What is the future of sustainability in business? What does that future look like? As a sustainability consultant, these are the questions I’m most commonly asked.
As we all evaluate the range of possible futures in these economic times, business sustainability is on the leading edge of strategic thinking. Leading businesses are acting now to prepare for the uncertain future.
In a recent publication by Forum for the Future, the paper discusses 4 unique scenarios for the future of global business:
· Global Interest: An effective globalized response to global challenges prompts increased resource productivity and low-carbon growth. Businesses have to play a greater role in supporting public services and infrastructure but reap the benefits. Successful companies have embedded sustainability management throughout their organization.
· National Interest: Global businesses all but disappear in a retreat to nationalism and protectionism. Nations hoard their own resources and tighten their borders. Corporate and government agendas are closely aligned and sustainability for business means supporting the national interest.
· Patched-up Globalization: Emerging markets rise as China stalls. Low carbon technologies, particularly bio fuels, thrive. Successful companies are multinationals with a local feel, helping to deliver local development needs.
· Me and Mine, Online: A highly networked world undermines individual countries and companies. Products and services are delivered in a way we would barely recognize. Successful companies are now more like branded hubs, coordinating often temporary and short-lived supplier relationships to deliver customized products. Trust and transparency are key, and trends come and go swiftly – anyone with a motive and the ability to mobilize a groundswell of opinion can exert a powerful influence.
There is no doubt that the landscape of business will continue to change.
Taiga Company‘s sustainability consulting interfaces with businesses that are taking proactive sustainable action. As sustainability consultants, we recommend a proactive approach rather than a reactive response to external factors. Decisive and immediate action to become a business sustainability leader is creating a competitive advantage and allowing businesses on the forefront to capture additional market share.
Whether just getting started or are long-term pioneer of implementing sustainable concepts into core business strategies, the time to act is now.