Handling Uncertainty Within a Sustainable Business

sustainable business

The concept of creating a sustainable business has only recently grown into a trend, as the end consumer brought it to light. Audiences contributed the most to raising awareness of the importance of green companies, especially since their processes affect the environment. However, green practices are not that easy to implement. 

As the government realised how company policies influence the well-being of nature and humans, new procedures were recommended for businesses to become greener. Some of these practices included switching to renewable energy sources, recycling or approaching local suppliers and manufacturers. Unfortunately, due to rising costs, organisations are faced with the need to compromise on sustainability. In the UK, more than 500 businesses had to change their green goals due to the high costs of trade barriers and the aftermath of the pandemic. 

Maintaining a stable level of sustainability seems impossible in these times of uncertainty. So, how can companies navigate this issue?  

Mitigate sustainability supply chain risks 

One of the best ways to ensure sustainability is by maintaining a transparent supply chain. Some of its elements discuss social equity and economic impact, in addition to the environmental effect. 

Hence, products and services from a supply chain should be made in accordance with human rights, digitalisation, and waste, which can be assessed through companies that value these effects and provide solutions you can rent or hire for sustainability use. 

Unfortunately, such a supply chain is difficult to implement for sustainability because the industry is already challenging to control; therefore, improving it is close to impossible. 

However, what your company can do is research the nearest businesses to your culture and try to prioritise humanity and efficiency over profit. 

Manage workplace conditions 

Ensuring proper workplace conditions is part of the sustainability strategy because it ensures that work activities are not harmful to the environment and workers are not exposed to harsh chemicals or dangerous conditions. 

For instance, human risks include fraud and illegal activities, which should be addressed from the start and navigated when they occur. Another essential element in ensuring quality goals are met in accordance with customer expectations by safeguarding your products during their life-cycle stages. But the strategy continues with technology, security and equipment, and they each should be assessed. 

Avoid delayed development 

When it comes to sustainability, it’s best to be wary of the latest trends because products may need new design or marketing approaches. Unfortunately, this aspect can be one of the most difficult to deal with because one question arises. How sustainable is a company if it produces green products but changes them frequently? 

Hence, you must find a balance between developing your products and services and avoiding waste because, in most cases, one leads to another. You can indeed lose customers if you don’t improve your merchandise, but clients who really value sustainability will understand the struggle. 

Address large environmental footprint 

If you didn’t start as a green business, it may be possible to have wasted a lot of waste or contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Switching sides, from this perspective, won’t offer too much trust, so your company will have to work twice as much to change this brand image. 

This aspect can trigger several changes in supply and demand, so it’s best to be prepared ahead and have a risk management plan in place. In the beginning, it might be possible to risk closing the business. Still, if you’re consistent enough, you can change your corporate image and build a reliable network to support your practices. 

Retain human resources 

Human resources are still a part of sustainability, especially since assessing a low unemployment rate can save costs. Of course, overtime, performance, and training all contribute to labour costs, but as long as employees won’t keep their jobs for longer, you must change your approach and make the workspace suitable for the employment market. 

If you’ve noticed a certain difficulty in retaining human resources, try to identify the causes. Some companies assess a decline in employee engagement, loss of customers, or even damage to the brand image as leading factors, but you must have a transparent approach because avoiding obvious problems will only deepen the issue. 

Why should we strive for sustainability yet? 

Numerous discussions exist about whether employing sustainability will increase the chances for the planet to regain its strength and for the population to benefit. Although climate change is indeed worsening by the day, with extreme weather affecting millions of businesses worldwide as well as customers, we can’t say that having a sustainable company is useless. 

Using biodegradable packaging, leveraging renewable energy, and composting can help us save our natural resources, such as water and the soil, that set the tone for human life. However, these actions must be implemented on a global scale to matter, which is why more companies should approach them. 

Considering that some governments encourage entrepreneurs to open green businesses by offering them financial support, such organisations could be involved at every step. 

Is sustainability in business a long-term trend? 

Regardless of how much we change the world, climate change can’t be reversed. Therefore, we’ll never have nature as before, so it cannot be improved at such a level. However, our efforts to slow down climate change will pay off at some point, when nature isn’t infested with waste, whether chemical or not, which can help the soil replenish and the water gets clean. 

So, we can say that sustainability is for the long term because if more businesses become green, they can contribute to a better ecosystem and help people regain their health. Finally, long-term strategies also change, so policies can constantly be improved. 

Final considerations 

Sustainable businesses must go through massive changes to be able to withstand market trends. Considering the state of the world and how rapid manufacturing is affecting the environment, we must handle uncertainty at a global level by adopting better practices and methods in order to slow down climate change. Many entrepreneurs fear that sustainability is not for the long term and therefore risk doing greenwashing, but the truth is that becoming green is for the future, and we must adopt it. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.