While there are standards, benchmarks, regulatory and best-practice implications for any sustainability programme, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for any business. A strategy must be robust, practical and ambitious, yet achievable. It should be entrenched within the wider business strategy and not an abstract, stand-alone piece. One of the greatest benefits of a comprehensive sustainability strategy is that it can drive positive outcomes across all areas of a business, from supply chains and product development to employee engagement and sales and marketing. It can even be as far-reaching as to help determine the way a business is financed and how its ownership is structured.
In the past there have been various myths that encompassing sustainable principles within a business may somehow be contrary to commerciality and may impact shareholder returns, however, quite the opposite is true. An insightful strategy will help mitigate risk within a business, leverage commercial opportunities and increase value. The ESG and sustainability landscape moves quickly and is continuously evolving. A well-planned and robust strategy can also evolve, grow and respond to changing externalities. There has never been a more exciting (or critical!) time for your business to start its sustainability journey.