Find out how to make your business more sustainable and why it matters.
What is business sustainability?
Sustainability is about meeting today's needs while making sure future generations will also be able to meet theirs. In business, it means operating without harming the environment or society. To work towards this goal, companies incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into their operations and decisions. This concept is known as sustainable development.
Why is sustainability important to your business?
Incorporating sustainable practices into your business model creates long-term value for your company, meeting the expectations of both your employees and your clients and partners.
It's not just about helping the environment; customers increasingly want to support businesses that are socially responsible. Taking ESG factors into account can help you become more resilient, better manage risk and take advantage of new opportunities. It also ensures you'll be ready to deal with any potential regulatory requirements.
What are the benefits of sustainability initiatives?
Sustainability initiatives often generate positive results for businesses:
- Improves your reputation and expands your client base
- Attracts and retains employees
- Increases innovation and operational efficiency
- Ensures that your company is part of a broader societal shift
How to make your business more sustainable
Adopting sustainable practices is not just a choice some businesses make to benefit the planet—it's something they do to stay competitive. Here are 4 steps to help you get started.
1. Assess your current situation
Determine your sustainability strengths and weaknesses so you can identify what your priorities need to be.
- Do you know your carbon footprint and how you can reduce it?
- Do you have an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policy?
- Do you have transparent practices such as accountability reports?
2. Plan your transition
Get support from specialists to help you develop a plan, which should include clear steps for achieving your sustainability goals.
- What goals do you want to achieve (such as lowering your energy consumption, creating a greener supply chain or reducing your greenhouse gas emissions)?
- What ESG factors do you want to prioritize?
- How will you come up with a realistic action plan?
- How will you support your employees through these changes?
- How much of your budget can you allocate to your sustainability efforts?
3. Find financing
Once you have your plan, it's time to start investing in sustainability.
Thanks to our partnership with Fundica, you can search for government financing solutions including grants, loans and tax credits.
The Momentum Fund can provide you with funding for your sustainable development and circular economy initiatives.
We have other financing solutions available depending on your needs. We can help you choose the best one for your business.
4. Monitor your progress and share your achievements
Becoming more sustainable is an ongoing and ever-changing practice. Measuring your company's ESG performance will help you stay competitive and attract the best talent. For example, publishing an annual report with your results is a great way to evaluate your progress, celebrate your accomplishments and adjust your priorities. Customers will trust your brand more if they see that you value transparency.
How we can support your sustainability efforts
At Desjardins, sustainable business practices are part of our DNA. Whether it's through carbon footprint reduction or responsible investment, we find ways to help you help the community. See how you can make your ESG goals become a reality.
There are many direct and indirect ways to limit your business's environmental impact, such as reducing your greenhouse gas emissions or working with eco-friendly suppliers. Choosing responsible investing options and making your offices more energy-efficient are 2 easy ways to get started.
Getting involved in the community demonstrates your business's commitment to social responsibility and can boost your performance and image. Being an inclusive employer can help create greater employee engagement and a more equitable society.
Implementing sustainable policies and sound management practices allows you to clarify your business's sustainability goals. This way, you can better manage risk by drawing up a business continuity plan and improving your cybersecurity.
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