Companies consider that sustainable business model is a must to fight for climate change and social inequality (79%) and it has a positive public image and complies with clients requirements (62%). Worth to note, though, that only 12 % of respondents were using sustainability as core message or main theme in their marketing and communication actions and clear majority (45%) had no role in public discussion on sustainability matters. So, there is a position of thought leadership to be taken.
Companies are looking more and more into circular business models and our survey supports that trend too (6). Even though 60% of our respondents still have a linear business model, many of them noted that they are partially circular. Mainly, circularity means recycling and partly reusing the raw materials (30%) and designing products and services so that materials can be recycled (26%). So even though, we are still on the phase of recycling instead of thinking of how to design and produce closed loop goods and services, the direction is right.
Food for thought
Companies should be more ambitious and not to assume that “something is better than nothing.” Companies should really look into the outcome of their action, not only the direct outcome but indirect as well. (7) We could not agree more and really encourage companies to rethink their business models and look into opposite direction with open mind. Instead of measure only the impact of your sustainability actions (how much energy you are going to save or how little waste you are going to generate, use your data to learn what issues have real impact on improving people’s lives.
Be aware of the lack of communication. Reporting and having an active dialogue are two different things. You should keep your records in order all right, but most importantly you should be out there collaborating, listening, learning and participating the discussion of how to grow your business and enhance social wellbeing without harming the environment.
(7) Rees, C & Eccles, R.G (2020) Quantify your company´s impact on people, Harvard Business Review, September 08, 2020.