While many big corporate businesses have skilfully integrated sustainability into their businesses strategic planning, the majority of businesses struggle to do so. It is quite challenging for businesses to develop and integrate sustainability into their long-term strategic plans for building public trust and creating lasting values for the business at the same time.
We intend to discuss the important steps involved in developing the sustainable corporate framework. A sound sustainability strategy for a business comes with multiple benefits including a good business reputation, attracting and retaining highly talented employees and consumer satisfaction. Read on to understand the steps involved in integrating sustainability into your business strategic planning.
Understand sustainability in terms of your business – You must understand that sustainability is not a tangible thing that remains same everywhere. The meaning of sustainability will change from business to business. So, you need to understand the concept and define sustainability with respect to your business. If you identify the benefits of sustainability, you’ll find that it is central to almost every important business decisions like investments, procurement of products and services etc. You need to identify those areas or issues that have the biggest impact on your business and concentrate your sustainability efforts on those issues. You can take help from experts such as Sandhurst Consultancy in understanding the sustainability requirement of your business.
Create engagement with the stakeholders – You are not the only person who gets affected by your business. There are various kinds of stakeholders who are affected by the functioning of your business. Be it your shareholders, creditors, employees or customers, you should keep the interaction with each of the stakeholders to understand their ideas about the sustainability of your business. You can engage with your employees to target your sustainable goal of waste management. You can encourage your target audience to critique you honestly to help you recognize your shortfalls and develop strategic plans to deal with them. Engaging with stakeholders at a different level is like developing support groups for your business. Having such support groups is essential to enhance the sustainability of your business.
Be committed towards your sustainability goals – Once you have recognized the areas where you need to focus your sustainability efforts and have created bonds with stakeholders at each level it’s time to be committed to your goals. Whether your driving force is cost-reduction, improved financial performance or innovation, you need to establish sustainability goals and plan your actions accordingly. You must think about your sustainability goals from different angles including environmental, governance and social issues. Don’t only focus on the things that you are required to do for statutory compliance. Take initiative in being the thought leader of your industry to ensure sustainable growth of your business.
Define a system of procedures – After setting your goals you need to develop a system that works towards achieving your set goals. Once you commit towards your sustainability goals, you’ll need to make your employees committed towards the same goal. It is best to hire an expert to design the procedures and policies imperative for attaining the sustainability goals. Your entire business system needs to be revived in order to align each action with the goal of sustainable development. At this step, you also need to take care that no effort guided towards one goal should mess with the other sustainability goal. All the goals and efforts should converge towards a single point… overall sustainable growth and development of your business.
Track your progress – Once you have set goals, planned actions and started working towards your goals, you’ll need to track your progress. Without tracking the results of your action you’ll never know whether you are putting your efforts in the right direction or not. It might seem like the last step in developing a sustainable corporate strategy but it actually is not. After tracking your progress you will again have to go to the previous steps to re-plan. Strategic planning is a cycle of steps that keeps on rotating continuously. After tracking your progress you’ll have to re-identify the weak and strong points in your sustainable growth. Again you’ll have to set small goals for strengthening the weak points. After getting into action again you’ll have to track the effects of the action. Many business consultancies can provide you with indicators and metrics to collect the data in the measurable units.
Including sustainability in your strategic planning is a step towards making your business mature. So, adopt it as soon as you can and take out your business from its childhood phase to compete with the real players.