Thursday, July 18, 2024

Why Sustainability and ESG are critical for the success of the business


Sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have become increasingly important for businesses in recent years. Investors are currently jumping on the ESG train and are interested in the company’s position on its sustainability efforts prior to making investments.

Sustainability is a business strategy that focuses on considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an organization’s operations to create long-term value. This approach assumes that implementing such strategies contributes to the long-term success of the company. Sustainable businesses seek to advance social and economic well-being by taking into consideration the interests of all stakeholders. In a nutshell, sustainability is all about striking a balance between social, environmental, and economic factors in order to generate long-term value for all stakeholders.

ESG, on the other hand, refers to a set of standards that investors and other stakeholders use to evaluate a company’s performance on Environmental, Social, and Governance issues. ESG encompasses a range of business facets that financial evaluations may not typically take into account, but can have financial significance for companies.

The environmental component of ESG evaluates how a company functions as a steward of our planet’s natural environment, with an emphasis on every facet of sustainability, such as managing waste and pollution, preserving resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preventing deforestation, and also addressing climate change. The social aspects scrutinize how a company’s activities affect the labor and human rights of its workers and other members of society. It covers aspects such as promoting diversity and inclusivity, maintaining favorable working conditions, and ensuring equality in the organization. Additionally, the governance element intends to evaluate how corporations oversee themselves and how the company is managed.

Sustainability does not mean forfeiting the company’s profit, instead, it has evolved into an important aspect of any organization’s effective approach. A company that disregards sustainability hazards is likely to be less successful hence the need to explore why sustainability and ESG are critical to the success of the business.

ESG is gaining importance among investors. In recent years, investors are interested in companies that value ESG. This is because they understand that companies that prioritize ESG are most likely to be successful in the long run. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies that prioritize ESG are more likely to exceed their rivals in terms of financial performance, risk management, and stakeholder engagement. This is because companies that give precedence to ESG are inclined to have a prolonged outlook, robust governance frameworks, and a dedication to openness and accountability.

A sustainable business ensures the long-term survival of the business. A business cannot prosper in a world with limited resources and a deteriorating environment. Businesses need to recognize that they have a responsibility to mitigate their environmental impact and pursue sustainable practices. By adopting sustainable practices, businesses can reduce their exposure to environmental hazards and guarantee that they have a dependable supply chain by implementing sustainable practices.

A sustainable business attracts and retains talent. Employees in the modern world are looking for more than just a salary. They seek employment with companies that share their values and are committed to making a positive impact to the world. Businesses can attract and retain top talent that is passionate about having a good effect by prioritizing sustainability and ESG. With a more engaged and motivated workforce, organizations may experience an uptick in productivity and profitability.

A sustainable business enhances a company’s reputation. Companies that exhibit ethical environmental and social principles create a favorable and constructive brand image. Internet and social media have made it easier for customers to express their opinions and experiences about a company. This means that if a firm is perceived as acting unethically or not placing a high priority on sustainability and ESG, its reputation can be quickly tarnished. On the other hand, a company that values sustainability is more likely to improve its reputation and create a strong brand that resonates with its customers.

A sustainable business is able to meet the expectation of its stakeholders. Stakeholders in the modern world, such as customers, investors, employees, and communities, want businesses to give sustainability and ESG top priority. This is due to the fact that they are aware of how businesses can affect the environment and society. Businesses may fulfil the expectations of stakeholders and forge lasting connections with them by giving sustainability and ESG top priority. This can assist companies in developing a base of devoted clients, attracting more investors, and having a good effect on the areas in which they operate.

Sustainability and ESG are critical for the success of a business. Businesses that prioritize sustainability and ESG are not only doing the right thing for the environment and society, but they are also doing the right thing for their bottom line.

Dr. Edward Mungai
Dr. Edward Mungai
The writer, Dr. Edward Mungai, is a global sustainability expert. He is the Lead Consultant and Partner at Impact Africa Consulting Ltd (IACL), a leading sustainability and strategy advisory in Africa. He is also the Chief Editor at Africa Sustainability Matters. He can be contacted via

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