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Building a sustainable business culture

April 28, 2023
Read Time 2 mins

By Gary Pickford

In the last decade, sustainability has become an increasingly integral part of doing business in any industry. For companies to balance their financial, social, and environmental risks, with their obligations and opportunities, sustainability has to be top of mind, instead of a grudge, tick-box exercise.

The aim of any sustainable business strategy is to have a positive impact on the environment, on society, or both, while also helping the business achieve its goals and keep stakeholders happy. Leaders in business are waking up to the fact that sustainable business strategies have the power to address the earth’s most desperate challenges and fuel their company’s success at the same time. However, defining what sustainability really means, developing clear and attainable goals, putting these into place, and figuring out how to achieve them, can be a mammoth task.

For businesses to navigate these changes, business leaders must recognise that organisational culture plays a pivotal role in any shift toward sustainability. However, despite a slew of corporate sustainability reports that claim sustainability is at the heart of everything they do, the majority of executives do not have a concise grasp on how to infuse sustainability into every day-to-day decision and organisational process.

Covered in this article

The triple bottom line
Everybody’s responsibility

The triple bottom line

In reality, sustainability happens by managing the ‘triple bottom line.’ The triple bottom line is a concept that puts forward the argument that businesses need to commit to measuring their social and environmental impact.

This is not to say they should ignore their financial performance, but rather focus on sustainability as well as their bottom line. The triple bottom line can be divided into “three Ps”: profit, people, and the planet.

To do this, businesses need to start making decisions that take other factors besides financial ones into consideration. These would include social, and environmental risks, obligations as well as opportunities. This also means going above and beyond simply factoring in the impact on the environment when reporting, to building organisations that are resilient and build economic value, sustainable ecosystems, and robust communities.

Sustainable businesses are the ones that thrive in the long run, as they are inextricably linked to flourishing economic, social, and environmental systems.

Forward-thinking companies also look at sustainability as a journey instead of a finite goal. While many talk the sustainability talk, few are walking the sustainability walk. To do the latter effectively, sustainability must be embedded into the culture of the business. It is the company culture that guides the decisions of its stakeholders by baselining and bolstering expectations about what is of real value, and how things can be done to achieve that value.

At Tarsus Distribution we are proud to partner with vendors, reseller partners and service providers that take sustainability seriously. Together we can do more.

Everybody’s responsibility

Companies who are serious about building a culture of sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint, need to consider each and every department and business function. Every area within the business can find opportunities to make meaningful changes that contribute towards a greener, better environment.

Over time, companies build their own culture, and their own way of doing things. This gives workforces a sense of unity and identity, and like all ‘habits’, culture is reinforced, augmented, and evolved through the attitudes and actions of everyone within the business.

Similarly, building a culture of sustainability means driving home the importance of finding that balance between economic growth and stability; social justice and equality; and environmental sustainability and accountability. This is why entities with a strong sustainability culture are always trying to drive a greener, more healthy environment and better the lives of everyone while operating at a maximum level of productivity.

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