Why Sustainable Development is Important to Business

Building with trees growing on the side
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Note: This is a reposted blog by our Public Relations Global Network Party, Mark Paterson – Currie. For the original blog, please visit here.

Something any public relations person or business can do today that will make a difference is to embrace sustainable development.

The move will set them up as individuals or companies for success.

Embracing sustainable development means understanding and reporting the social and environmental (non-financial) impacts and risks associated with a company’s operations.

Soon, sustainability reporting will no longer be a choice for almost 50,000 companies in Europe. For those businesses that work with these companies, there will be pressure to do the same.

Non-financial reporting is important for listed and non-listed companies worldwide.

Here are three reasons why sustainable development matters to a business:

  1. The growth of sustainable investing has risen 107.4% since 2012 and accounts for 18% of all assets in the wealth industry. In the U.S., it is even higher at 33%.
  2. One-fifth of the world’s 2,000 largest companies aim to be carbon net zero by 2050. The number of net-zero commitments has doubled in less than a year.
  3. Online searches for sustainable goods have risen 71% over the past five years. 90% of consumers care about sustainability when buying goods and services.

A few additional thoughts from Landis Communications

  1. Sustainability done right can increase your bottom line. Business and industry leaders that can demonstrate the ability to grow profits and minimize environmental impacts can increase their share of voice with eco-conscience consumers.
  2. Storytelling value is created when companies embark on new sustainability practices or can share the results of sustainable development.
  3. If you do pitch sustainability to the media, be able to provide data on how these efforts have positively impacted your company. The press will look beyond initiatives and internal communications. Be prepared to back up your claims with figures.

Due to the sustainability trend, it is almost certain that the dominant system of corporate governance for the past 50 years, shareholder capitalism, will give way to stakeholder capitalism – a model which espouses that companies should look after all their stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.

This is great for people who specialize in managing relationships between clients and the public because stakeholder consultation is part of sustainable development. Consequently, the demand for consultants who specialize in sustainability communications is growing.

Sustainability is the new digital. Any person or business that ignores it will be left behind.