Sustainability is often talked about in a very practical sense. What we fail to discuss is how it leads to innovation. It’s an interesting idea and there are quite a few areas that sustainability can influence in a non-traditional sense. Below are some of the big ways sustainability has an impact on the business as a whole.

Compliance Provides Growth Opportunity

In most cases, sustainability initiatives become reality due to legislation. The call for compliance is urgent, but can actually be the cause of growth and innovation. Successful business operate on the model of only doing something if it’s done right. That sentiment doesn’t change just because the rules have. Innovation is born out of compliance when a company takes the new regulations and conforms in a way that’s done extremely well.

Leads to Sustainable Products

Another area sustainability can have an impact on is the company’s product. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the sustainability of a product. They ask questions about manufacturing process and what kind of stress there is on the environment to make it. These questions and potential loss of customers is sure to kick any company into action. It’s worth mentioning that sustainable products provide a company with leverage over competitors. If you come out with a great sustainable product and they are not doing the same, you instantly have an edge.

Improvements to Value Chain

The value chain can undergo vast improvements due to a sustainability initiative. When regulations are pushed through government, businesses begin to proactively work towards sustainability outside the mandated regulations. This trickles down across the value chain to multiple areas.

The supply chain is often the first to receive a sustainability audit. Corporations have had large success in this area by offering incentives to different links in the chain. An example of this can be seen when manufacturers encouraging their suppliers, through incentives, to take a more sustainable approach. It’s ultimately a win-win for both entities.

Companies have begun to encourage working from home as a sustainability act. When applicable, they ask employees to work from home rather than commuting to the office. They reduce their carbon footprint and provide their employees with flexible options.