Sustainability: Not just a Business Practice But a Key to Re-Emerge for Most Businesses
“Business practices with Sustainability put more significance than ever before in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, and what makes them even more significant is the opportunity they provide the businesses to re-emerge”.
Sustainability among the business practices has been there for a long. It makes business practices emerge as players in their respective domains with a specific image; an image that caters to their reputation and adds to their ranking in terms of their environmental, social, and governance commitments.
Sustainability refers to fulfilling today’s needs without compromising the needs of our future generations; which implies using resources for doing business without compromising the available resources for future generations.
Performing business practices aligning with SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) makes an organization socially and environmentally committed; contributing to SDGs and ranking higher among its competitors.
SDG’s And Business Practices: A Talk For Reputation
The SDGs list 17 global goals designed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 to achieve a better future for all. These goals are ambitious, with the prospect of all 17 goals and to be achieved by 2030.
While addressing these goals remains a priority for most organizations as far as their business practices are concerned; it goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on these goals.
COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, making many businesses went bankrupt. A few become vulnerable to survive; while most companies adapt to the new normal by becoming more resilient to the changing business environment.
Any business organization consists of several business practices; dealing with numerous business functions that deal with various business units and each of these business units has employees in one way or the other.
Digitization has resulted in making most of the business practices go digital. But still, for the smooth running of such business practices, human intervention becomes of utmost importance, limited though.
Such processes make the significance of SDGs and complying with them even more significant; becoming a cost factor for the organizations, which leads to the organizations’ reputation. Among their competitors.
Addressing The Gap: What’s There Vs. What’s Lagging
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the businesses more employee-centric as the workforce of any business became the most vulnerable due to the pandemic; which makes the organizations address the need to fill the gap arising in the SDG.
Decent Work And Economic Growth:
One of the major SDG’s goals is to ensure Decent Work and Economic Growth; which makes it a point to have decent work and economic growth to make a business more sustainable.
Although the digitalization that erupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic makes the global economy look more attractive with everything going digital and the “work from home” model coming in place; it also continues to recover, making the number of workers living in extreme poverty declining.
However, due to the risks and uncertainties that the pandemic has created, the gap is still widening, leading to inequalities, lack of jobs, creating an imbalance among the workforce, and increasing unemployment.
The ground reality signifies a rich talent out there. However, the lack of jobs makes them vulnerable and susceptible to job opportunities that require immediate attention to contribute towards one of the SDG goals; and become more SDG committed organizations for various businesses.
Clean Water & Sanitisation:
One of the other primary SDG goals focuses on access to safe water, sanitation, and sound management of freshwater ecosystems, which are essential for any nation’s human prosperity and economic development.
However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the communities to the virus; resulting in sanitization practices more than ever. The mandatory usage of masks, frequent sanitization at all places, and implying hygienic practices have become the new normal to the people’s livelihood across the sectors to combat the virus.
It has made the organizations apply the framework set by the SDGs to remain competitive by fulfilling the defined goals and achieving them to stay competitive among the competitors.
Affordable & Clean Energy:
One of the other primary SDG goals focuses on energy accessibility which ensures the availability of energy to all and that too affordable and clean; which is environmentally friendly and not polluting the environment.
However, energy usage accounts for approximately 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Energy accessibility often remains a prerequisite in achieving many other SDGs. It creates a commitment among the organizations to efficiently achieve their energy-related requirements in their operations in the business practices to adhere to the SDG.
Sustainability: A Key Practice To Re-Emerge
While, after the shock that the COID-19 pandemic has given to the businesses across the industries, the organizations will try to re-emerge themselves to stay ahead in the competition.
At one point, where the digital transformation has led to the digitization of business practices; achieving the desired business goals of their businesses will act as an opportunity for the companies to re-emerge to stay ahead in the competition.
Long Term Association With Stakeholders:
Aligning business practices with sustainability is a lot easier said than done. Still, some organizations are susceptible to invest in sustainable practices.
However, the pandemic has provided businesses with an opportunity to infuse confidence in the business leaders to take decisions; and also lead to growth. Hence, to achieve this, a long-term association with stakeholders needs to be prevalent among the business organizations.
Taking Supply Chain Responsibility:
When it comes to taking responsibility for business practices, the supply chain remains one of the most fragile units and hence taking supply chain responsibility becomes of utmost importance.
The rising trends of the green supply chain, continuous efforts by organizations to cut CO2 emissions, and surge in the use of sustainable supply chain in the business practices will undoubtedly ensure the organizations achieving SDG goals and re-emerge out of the uncertainty that the pandemic has presented.
Effective Workforce Management:
People come; first, they say, and it becomes even more critical when the risks and uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has made people more vulnerable, making employee care the most significant than anything else. Rising stress, confusion, and fatigue are pretty common during the pandemic. And it makes effective workforce management to lead them from the front; taking care of their mental health and achieve the business objectives with more resilience.
It helps achieve the business objectives by re-emerging as the business leaders and sustaining them in the longer run.
Conclusion – Sustainability:
The new normal will be normal; the work from the home model will persist, at least passively.
The business will focus on gaining traction in the digitization of business practices and embark upon sustainable practices to achieve their environmental, social, and governance goals to remain competitive by complying with SDGs and attaining reputation at a global level.