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Are Your Sustainability Efforts Sustainable?

What is sustainability, really? 

It’s a great question to ask. There are so many different viewpoints. Some say it is our only hope. Some say it is necessary but painful. And some say it is simply a hoax.

Sustainability, ESG, zero waste, energy and water usage efficiency, repackaging upstream and downstream, better care of soils and air quality – All have both a cost and a value. Some look only at one or the other. Few have effectively tied both the cost and the cost-benefit together to clearly see the whole picture.

Sustainability, by its definition, means “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” We can look at natural resources and try to determine how long a level of consumption is sustainable. We can do the math for countless numbers of important metrics that can determine our quality of life.

The only way any of this, however, is ultimately sustainable is if it is financially sustainable over the long haul. We must increase the output of the technology and decrease the cost as we move farther up the adoption curve in all aspects of sustainability.

The values companies subscribe to must be well thought out as they relate to their customers, their suppliers, their shareholders, and their employees.

How do company values affect retention and recruitment?

  • Are your employees excited about your corporate values? 
  • Do company values attract quality talent? What is the value of recruiting top talent?
  • Or do they attract quality talent to your competitors? What is the cost? 
  • What drives brand loyalty to a company? 
  • How are your customers’ demographics and buying patterns changing? 
  • What do customers value? 
  • Are you customers willing to pay a premium to do business with companies that ascribe to their values?

Ultimately, when a company invests in core values that depart from their legacy values there is a cost. If structured properly, there is also a return on that investment. There must be for your sustainability efforts to truly be “sustained” and not just the latest plan of the week.

The team from Okapi Environmental Services has been in the trenches with companies who were weighed down by lofty goals and unfunded mandates. We understand that some programs are on life support and in need of an infusion of fresh ideas and rebalancing of the scales. We are experts at quantifying the REAL costs and benefits of ESG programs over time and making financial sense of abstract topics. Our joyful assistance begins with a conversation.

Sustainability is only sustainable if it positively affects the triple bottom line: The People, the Profits, and the Planet.

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