Sustainability has grown from being simply a fashionable buzzword to quickly becoming an active and central ingredient in a successful life, business, and society. It is fantastic to see its value being increasingly recognised through accreditations such as B-Corp, which celebrates the awakening of organisations to their social responsibilities, and sustainable digitalisation is at the heart of that.
Here is why digitalisation and sustainability movements are on the rise, and for good reason…
Benefits of Sustainability
Adding to your value, growth and reputation while eliminating waste and inefficiency, when done correctly, sustainability can bring out the best in any organisation.
“Sustainable business can drive a competitive advantage through stakeholder engagement, improved risk management, innovation, financial performance, customer loyalty and employee engagement” (Whelan & Fink 2016)
Consider some of your current processes and ask yourself, how could we make this more sustainable? Companies are already actively integrating sustainability principles into their businesses. Actions such as implementing a ‘circular economy’ are on the rise, a process that extends the lifecycle of all stages of the product. Not only does this minimise waste, reduce cost and increase efficiency, it will also positively impact the environment and consequently your business image.
Countless examples demonstrate the benefits of a shift towards sustainability in business… in a review of the S&P 500, corporations that actively manage and plan for climate change demonstrate an 18% higher return on investment (ROI) than companies that don’t and a 67% higher ROI than companies who refuse to disclose their emissions at all (Confino 2014). Green shares have been shown to outperform their brown cousins in valuation as well as in ethical rigour (Pástor, L., Stambaugh, R.F. and Taylor, L.A. 2021a). Finally, in research by Totaljobs, 26% of British workers said they would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange to work for a business which acted responsibly regarding the environment (Murray-Neville, 2019).
This sustainable shift is nothing new to most businesses. However, where a deeper concern may lie is in the digitalisation of this shift. Where do I start? What should I look out for? How can I be sure this is right for us? If any of these questions resonate with you, we’d encourage you to read on.
Benefits of digitalisation
Alongside the growing business case for sustainability, the turbulence generated by COVID-19 has grossly accelerated a shift to digitalisation. As companies manage the transition from the office to home, adjusting to the new normal represents an opportunity to build back better and benefit from embedding digital transformation within your ways of working.
Digitalisation can offer further benefits through process efficiency and data collection. Economic benefits are realised through reducing overheads, energy consumption, excess waste as well as legal compliance. Additionally, digitalisation can improve logistics, distribution and organisational response time through automating processes where necessary, reducing travel for employees and building a network around established digital practices. It can support further innovation and entertain different production designs through providing access to a global labour market while collecting more data to further understand your position in the market.
Going digital, simply put, is going to maximise output and minimise waste. It’s a no brainer… Yet the sheer scale of some digitalisation projects can be daunting, but that’s what we’re here for. Our team of digital transformation experts will help guide you through the process.
Benefits of Sustainable Digitalisation
It goes without saying that digitalisation can help realise and accelerate the goals of sustainability. The two complement each other in realising issues such as reducing energy consumption and excess material usage, improved organisational awareness, innovation as well as risk and compliance management.
Sustainability has a growing body of evidence suggesting it is no longer simply a “nice to have” but “essential”. By implementing digitalisation, you can accelerate your sustainable and corporate agenda as well as track your progress in real time.
Organisations who realise the benefits of this synergy will invariably achieve further sustainable growth and outperform their outdated cousins.
Want to chat around a sustainable digitalisation project of your own? Contact EstherM@NineFeetTall.com
Confino, J., 2014. Sustainable companies are more profitable, report finds. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/23/business-companies-profit-cdp-report-climate-change-sustainability.
Murray-Neville, J., 2019. A quarter of UK workers would take a significant pay cut to work in a ‘planet-saving’ job | Totaljobs. [online] Totaljobs. Available at: https://www.totaljobs.com/media-centre/a-quarter-of-uk-workers-would-take-a-significant-pay-cut-to-work-in-a-planet-saving-job.
Pástor, Ľ., Stambaugh, R.F. and Taylor, L.A. (2021a) “Dissecting green returns.” National Bureau of Economic Research
Whelan, T., & Fink, C. (2016). The comprehensive business case for sustainability. Harvard Business Review, 21(2016).