Over recent years, there has been a clear eco-friendly business transformation.  Eco-friendly companies now arguably enjoy a competitive advantage over their rivals.  What’s more, when done correctly, an eco-friendly business transformation can actually improve a business overall.  Here is what you need to know.

Transformation has to be rooted in purpose

Sustainability is such a huge topic that most businesses need to break it down into smaller components.  Generally, the most successful approach is to look at the areas of sustainability that make the greatest difference to a company’s purpose.  This is how to align an eco-friendly company’s goals with its day-to-day business operations.

Transformation must deliver business value

Taking steps towards eco-friendliness is almost guaranteed to deliver business value by improving a company’s perception in the eyes of consumers.  This is often reflected in the ability to charge price premiums and/or improve brand loyalty.  Ideally, it will also deliver business value in other ways such as lowering costs over the long term.

Transformation needs to start from the core

All great constructions rest on solid foundations.  That means, for most companies, an eco-friendly business transformation starts with looking at how they work now.  This then becomes the benchmark for progress towards doing it better.  

Improving what you do already can make for some of the easiest wins in business transformation.  It also tends to build the capabilities businesses need to progress with their transformation.

Transformation should open business opportunities

In the real world, any business that undergoes an eco-friendly business transformation is likely to lose some business as a result.  Quite simply there is a price to pay for any change.  The price of becoming an eco-friendly company is that you will no longer be able to work with companies, organizations, or individuals that/who have yet to transform.

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On the flip side, however, transformation should also open up business opportunities.  Effectively, you stand to win a lot more than you stand to lose.  Now is a particularly exciting time for this as there is a huge drive to transform all aspects of life.  

What’s more, this drive is being pushed forward by major stakeholders as well as individuals.  For example, many governments around the world are actively looking for ways to make public assets more sustainable.  Many of them want the private sector to provide the solutions they need.

Transformation has to be communicated

All stakeholders in your business must be clear on your progress towards becoming an eco-friendly company.  Ideally, the communication will be customized for different stakeholder groups.  For example, consumers might prefer a high-level overview of what you’re doing.  Investors, by contrast, typically want details (and figures).

Whoever you are communicating with, however, you need to ensure that your communication is credible.  Whenever possible, therefore, you should have claims verified by independent third parties.  There are numerous organizations that can certify various sustainability claims.  

Alternatively, you may wish to commission your own studies to demonstrate your point.  If you do, make sure that you can demonstrate they are rigorously independent.