Corporate Sustainability Consulting

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Corporate Sustainability Consulting

Corporate sustainability is the process businesses use to align with societal and environmental goals. It is about more than protecting the environment. Corporate sustainability is an evolving corporate management model, an alternative to a traditional growth model. Sustainability strategy development recognizes that corporate growth and profitability are essential. However, it also emphasizes that businesses pursue social responsibility, particularly relating to sustainable development. Several factors influence sustainable development: environmental protection, social justice and equity, and economic development. Corporate sustainability aims to develop long-term growth that is good for people and the environment.

Three pillars make up the foundation of corporate sustainability. The environmental pillar, the social pillar, and the economic pillar. While corporate sustainability encompasses a social aspect, it differs from corporate social responsibility though the two are related. Corporate social responsibility refers to the actions and practices of a business to advance environmental or social causes. Corporate sustainability is a business strategy aimed to positively impact the environment and societies at the community or a larger societal level. Social responsibility concerns achievements and corporate responsibility focuses on achieving short- and long-term environmental, societal, and economic goals.

Corporate responsibility is a vital part of business today. Consumers and shareholders no longer sit by while companies irresponsibly damage the environment, are fiscally irresponsible, or neglect people. Corporate sustainability consulting plays a vital role in helping companies become more responsible, maintain compliance and reach long-term sustainability and economic goals. For example, a sustainability consultant can help a business develop sustainable solutions that meet the needs of people, the environment, and the company.

Sustainability consultants offer various services to help businesses with environmentally conscious efforts. Services may include conducting company assessments in the areas of energy, water, hazardous materials, waste, carbon, and many other environmental impacts. A sustainability consultant may help a company develop a circular economy and sustainability strategies. Consultants are typically hired to offer expert advice and create strategies and systems assisting companies to become more socially and environmentally responsible in their operations. Companies focus more on corporate sustainability because sustainable business practices can reduce costs and include operating profits.

Additionally, adopting sustainable methods of operation may increase productivity. The inclusive culture resulting from corporate sustainability improves the employee experience, increasing productivity that can result in higher profits. Tackling corporate sustainability without a consultant is often overwhelming. Corporate sustainability consultants are experts in environmental policy, compliance laws, and practices making them well-equipped to evaluate a company’s operations and help develop realistic strategies company-wide.

Benefits of corporate sustainability consulting

Companies today must find a way to operate sustainably while prioritizing people and the environment. Climate change, labor injustices, and a growing intolerance for corporate greed make corporate sustainability efforts a non-negotiable for companies that want to remain relevant and profitable long term. Businesses need to understand and apply a circular economy and sustainability strategy and implement ways to measure their efforts. Sustainability goal setting and measurement are achieved through assessing a business’s performance of social, environmental, and economic principles. Sustainability reporting and communication are vital when establishing methods of operation that embrace corporate sustainability. Hiring a corporate sustainability consultant gives companies an advantage over those trying to approach it independently. 

Some of the benefits of corporate sustainability consulting include:

  • Expertise and knowledge,
  • Improving resource efficiency
  • Reduction of ecological footprint
  • Increasing shareholder value,
  • Enhancing reputation, and building brand image

Businesses in every sector need to embrace sustainability, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Operational strategies and methods will vary depending on the industry, company goals, and many other factors. While most sustainability consultants apply some common techniques, finding a consultant that understands your specific business and connects with your company culture, goals, and objectives is imperative. Creating a sustainability strategy is complex, and many challenges may arise during the process. However, a professional consultant has the knowledge and expertise to help overcome challenges while implementing a corporate sustainability strategy. In addition, corporate sustainability consultants can develop successful sustainable operations that align with business efficiency and profitability while placing value on environmental concerns and the people involved and affected by the company.

Sustainability consulting services

Consumers and stakeholders are increasingly concerned with sustainability. For example, most customers today consider the environmental consequences of their purchases and the eco-consciousness of businesses; these factors influence purchasing decisions and customer loyalty. It is challenging for many big and small companies to know where to start regarding sustainable business practices. Additionally, it is critical to understand what corporate sustainability is and why there is a need for a sustainability consultant. Corporate sustainability involves environmental practices, social aspects, and business profitability. A sustainability consultant is a professional often found through environmental sustainability consulting firms. In addition, the firm and consultant work with a business to foster sustainable business practices that reduce environmental impact, place value on people, and keep profitability objectives in mind when establishing a strategy.

