The Importance of Business Sustainability

Allison June 28, 2023

Business sustainability is increasingly important with organisations committing to net zero targets and other environmental goals; consumers demanding sustainable products; and corporations seeking ‘green’ supply chains. Getting ahead in implementing sustainable practices can set businesses apart from their competition. As well as boost their efficiency, improve their ability to withstand challenges, and benefit their community and the environment.

Business sustainability goes beyond short-term profit maximisation. It embraces a broader perspective that encompasses environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic resilience. Business sustainability also recognises that businesses operate within a larger ecosystem and community. This includes having a responsibility to minimise their negative impacts on the environment, society, and stakeholders while maximising positive contributions.

Business Chamber Queensland have recently released their Advancing Business Sustainability: A Sustainability Maturity Assessment of Queensland Business Report. This Report outlines current trends in sustainability, the present motivations Queensland businesses have towards sustainability, and an understanding of the barriers in progressing the sustainability maturity of Queensland businesses.

What is Sustainability Maturity?

Sustainability maturity refers to how an organisation approaches sustainability as well as the level to which an organisation has achieved in integrating sustainability principles and practices into it’s operations, decision making processes and strategy. Sustainability maturity acknowledges that organisations develop over time in their commitment and become increasingly capable of addressing sustainability.

A business with low sustainability maturity will have little to no strategic or operational considerations for sustainability. Any environmental measures or tracking that has been implemented is unlikely to extend beyond existing regulations. They may anticipate the need to adapt in the future but have yet to implement additional sustainable practices.Businesses that have progressed further on their sustainability journey are likely to have taken steps beyond basic compliance with regulation. The drivers of implementing sustainable practices include external forces outside regulation, such as consumer demand and other market pressures.Businesses at the far end of their sustainability maturity journey have implemented initiatives across the entirety of the businesses. Such businesses are driven internally to pursue sustainable innovation, with sustainability being a primary factor in decision making throughout all levels of the organisation. Sustainability is viewed as brand enhancement and a driver of long term growth.

The Sustainability Maturity Path, pictured below from PWC and adapted by Ecochain, shows the six stages of the pathway together with the drivers and value methodology.

Top reasons for businesses to advance their sustainability maturity as identified by Business Chamber Queensland in the Advancing Business Sustainability Report include:

– Becoming more competitive by differentiating from competitors;

– Avoid being left behind in changing and developing markets;

– Enhancement in business resilience; and

– Reduction in the risk of business disruptions.

Business Sustainability at Applied Environment & Safety

We believe in promoting business sustainability and leading by example.

We really believe that every person and every business can make a difference. You don’t need to be a big organisation, or spend a lot of money, there are sustainable options, sustainable choices for everyone and every business.

Melanie Dixon – Director and Principal Consultant

As a company, we provide environmental, land access and safety consulting services across a wide range of projects. Our team focuses on the practical and best practice aspects of planning, implementation, and compliance. We aim to improve the performance of the projects that we support to add value and ensure sustainable outcomes for our clients.

As a business, Applied Environment & Safety has moved into the leadership step of the sustainability maturity path. We have invested in strategic programs to support our sustainability journey, including undertaking the ecoBiz program, and obtaining carbon neutral accreditation. For more information, read about Who We Are.

ecoBizApplied Environment and Safety have utilised the free ecoBiz program as one of the ways to track their environmental performance. Through this process, we have obtained a quantitative measure of our energy, water, and waste usage. As a result of the program, we have implemented several initiatives to reduce energy and water consumption and waste production, earning a three-star partnership from ecoBiz by reducing energy, water and waste consumption relative to their productivity, by more than 10%.
Carbon NeutralityApplied Environment and Safety have successfully become carbon neutral through Climate Active certification. This involved quantifying and reducing emission and then offsetting any remaining emissions to achieve a netzero carbon emissions output.
Following obtaining carbon neutral accreditation, we have developed a five-year carbon emissions reduction strategy. This involves transitioning our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and reducing the emissions in our supply chain through supporting other carbon neutral businesses. Another goal includes a shift towards zero waste. These initiatives require on-going monitoring and the setting of environmental key performance indicators that can be considered at every level of our business.

What can you do?

For more information on the ecoBiz program, head to Business Chamber Queensland’s ecoBiz website.

If you need some advice about minimising your environmental footprint or your carbon neutral journey, feel free to Contact Us with your questions and queries.