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Updated: 11 hours ago
Young professionals and business-owners... Here’s why you should be making sustainability your competitive advantage.
In recent years, many companies have successfully made a conscious shift to implement sustainable strategies; paying greater attention towards reducing supply chain emissions and reducing their carbon footprints.
We have seen a surge in demand for the corporate sector to step up to the plate in terms of reducing emissions and addressing sustainability at all levels of their business.
This demand comes from employees, customers and in some cases, local governments too.
In a recent report, Nielsen compared the performance of sustainability claims in the U.S. based on three product categories--chocolate, coffee, and bath products to better understand consumers’ feelings about aspects of sustainability. For all three categories, dollar sales of items with the specific claims studied grew twice as fast as the weighted average dollar growth of the three categories combined. In other words, products with certain sustainability attributes outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories despite challenges that might have predicted otherwise, like a relatively smaller market share.
NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business just completed extensive research into U.S. consumers’ actual purchasing of consumer packaged goods (CPG), using data contributed by IRI, and found that 50% of CPG growth from 2013 to 2018 came from sustainability-marketed products.
As for local government - ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, is a global network that works at multiple scales, building connections across local, regional, national and global actors and policies. They create systems change, developing integrated solutions to transform urban areas, working alongside local and regional governments to anticipate and respond to complex challenges, from urbanization and climate change to ecosystem degradation and inequity.
While executives may be reluctant to place sustainability at the forefront of their company’s business strategy in the mistaken belief that the costs outweigh the benefits, academic research and business experience indicates that being more sustainable is beneficial for both companies’ growth and success.
Researchers and scientific journalists at the Harvard Business Review have been studying the sustainability initiatives of 30 large corporations and found that “sustainability is a mother lode of organisational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top line returns.” Implementing sustainability measures reduces costs because companies lower the inputs they use.
According to Toronto-based research company Corporate Knight’s latest data crunching, the world’s most sustainable corporation in 2020 is the Danish renewable energy provider Ørsted. A company that used to produce 85% of its energy from fossil fuels and 15% from renewable energy managed to reverse that in its mission to “essentially become carbon neutral” by 2025. The company’s value has since doubled to US $40 billion.
Chr. Hansen, last year’s top-ranked company, a Danish bioscience company that uses “good bacteria” to provide natural means for preserving food, protecting plants, and reducing overreliance on antibiotics in livestock farming, ranked number two this year. The third ranked company was Finland’s Neste and the fourth, U.S. technology conglomerate Cisco, and the fifth, American software group Autodesk.
Analysis of the company age and financial performance of the 2020 Global 100 continues to demonstrate that top sustainability performers tend to last longer and perform better for investors than comparable companies. The average age of a Global 100 company is 83 years and the collective group ‘...show that companies that put sustainability at their core outlast and outperform the competition’, said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights.
The direct benefits to embracing sustainability are numerous. From saving costs through fuel and resource efficiency, to attracting millennial talent, to making your company more marketable, to simply doing the right thing.
According to a Fast Company article, in a recent survey, the result of conversations with 1,000 employees at U.S. companies was that more than 70% said that they were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda. Millennials–who will make up three-quarters of the workforce in six years–are most likely to have done this; nearly 40% said that they’ve chosen a job in the past because the company performed better on sustainability than the alternative!
Research and analysis of company performance has strongly indicated that sustainability is more likely to contribute to a company’s overall success.
Have we convinced you yet? If so, what are you waiting for?
Embarking on your journey into sustainability as an organisation is no easy feat. Depending on your business category, there are a multitude of factors to take into consideration.
One piece that can be fairly straightforward through the help of Capture however, is tracking carbon emissions from employee travel. These ‘scope 3’ emissions were traditionally difficult to measure, however with the use of Capture for Teams, employees can now easily track emissions and generate their carbon footprint from business travel (from the daily commute to an overseas trip), and businesses can easily aggregate data through our live emissions dashboard.
We are putting together a waiting-list with companies who would like to be the first to trial Capture for Teams, and we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to get in touch via any of our social media channels, all linked below.
We’ll be waiting for your call (or message, e-mail, Facebook message, LinkedIn chat....)