Doing Business Sustainably 2020 and Beyond

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

2020 will be the year in which business social responsibility and ethics will be the key growth and economic driver for companies. Geo-political uncertainty, social uprising, bias decisions, rising costs of waste, data scandals through smart-yet-maturing AI algorithms, the unrealized UN Sustainability in institutions of all types, all contribute to the major barriers that businesses are facing. Business has the capacity, capability and the opportunity to lead the transition and change required to tackle our biggest societal and environmental challenges. How businesses choose to respond to some of the major trends such as zero waste, resource optimization, ecosystem integration in 2020, will be crucial.

A number of organizations are taking a greenwashing approach by adding departments of “optics and creating positions like Chief Sustainability officer, chief purpose officer, chief strategy officer etc. To date these positions created on the recommendation of some consulting company create yet another corporate silo, higher overhead another eco systems integration and efficacy barrier.

The gap between reality and greenwashing is increasing the societal Trust issues with businesses. We at ResultantGroup, are supporting companies in moving the needle and the corporate Eco system from a state of perceived greenwashing to a purpose driven business-wide process and monetizing excess material across the value chain, inspired by corporate stakeholders, participants, consumers and grounded in the organisation.

The fundamental question we must address now, more than ever: If climate change is the answer, what is the role of business in society? The answer, lies in the understanding of corporate’s social accountability and what that means for a company’s rights, social, environmental and economic responsibilities and aspirations. Purpose then needs to be actioned with concrete change and transition of its products, services, culture and business models. The transition must start in the boardroom and communicated to all functions, channels and participations across the value chain, that the new model will be circular and shared, along the relevant lines of accountabilities.

The transition to a circular business model must extend across the Supply Chain and Radical Transparency must replace the Limited visibility that currently exist across supply chains for companies in all industries.

As consumer consciousness heightens, and investors align long-term value with SDGs and resource optimized supply chain practices, companies are being asked to make more data accessible, be more collaborative and more transparency in their supply chains.

Companies are engaging in risks mitigation, risk reduction and increased transparency in a linear fashion and must move to a circular and shared services model. The emergence of new supply-chain models, and technologies that can transform supply chains from liner to circular seamlessly.

Blockchain, AI and mobility are opportunities to collect track, trace, gather and assess consistent and secure, irreversible and unbiased corporate, social and environmental data. This improved data quality has the potential to reduce duplication of supplier audits, as well as increase trust across the value chain.

Partnerships involving governments, civil society corporates and cross-industry collaborations are being created to tackle specific social or environmental issues and deliver new solutions and impact at scale.

Is your supply chain optimized to mitigate waste, integrated and collaborative?

Do you know what data your key stakeholder groups and participants create, share, access and cannot see?

Now or never for climate change 2020 will be a pivotal year in where deep cuts in emissions, rapid transition to a low-carbon global economy and circularity will start to become reality.

Companies failing to act fast, be clear and transparent about resource optimization, SDG goals and targets and the opportunity to be socially and environmentally responsible, stand to lose out on growth and profitability.

Resource optimization and waste mitigation is now a board issue and the need to understand the material risks, process and opportunities from social and environmental change.

These risks and opportunities must now be exposed and made transparent to investors and wider stakeholders. Participants are now speaking up and influencing the changes required for resource optimization and the dialogue with investors, regulators and other stakeholders.

The term circular and shared services business models are a few of the latest business buzz words over the past decade, many businesses have focused on delivering digital and mobility strategies, as they optimise their business models for the digital economy, however, many did not modify their business models to be circular and aligned to their digital and mobility strategies.

In context of rising uncertainty, they are also missing the mark in aligning with climate change activities, Geo political change and transition – all of which are compounded by heightened stakeholder expectations for responsible and sustainable business. Investors are now taking a hard look at how to structure the business for long-term social benefits and value creation.

By embedding social benefits and mission-driven businesses in the value chain, companies are exploring new means of procurement and opportunities to monetise excess material for social and environmental benefits across the value chain.

Emerging industrial, mobility, digital technologies and platforms have brought unprecedented opportunities for business to innovate, transition, drive growth, collaborate and connect with others in near real time. At the same time the integration of these technologies is causing unintended social, security and ethical consequences.

Going forward, business have to start taking responsibility for technology implementation, security and use, IT can no longer captain the ship and this needs to be a priority for all businesses. The challenge for business, is to understand the opportunities and potential risks to the business and society of each tech system introduced into a business. This covers everything from data security to ethics in the code, integration point, data collection criteria and relevance, analytics, to social media policies and using the Internet of Things to drive social, economic and environmental efficiencies. Ethics needs to be a prime business priority and not IT lead and enabled in isolation. Business must have a holistic understanding of the data, info, content and access to issues arising from the internal and external use of all technologies within the organization, this is no longer the role of a CIO or CTO, this is CEO, CFO accountability to ensure the right mechanisms in place to ensure tech is managed responsibly and used strategically to maximise business and societal value.

Investors and financiers are pushing for better disclosure on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, concerning performance metrics and accounting for risks and opportunities. Meanwhile, sustainability reporting standards bodies continue to charge ahead with their respective frameworks, charting a path that can be both complex and confusing for companies to follow. The results, often, are reports that try to be all things to all people, don’t fully meet anyone’s needs and are read by only a few. Leading reporters recognise that the users of sustainability information are diverse and have different interests. These companies are moving away from one-way reporting, to engaging in a two-way dialogue and using multiple formats, to reach relevant audiences in as real time as possible. Great reports also have a laser focus on telling their unique story, using relevant standards and frameworks as tools to guide their disclosure

At ResultantGroup we help companies on knowing what matters to each of your stakeholders, participants and audiences across your value chain for resource optimization and excess material monetization. We also enable your sustainability reporting to convey the business’ unique story and reflect how your business is genuinely managed and in a shared and circular economy.

Dave Gajadhar





@dgajadar

Contact us: info@resultantgroup.net

Website: www.resultantgroup.net

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