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A guide to actualising sustainability policies in your organisation

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In the past decade, many companies have embarked on implementing numerous corporate sustainability policies. This is partly due to mounting pressure from shareholders and customers for businesses to be more socially responsible. It's also driven by the growing body of evidence that sustainable practices can lead to improved financial performance by businesses.

There are a number of ways in which companies can embark on corporate sustainability policies. One is to set ambitious targets for reducing emissions and other environmental impacts. Many organisations have already started doing this, and have set science-based targets in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Another approach is to implement sustainable business development initiatives into all aspects of an organisation’s operations, from sustainable product design and manufacturing to supply chain management and customer relations. This requires a shift in thinking at all levels of the organisation, from the boardroom to the shop floor.

In fact many companies are now coming to a realisation that sustainability is not just a mere philanthropic corporate social responsibility exercise, but an ethos that makes good business sense. By adopting sustainable practices, they can improve their bottom line while also making a positive impact on the planet. Read on to learn more about corporate sustainability and why it is important for organisations to adopt it.

What does corporate sustainability entail?

Corporate sustainability is the business practice of creating long-term value for shareholders, employees, customers, and the environment. In order to be sustainable, businesses must operate in a way that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This requires businesses to consider the social and environmental impacts of their activities and to integrate sustainability into their policies, strategies, and operations.

What are the common examples of corporate sustainability?

There are many ways for businesses to become more sustainable, but some common practices include reducing energy consumption, improving resource efficiency, and investing in renewable energy. Simply put, corporate sustainability is not only good for the environment — it is also good for business, as evidenced by companies with strong environment, social, and governance (ESG) practices as they outperformed those without any during the pandemic.

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Just last year, the message from the COP 27 Summit was a clarion call for businesses to align their corporate strategies to sustainability targets. As more people choose companies that prioritise ESG concerns, conscious consumerism is more important than ever. Here are the most common examples of company sustainability initiatives regarding pollution, conservation, and emission concerns:

1. Conserve Resources

Reducing the consumption of energy and resources is one of the most common ways businesses can become more sustainable. Energy and resource efficiency measures can help businesses save money while also reducing their environmental impact. Businesses can take some of  these simple steps to contribute to environmental and corporate sustainability:

  • Use water-efficient faucets and toilets in bathrooms

  • Reduce landscape water use

  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs and automatic fixtures

  • Improve building insulation

  • Use energy-efficient appliances and equipment

  • Turn off lights and equipment when they’re not in use

2. Prevent Pollution

The rise of industrial pollution has caused the rate of global warming to increase. Since pollution can occur on land, air, or water, businesses are encouraged to implement a variety of environmentally-friendly initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. Some of these popular sustainability policies include:

  • Reduce excess and unnecessary packaging

  • Reuse and/or recycling materials

  • Use non-toxic substances as ingredient substitutes

3. Attain Zero Emissions

Reducing emissions is a huge problem, especially for large corporations that operate in various regional markets. Even though such initiatives require dramatic changes in supply chain fundamentals, they can significantly reduce a business’s impact on the environment. Some standard steps toward a zero-emission business model include reducing waste, switching from fossil fuels and using more energy-efficient appliances. 

4. Invest in renewable energy

Investing in renewable energy is another way businesses can become more sustainable. Renewable energy comes from sources that are not depleted by use, these include the likes of solar, wind, and hydropower. Investing in renewable energy can help businesses reduce their environmental impact and also hedge against future fuel price increases. In fact, latest sustainability trends reveal that the cost of renewable energy is decreasing, making adoption more cost-effective than before.

5. Construct green buildings

As sustainability becomes more imperative for companies worldwide, many of them restructure their office buildings according to LEED. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is widely used to measure buildings' sustainability. Obtaining LEED credentials is a feasible instrument for reducing a business's carbon footprint in an easily manageable manner without costly budgets.

6. Adhere to energy management standards

Another way businesses can contribute to sustainable business development initiatives is to adhere to energy management standards such as the ISO 50001:2018. These standards guide corporations into implementing, improving, and maintaining efficient energy use.

How DHL Express puts sustainability strategies into actions

DHL Express is a company that is constantly innovating and looking for new ways to improve its sustainability performance. Collectively, we have put together a number of initiatives aimed at reducing our environmental impact, these include the increased use of cleaner energy sources, investing in more fuel-efficient vehicles, and working with suppliers to reduce waste. We are committed to making a difference in the world, and it shows in our actions, as we endeavour to help create a more sustainable future for everyone.

For our business partners, you too, can do the same for this planet. By taking some simple steps to become more sustainable, not only can you protect the environment, you can also protect your organisation’s bottom line. Open a DHL Express account today to optimise your green strategy with us and map out your corporate sustainability policies.