term success does require an initial investment to change infrastructure, operations and systems while bringing staff up to speed and marketing the campaign to customers. However, over time it can reduce costs significantly by increasing efficiency and reducing wastage.

Changes such as introducing more energy-efficient lighting, swapping to electric vehicles, reusing waste and reducing packaging can all impact business costs significantly. Businesses can save around £2-£3 per light bulb when swapping to more eco-friendly alternatives, this may seem small but by implementing several more sustainable changes, it can have a large cost-saving benefit.

Improved ROI

While traditionally, the bottom line focused solely on financial success, a newer term dubbed the triple bottom line, which highlights the profit, people and planet is becoming more widely used in business.

There are several examples of sustainable innovations linking directly to profitability, with one of the most impressive being Nike’s Flyknit line. The new product range utilised a sustainable manufacturing process, reducing 80% waste than traditional processes. This innovative eco-friendly approach was a huge hit with consumers and saw the footwear brand rake in a massive $1 billion, not to mention causing a stir globally with their latest green innovation.

While your plans might not be on the same scale as global business, Nike, it is clear that by introducing sustainable changes to your company, no matter how small, it can provide financial returns as well as attract new customers and showcase your brand in a positive light, creating further reach to valuable customers.

The Furniture Recycling Group CEO and Founder, Nick Oettinger has decades of experience and knowledge on implementing circular economy principles and has helped a range of businesses to achieve their sustainable goals.

Discover their sustainable stories via our case studies.

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