Tips for businesses: how to develop your sustainability strategy

*This post is part of our Focus on the environment 2022 campaign.*

We often highlight specific daily actions anyone can take in order to work more environmentally friendly. Now we want to share some of our tips to businesses and executives on how to get started or to develop their company sustainability strategy – which we hope every business would have these days!

The following websites and tools have helped us on the way – take a look at these and feel free to share your own tips too!

UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development

The UN has set 17 sustainable development goals for 2030. These goals are divided into multiple more specific targets. It’s quite a lot to take in at once, but we can warmly recommend to have a closer look, at least if this is something completely new for you! Going through the goals gives you a broader understanding of the global sustainability challenges. Knowing the big picture can help you to find the most relevant sustainability goals to your company’s strategy. What are the global challenges you can or want to make an impact on with you business?

Corporate responsibility self-assesment tool

Whether you’re just about to get started with your sustainability strategy or think you’ve already mastered carrying it out, this free of charge self-assesment tool helps you to get a better understanding where you’re at. You just need 15-20 minutes to fill in a questionnaire and after you can download a report describing how well your company covers the different areas of corporate responsibility. The report is a valuable tool for internal use so be critical with your own responses to get as realistic picture as possible!

The report can be found here: Yritysvastuun itsearviointi (only in Finnish). The tool’s been developed in cooperation with FIBS – the largest corporate responsibility network in the Nordics.

The benefits of a sustainability strategy

It’s good to remind yourself (or the panicking CFO) that taking sustainability actions doesn’t automatically equal more costs. There can be short term benefits such as lower operating costs and increase in sales, and in the long run you might have for example happier employees and clients, leading to better financial performance. Sustainability can be your competitive advantage or in the near future it might be something the clients and investors require.

Here are two articles on the topic to dig deeper:

Why Corporate Strategies Should Be Focused On Sustainability (Forbes)

Why You Need Sustainability In Your Business Strategy (Harward Business School