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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Relationship Between Business & Sustainability

The interconnection between business and sustainability has become more necessary as environmental challenges persist and public awareness of the importance of sustainable practices grows more widespread. Today, businesses everywhere recognise the critical need to incorporate sustainability into their operations. Read on to learn about how businesses are taking steps to become more sustainable this year.

The importance of sustainability for businesses

Sustainability holds significant importance for businesses across industries due to a number of factors. First and foremost, consumer demand plays a pivotal role. Today’s consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions and actively seek out sustainable products and services.

Businesses can not only attract a growing market segment but also foster brand loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors by embracing sustainable practices. Furthermore, sustainability aligns with the urgent need to protect and preserve the planet.

By reducing their carbon footprint, conserving resources, and promoting responsible practices, businesses can contribute to mitigating climate change and preserving natural ecosystems. Moreover, sustainability often goes hand in hand with cost savings.

How are businesses becoming more eco-friendly? 

Set out action plans

 To drive improved sustainability, businesses should establish comprehensive action plans and set clear goals. One exemplary case is Thomas Kneale Co LTD, which was honored with the Inaugural King’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. They developed an action plan through their participation in the SME Climate Hub, aligning with the UN Race To Zero campaign. With ambitious targets, they are committed to halving their carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero status by 2050 or sooner.

Thomas Kneale Co LTD’s dedication to the SME Climate Hub is just one example among many respected businesses with similar mission goals. For instance, Primark unveiled a wide-reaching sustainability strategy to reduce fashion waste, halve carbon emissions, and prioritise more sustainable sourcing.

In contrast, some brands, like PrettyLittleThing, prioritise low prices over sustainability, using only a small proportion of organic or recycled materials. This highlights the urgent need for brands to shift their focus towards sustainability to mitigate environmental harm and promote responsible practices.

More eco-friendly post & packaging services

Businesses have the opportunity to incorporate more eco-friendly practices in their post and packaging services, making a positive impact on the environment. Several notable companies have already set an example in sustainable packaging.

ASOS, Lush, Calvin Klein, and Puma are implementing sustainable packaging materials such as biodegradable options like paper, cardboard, and cornstarch, as well as recyclable and compostable materials. Additionally, sustainable companies explore using reusable and upcycled packaging solutions to minimise waste.

Similarly, businesses like Amazon, EVRI, and DPD are prioritising eco-friendly shipping methods. For instance, EVRI boasts the lowest carbon emissions among dedicated parcel delivery companies, while DPD is actively pursuing their goal of becoming the greenest delivery company by incorporating over 2,900 electric vehicles and making millions of green deliveries to date.

Using sustainable materials

In order to promote sustainability in the fashion industry, businesses can prioritise the use of more sustainable materials in their clothing.

An excellent example highlighting the significance of sustainable materials was observed at Cheshire Fashion Week 2023. This event showcased an all-sustainable brand lineup, allowing only those brands that met their stringent sustainability standards to participate. The event, held at Chester Town Hall on June 17, featured over 80 models and 10 brands.

Notable participants included leading sustainability campaigner White Stuff, independent designer Brian De Carvalho known for his exploration of macabre themes, family-run bridal supplier Shane Moore Designs, and Eden Keshia, a bridal couture designer and artist focusing on zero-waste show productions through the use of deadstock materials. Such initiatives demonstrate the growing awareness and importance of sustainable materials within the fashion industry.

As the market landscape and media become increasingly eco-conscious, it becomes crucial for brands like PrettyLittleThing and SHEIN, who emit around 6.3 million tons of CO2 every year, to catch up and prioritise sustainable practices to align with consumer expectations and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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