Sustainability consulting services are often broken down into three main categories. Service categories include audits, technical support, and strategy or planning. Consulting services help companies by providing the expertise and knowledge needed to understand corporate sustainability and environmental compliance. In addition, consulting firms aim to help companies meet their targets and goals while applying corporate sustainability strategies. Sustainability consulting services add value and provide innovative solutions for companies while improving their brand reputation among consumers. Another essential aspect of corporate sustainability is the circular economy. Companies like Rheaply provide effective ways for companies to participate in a circular economy, helping resources find their next use through technology. Connecting companies through posted reusable assets and allowing them to avoid waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Innovative companies like Rheaply are advancing corporate sustainability efforts through technological applications that transform how companies across business sectors and industries source, procure and use resources. Sustainability consulting services strive to provide social, economic, and environmentally conscious business strategies. Rheaply helps organizations build reuse programs and strategies.

The role of corporate sustainability in the post-pandemic world

The pandemic caused unprecedented disruption in everyday life and business worldwide. Then, something else unexpected happened. With travel at an absolute minimum and reduced services in many industries worldwide, the earth began to heal. Evidence of water purification, air purification, and animals thriving surfaced over time. As a result, our post-pandemic life now involves a greater realization of how our actions at home and in business impact the planet. Businesses in the post-pandemic corporate landscape are seeing a drastic change in how they need to approach sustainability. Where compliance used to be the top priority, the role of corporate sustainability in the post-pandemic world is now the main concern. Consumer products and retail industries now have consumers who demand corporate sustainability in exchange for their business and brand loyalty.

The role of sustainability in business has increased the demand for services such as sustainability consulting and green building consulting. Sustainability consulting services help companies develop strategies like reverse logistics and sustainability practices in the areas of people, environmental footprint, and meeting financial goals. Environmental issues were critical before the pandemic. The unexpected environmental improvements resulting from global life disruption have made investing in corporate sustainability a new priority. For example, innovative solutions for participating in a circular economy have emerged. Rheaply is a sustainability consulting service helping companies exchange resources through reallocation, selling, or decommissioning. Rheaply finds ways for companies to reduce reactive purchasing by establishing a vast network of communication primed to repurpose unused assets resourcefully and responsibly. The circular economy is an innovative way to implement a new revenue stream and support net-zero strategies. The core ideas behind corporate sustainability are applying environmentally conscious business strategies, elevating and valuing people, and can advance profitability goals and objectives.

Future of corporate sustainability consulting

The future of corporate sustainability consulting is growing as a result of the rising awareness of environmental issues and the constant pressure placed on businesses to generate value for shareholders while reducing their carbon footprint. Global sustainability challenges increase the need for corporate sustainability consulting services. Today most companies work in a global market, and having a multi-national presence requires a global focus on sustainability efforts. Understanding and managing environmental impact and implementing well-developed strategies focused on sustainability can be challenging. In addition, another vital aspect of corporate sustainability is the focus on people. The societal part of corporate sustainability focuses on all people involved with or affected by a company. Internal corporate culture, and treatment of employees at every level, combined with environmental and fiscal goals and objectives, increases the need for consulting services. 

Emerging trends in sustainability consulting include reduced carbon emissions, minimizing waste, and the modern workforce full of diverse and environmentally conscious people. Another significant trend in sustainability consulting is ethical sourcing and manufacturing. Consultants help companies look at the big picture of corporate sustainability goals and objectives while also establishing strategies for everyday operations.

Sustainability examples in business operations include:

  • Biodegradable packaging
  • Eliminating the use of paper
  • Water conservation
  • Supply chain management
  • Developing a recycling program

Hiring sustainability consultants is critical for companies that want to remain competitive and relevant in today’s economy. As a result, stakeholders and consumers no longer tolerate companies that consider corporate sustainability a low priority. Studies show that most consumers consider sustainability, corporate reputation, and behavior when purchasing.

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