Many companies are moving toward Sustainability, prepping up their business processes, going after growth, and adding value, rather than leaning on reputation alone. These Sustainable Work Place (SWP) goals are more rooted than “Reputation Management”. Companies are developing green products, retaining and motivating staff. All the above help capture the value through growth and ROI.
Any change comes with a price. Most entrepreneurs shy away and ask, “Why invest in eco-friendly technology if you don’t get immediate returns?” However let me say this – if you are a true entrepreneur and research diligently, you will find that most of these investments pay – not only in the long run but also within a shorter time frame”, says Asheesh Chadha (Founder- M.D. of Wheeler Cleaner)
Having a Farsighted Strategy
According to an online survey, 33% of the companies wanted to become sustainable to improve operational efficiency and cut costs. About 32% chose Sustainability for reputation, making it the second most popular reason. Alignment with the company’s business goals and values – came third with 31%. New growth opportunities ranked fourth with 27%. Some companies are going a step further and leveraging the Sustainability of existing products to find new growth opportunities. They are even researching to get sustainable products into the market.
It is always best to incorporate Sustainability in your long term strategy. It will keep you on the right side of environmental regulations and consumer preferences and way ahead of competitors. General Electric (GE) gave importance to climate change, ecological friendliness, and invested in research. As a result, their product sales touched $18 billion in 2009.
Return on Investment
Dow Chemical has invested up to $2 billion since 1994 to improve its resource efficiency. To date, they have saved $9.8 billion because of lesser power consumption and water waste during manufacturing processes. It has also resulted in 20% lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Proper management of issues associated with the environment begins with an assessment of problems you are likely to face – like bans, scarcity of resources, and delays in getting permissions. E.g., the mining giant BHP Billiton managed exposure to emerging regulations by systematically reducing emissions.
Today, industries have two choices:
(1) Get started with sustainability practices – willingly or as a necessary evil. It is a risk one needs to take to ensure the smooth running of their business.
(2) Think about how they will be creating business opportunities and value for society.
Companies incorporating Sustainability, always stay updated concerning climate change regulations. This leads to more opportunities. E.g., Waste Management can be upgraded to Waste to Energy Solutions. Thus they can identify unmet needs created by sustainable trends – in line with their strategy – and further identify customer segments.
“The goodwill that we created by following eco-friendly practises matters. It is overwhelming”, says Asheesh Chadha.
“We have eco-friendliness ingrained into our standard operating procedure at Wheeler Cleaner. All of our internal packagings is done with recycled material. We use non-volatile and eco-friendly organic chemicals. We also ensure that the shampoo we use for cleaning vehicles is as close to pH neutral as possible.”
Described as “Aspirer to Inspirer” by The Hindu, Asheesh Chadha is the driving force that has steered Wheeler Cleaner towards becoming a behemoth of 118 branches spanning eight states across India. He has also taken his passions to greater horizons with MOJO JOJO, a unit of Wheeler Cleaner – an eco-friendly zone and experience center for bikes.
“More than business gains, it was the desire to contribute towards a greener planet and a better future for humanity. How can we at Scogen impact society and the world at large? I feel that every business should employ strategies that are aligned with their growth, mission, and vision”, says Abhijit Barthur, Director of International Business at Scogen, India.
So I would like to sign off by saying that becoming eco-friendly is in our interests. We should realise it soon and strive together for an eco-friendly world.