In the wake of Shell and BP announcing record-breaking profits for 2022 driven by the increase in wholesale gas prices following the war in Ukraine, their sustainability targets have been placed firmly in the back seat. BP announced that its profits had doubled to $28b whilst also revising its commitment to cut oil and gas production by 40% by 2030, the figure now sits at 25%. A clear message of profit over the planet.
This short-term strategy by Shell and BP is certainly a contrast to the direction of travel seen within the world of business, especially over the past decade where we have seen sustainability move sharply into focus, below are 4 benefits of prioritising sustainability in business:
Customers are demanding more than just the right product at the right price; they want to spend their money with businesses that are conscious of their environmental and social impact. Last year Yvon Chouinard, the founder of outdoor clothing company Patagonia announced that he planned to donate the ownership of the company to a trust to ensure profits were used to combat climate change. The Patagonia brand has become synonymous with projecting as much passion for the planet as it does for the outdoors.
The importance of attracting talented people to join your business cannot be underestimated and applicants are being increasingly choosy when considering which company, they would like to work for. 40% of UK workers feel disappointed by their employers’ efforts in the sustainability space. Approximately a third of 16–24-year-olds consider sustainability an important factor when applying for a job.
Credibility attracts investors
Having a clear plan and strategy for sustainability and social impact demonstrates that a business is serious about making a difference to the planet and its stakeholders and are not simply greenwashing to tick boxes. Businesses that are on the front foot and transparent with their reporting, will be more attractive to investors who would not want to risk their capital by investing in a business that lacks a strategy.
The global energy crisis has resulted in increased overheads which has presented a massive challenge to businesses. An obvious commercial benefit of being a sustainable business is that energy consumption is cut, and operating costs would be reduced translating directly into bottom line profit.
4C can support your business
As a B-Corp accredited business 4C have invested heavily in Sustainability for ourselves, our suppliers and working with our clients. If you would like to speak to an expert in this area, please reach out to our Partner, Allison Ford-Langstaff . There is nothing we like better than a chat on Sustainability and how to create prosperity for all.