Sustainable business practices are the actions that allow enterprises to significantly reduce their negative impacts on the surroundings while, in return, still making the companies and business enterprises make profits. Business sustainability falls under the broad corporate social responsibility, which refers to the business actions that promote fairness and assistance in local societies and nations where they operate. Henceforth, the internal business efforts might considerably include reducing the energy use and costs at a factory or office, switching to electric fleet vehicles, switching to natural gas utilization, or making mandates to such purchases. For instance, a company might mandate purchasing fleet vehicles and paper products and prefer greener electric cars and recycled paper (Chacha et al., 2020). Additionally, the external sustainability efforts might include switching the materials used to make products to those that cause minor damage to the environment, based on how the resources are mined, grown, produced, and the energy needed to turn them into finished products. Therefore, companies usually choose green suppliers and vendors who offer green services and products and award production contracts to enterprises with green internal business efforts.
Barriers Encountered by Businesses in Adopting Sustainable Business Practices
Incorporating sustainable business practices and strategies have consistently become a priority for organizations globally. Consequently, many organizations struggle and face challenges to overcome the common barriers associated with implementing sustainable business practices in their workplaces. Therefore, the common barriers to implementing sustainable business practices that organizations encounter include a lack of knowledge, motivation, and experience.
Lack of knowledge is one of the main barriers companies face in implementing sustainable business practices. Hence, despite the vastly growing interests in business sustainability, the misconceptions and lack of the required knowledge are still in existence. Therefore, both the need to understand the required concepts and the difficulties faced to attain this mastery of the knowledge about sustainable practices has been identified as barriers and challenges (Gerke, 2017).
Lack of motivation is another typical barrier companies face when implementing sustainable business practices. Employees’ lack of motivation, lack of feeling involved, and enthusiasm for one’s roles in the workplace present an unbelievable challenge to organizations. Indeed, this action of employers hiring their workforce should be a crucial focus for any company looking forward to a successful workers’ engagement in business practices sustainability.
Thirdly, lacking the required experience is another barrier organizations face while implementing sustainable business practices. Many people do not possess the necessary knowledge and confidence to act as sustainability champions. Employers should therefore critically educate and engage the workers with sustainable business practices. However, the employees should be individually involved with the attainable business practices at both the emotional and psychological levels.
How sustainable business practice can be a source of competitive advantage for businesses
Sustainable business practices can be a source of competitive advantage as the practices can position organizations to have a cost or benefit advantage. As a result, sustainable practices create shared value as the organizations provide a crucial and meaningful benefit to society and the business through an organizational initiative or practice (Roorda, 2020). Therefore, when a firm sustains profits that exceed the average for its industry, the firm is thus said to possess a competitive advantage over its rivals which is the goal of many business strategies.
The role of population, affluence, and technology in driving human impacts on sustainability
Population, affluence, and technology all play a vital role in driving human impact on sustainability. The population growth, for instance, has led to the effects of climate change, destroyed habitats, making the environment toxic, and the increasing global extinction rates that prove the demands are exponentially high on the natural resources. Affluence impacts suitability; as each person’s consumption increases, it affects the surroundings. This causes a high-income elasticity of demand for the help and environmental quality necessary to support a lifestyle (Scoot-Young, n.d). Lastly, technology has an impact on sustainability. It increases productivity, reduces the products, increases efficiency and cost savings, increases the productivity of resources and chemicals, and helps analyze and track the progress of sustainability, which overly helps minimize the impact on the environment.
A plan addressing the political, regulatory, or technological environments
Political, regulatory, and technological environments positively or negatively impact organizations’ supply chain sustainability and strategies. For instance, when the political climate is unstable, it affects the global supply chains, which results in varying degrees of damage and destruction to organizations and the economy. The regulatory environment is part of the legal and political actions put in place to change regulations that affect the marketing effort and pose threats or present opportunities (Viyyanna, 2020). The principles have a significant influence on the business model; for instance, introducing new taxation laws can impact a company’s investment strategies and decisions. On the other hand, the advancement of technology can positively impact the organizations’ supply chain sustainability, and its strategy as technological advancement increases the productivity, minimizes the production costs as it enables the analyzing and tracking of the business progress and thus this is beneficial in maintaining the supply chain sustainability and the laid business strategies.
Sustainable practices have a handful of benefits associated with business efforts. Consequently, the sustainable business actions help the company improve its brand portray and customer preference among specific buyers, helps to reduce energy costs, generate positive media coverage for the company, and attract and lure employees who want to work for a business that practices social responsibility. Additionally, sustainable business practices assist the company in getting loans or grants from private or government organizations or getting rebates and tax credits. Similarly, Oakhurst Dairy Company implemented the strategic factors on caring for the environment and reducing its pollution to the climate an idea that helped the company to rebound and get tenders from the several organizations both governmental and non-governmental. Oakhurst Company as well due its approach on managing the environmental pollution has received a sum of awards and therefore, it continues to remain competitive in the dairy market and it has grown exponentially in its independent operations.
Chahal, H., Pereira, V., & Jyoti, J. (2020). Sustainable business practices for rural development. Sustainable Business Practices for Rural Development, 1-9.
Gerke, A. (2017). Towards more sustainable business practices in surf industry clusters. Sustainable Surfing, 72-86.
Roorda, N. (2020). Sustainable business practices. Fundamentals of Sustainable Development, 346-392.
Scott- Young, C. M. (n.d.). Innovation in sustainable business practices: Greening the family firm. Sustainable Business, 197-214.
Viyyanna Rao, K. (2020). Rural development through sustainable business practices: Juxtaposition of private and public initiatives. Sustainable Business Practices for Rural Development, 11-26.