Why is Running a Sustainable Business Important for 2023?

by | 30 Jan 2023

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We have arrived at the beginning of another new year, and as we all get back into the swing of things at work, now is the time to consider our business goals and how we can improve and grow for 2023 and beyond.

As a leading financial services and wealth management recruiter, one of our core tasks is staying ahead of industry trends and supporting our clients to ensure their workforce and operations keep up.

This year, and for the foreseeable future, there will be a growing emphasis on the need for sustainable business practices as Australia (and the globe) seeks to tackle climate change and shift toward more eco-friendly business models.

But being greener is more than just about saving the planet. Sustainable businesses are now more competitive in the industry, have better recruitment processes and higher retention rates and can access incentives. Therefore, becoming a more sustainable business is a win-win for your business, the environment and the economy.

So what are the driving factors in this sustainable business movement?

While we don’t recommend blindly following the masses, to remain ahead of the eight ball, you have to pay attention to what your competitors are doing. And when it comes to sustainability, it is becoming evident that businesses prioritising ethical and eco-friendly products and services are leading the pack.

Let’s take Super Funds, for example. John Collett from the Sydney Morning Herald advises that “there has been a significant shift toward ‘ethical super’ with ethical investment options outperforming their standard “balanced” options. Businesses that focus on investing in technology, renewable energy and electric vehicles are consistently winning over consumers and talent.

Recruitment & Retention
Striving for more environmentally-friendly operations is proving to be high on the priority list for prospective employees. A survey from Totaljobs found that jobseekers who take a stance for sustainability are aged 23–38, and over 50% of survey participants would consider quitting their job to work for a more eco-friendly organisation.

Sustainability signifies stability, longevity, and care for people and the environment, which is essential to demonstrate when looking to hire talent and retain it. “This means two things for businesses. Firstly, forward-thinking companies focused on investing in a greener future can attract top talent. Secondly, companies will find it easier to retain the staff by offering them eco-friendly incentives,” reports Training Journal’s Andrew Richardson.

Government Crackdown
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has signalled its concern about businesses engaging in “greenwashing” – the practice of claiming to be investing ethically but not proving their credentials. Feigning eco-friendly or sustainable practices can land you in hot water, with the government cracking down on greenwashing in a push to wipe out false climate action claims.

“This comes as part of a shakeup of financial reporting rules that will force businesses and investors to demonstrate how they are tackling climate change and helping to reach net zero to bring Australia into line with trends in other advanced economies”, reports Financial Review Correspondent, Jacob Greber.

Being a sustainable business doesn’t just mean putting a few plants in the office or using recycling bins; it encompasses your entire business practices, ethos and attitude. So what can you do as a business to be more sustainable in 2023?

Here are our top tips:

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Start composting, opting for recycled paper and choose biodegradable packaging and supplies where possible.

2. Offer remote work
Remote work not only reduces the environmental impact of car travel but also reduces in-office costs. Additionally, it is an attractive benefit for employees and job seekers as it offers a better work-life balance.

3. Encourage the use of public transport
If you have staff heading into a workplace, offering incentives to catch public transport to reduce carbon emissions (and also parking and fuel costs for staff) may be worthwhile.

4. Make energy-efficient upgrades
While energy-efficient equipment and electrical goods may not always be the cheapest, they can save your business money in the long run.

5. Do business with green businesses
Even if you do not yet consider yourself a green business, it doesn’t mean you can’t start doing business with those that are. This can be an attractive sales pitch for prospective employees and customers and a way to transition your business to more sustainable practices.

Each company’s journey to becoming a sustainable business is unique, but it’s more critical than ever to start now. If you would like assistance in developing a more sustainable recruiting process, speak to the team at Godfrey Group today.

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