Sustainable Business Strategies

16 June 2023

Marketing strategy

Embracing ESG to empower business operations

The climate crisis is no longer an issue to be ignored, pushed aside, or a business problem that should be addressed 'later on'. There is no denying the effects that human and business consumption have on the planet; we are seeing it across the world from cyclones in Africa, floods in New Zealand, wildfires in Canada and deadly heat waves throughout India, Pakistan and Europe. All of which have destroyed livelihoods. This is a global crisis. Ecological thinking is no longer a nice to have or a unique business offer, it is essential. 

In the ever-changing business landscape, sustainability has become an essential strategy in future-proofing business operations. We see a positive shift in client and consumer culture at One Picture. Our market insights identify that consumers are emphasising sustainable and social business operations, favouring brands with forward-thinking attitudes. Consumers feel a sense of responsibility to impact the world around them positively. They think they're doing their part to make a difference by supporting sustainable brands. 

Companies are increasingly acknowledging the part they play in addressing environmental and social issues that govern their operations. Addressing these issues is better for the planet and influences consumer attitudes, business employability, and stakeholders' value perception of a brand. 

Where do we even start? It is now or never. Incorporating sustainability into all private and public organisations is essential in identifying the critical pressures that operations put on the planet. Moreover, companies must drive measures to reduce carbon, improve and reuse resource consumption, and, more importantly, go above and beyond to meet regulatory requirements. A sustainable business model is integral to brand perception and, more importantly, can reduce costs and increase business productivity. Engaging an insights and strategy agency can be a great place to start; this allows you to identify your customers' attitudes, key market trends, and stakeholder insights and can let you unpack areas of your business that would benefit from social and sustainable improvements.

What's the difference between acting green and playing green? More is needed for brands to claim they're sustainable - they also need to back it up with action. Customers are becoming savvier about greenwashing when a brand makes false or exaggerated claims about its sustainability efforts. Having a sustainability ethos means committing to reducing environmental impact; being transparent about those efforts with all stakeholders is essential. 

But how do businesses reap benefits from this? A sustainable approach across business operations can give brands a competitive advantage and build brand resilience. One Picture has identified a large target market of consumers where a brand's environmental responsibility shapes purchasing decisions. Increasing awareness of sustainable business practices can allow you to attract new customers and retain existing ones. New customers are just some of the new markets you will attract. Talent acquisition is a core driver of ensuring the future success of a business; employees are seeking more purpose-driven employers with an emphasis on those who are thinking ahead in environmental and social governance.

Sustainability reaps financial rewards for both businesses and stakeholders. Investment trends have seen a significant increase in the sustainability sector due to the enhanced future-proofing methods that ESG strategies provide an organisation. Increasing efforts in sustainability may see organisations attract new investment from those who strongly align with company values, making partnerships stronger than ever. 

No matter how big or small your organisation is, many hands make for a lighter load. Sustainability and ESG run deeper than internal culture and marketing communications; it is data-driven, passionate people and planet strategy. Empower your organisation to set an example and work with us, One Picture, to showcase the commercial impact through insights to ensure your sustainability investments reach the right audience.

Tags: Strategy, One Picture, Market Research, Sustainability, Business, Climate, Environment