Your community is packed chock full of examples that are proof that many investments to become more sustainable, are also profitable. Alan Atkisson puts it bluntly, "to call money spent on sustainability a cost, when making that investment results in an even bigger return on investment, is just simply wrong".
Investment in staff through training, positive feedback, and employee wellbeing provides value through staff retention, improved productivity and captured value - an investment in the social sustainability of your business.
Investment in resource efficiency (energy, materials, transport) means reduced waste, reduced costs, and further savings, which means continued profit, or money to be reinvested in the business. It may also open up previously untapped funding/investment streams by way of reduced interest loans for sustainability initiatives, or increased returns in the increasingly significant ethical investment industry.
Investment in product placement and customer perception in an increasingly savvy and 'greenwash-aware' market means greater consumer trust in your products, which improves sales, profits, and money for investment back into your business.
Investment in education and training, strategic policy and business planning for sustainability adds value to your business by improving the knowledge and understanding of appropriate tools to capitalise on an increasing awareness and expectation on the part of staff and customers for products and services which represent reduced environmental and social impacts, quality and saleability, and good value for money.
So in short, in the current climate of economic challenge, those businesses that invest in quick fixes to stay afloat now may not come out as well placed as those businesses that invest in long term sustainability solutions. The big risk for those companies that decide to put sustainability "on hold" is that they will be left behind before realising that the sustainability agenda has continued to grow" (The Age, 01/2009).
FWR Group is experienced in looking at the bigger picture, and helping you to understand and identify sustainable development options that are relevant to your business, your stakeholders and your customers. Ensure your business is prepared for risk, by being open to opportunity.
Contact us to discuss how sustainability can help protect your business or project from current threats, and to ensure its long term sustainability into the future.
By Michael Duggan, Managing Director, FWR Group Pty. Ltd.
FWR Group Pty. Ltd.