The trend towards having an eco-conscious company, and being seen to do the right things for the planet has been building for some time, and it’s not going anywhere – in fact it’s becoming more important; across the globe 85% of people have indicated that they have shifted their purchase behaviour towards being more sustainable in the last 5 years, and the expectation that businesses provide for this is trailing behind, with 83% of workers believing that their employers are not doing enough to be more sustainable. This growing culture of green-awareness, and a desire from customers, employees, and investors, to get behind businesses that are actively doing their part to make the world a better place has seen more businesses undertake Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting, and actively focusing on and promoting sustainability.
How is Sustainability Affecting Companies Across the Globe?
This has manifested in a lot of businesses as an adoption of sustainability as a ‘core value’ which underpins all the decisions and forward momentum within the company.
The push towards sustainability isn’t an entirely altruistic one, there are the benefits to the environment of course – but businesses are keenly aware that eco-friendly options can help to reduce costs, increase revenue, and even lift enterprise value.
In the next 5 years the sectors that expect to see the most modest or significant value created from their sustainability programs are:
- Electric power and natural gas (approx. 30%)
- Travel, transport, and logistics (approx. 10%)
- Social sector (approx. 30%)
- Oil and gas (approx. 20%)
- Business, legal, and professional services (approx. 15%)
- Financial services (approx. 20%)
- Automotive and assembly (approx. 30%)
- High tech (approx. 15%)
- Consumer and packaged goods (approx. 25%)
- Retail (approx. 20%)
The fact that adopting and promoting sustainability is good for business, attractive to investors, appealing to employees, and does actual real social good, means that the process is a win-win situation that companies are rolling out in line with their requirements, responsibilities, and budgetary restraints.
Why are These Core Values Important to Your Business?
Your company is not a person, but over time it does develop a life of its own, complete with style, tone of voice, and value systems that influence what actions are taken (and when). Core values are, as the name suggests, at the heart of the business – these are the essential values that define who your company is, how they conduct themselves, and what is considered important.
There is a bit of a disconnect with consumers when it comes to expressing core values, only 30% of consumers actively want to hear about them – but at the same time, 61% expect to see companies taking action on key issues; so even if they don’t actively want to hear or read about the values a company hold, they still expect to see them behaving according to them.
Employees that believe their company’s mission, vision, and values align with their own are often far more likely to recommend their employer, and there are a growing number of individuals entering into the workforce that are actively looking for companies that are eco-friendly, sustainable, and are proving that their actions aren’t just lip service – but something they truly believe in.
Perhaps the most significant influence of ESG core values comes from investors, with 73% stating that when they look at potential opportunities, efforts to improve the environment and society play into their investment decisions.
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Why Should You Promote Your Values?
When it comes to marketing your business, whether that’s to consumers or investors, you want to make full use of every opportunity you have to stand out and be seen as the best option. Having core values that are sustainable and socially conscious makes it clear that your company is mindful of its impact on the environment, and is often seen by employees as somewhere that will care about them – making it more attractive, and this also adds up to being a better investment option, which is geared up for future ESG legislations, requirements, and opportunities.
The only possible reason why you wouldn’t want to promote your core values, is if you aren’t aligned to them, or they are just words – people that see a disconnect between the actions and behaviours of a company, and what they claim to stand for, will be less likely to engage with it, and the damage to its reputation can be immense.
But if you truly believe in what you’re saying, have aligned your business for a sustainable future but promoting sustainability, and care about ESG, then you should absolutely be using these values as a promotional edge, to encourage growth in your brand value, reputation, and industry standing.