December 15, 2019 The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

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The Bank Won’t Back Your Business If You Don’t Have a Sustainability Plan

Submitted by: Brenda Cagara

Posted: Mar 01, 2017 – 06:00 AM EST

Tags: sustainability, business


While talking on “The Daily Show,” the former President of Maldives Mr. Muhammad Nousheed, said:

"If carbon emissions were to stop today, the planet would not see a difference for 60 to 70 years. If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be under water in seven years.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report predicted that the upper limit of the sea level rise will be 59 centimeters (23 inches) by 2100, which means that most of the republic's 200 inhabited islands may need to be abandoned. The Maldivian government plans on purchasing a large piece of land so that their population remains protected from the agony of becoming climate change refugees. They are planning ahead to deal with a long-term problem.

Today, executives at many companies are focused on adopting a sustainable business plan that looks far into the future.

Historically, the sole objective of any business was to earn more profit, regardless of the resources and methods used. International organizations on climate change and global warming have now made that way of operating harder for business. As the environment gets worse with each passing day, it’s more apparent that there’s a need to transform business strategy and have a sustainability plan.

Business owners want a triple win, i.e. operational efficiency that cuts costs, reduces demand on shared natural capital and improves quality of life for communities of people they serve. "By the end of 2017, Walmart will buy 70 percent of the goods it sells in US stores and in US Sam's Clubs only from suppliers who use the Index to evaluate and share the sustainability of their products," according to Walmart CEO Mike Duke.

The most important stakeholder in any business is the bank. A business owner always wants the backing of a bank. What banks are now asking is, are you sustainable? From a bank’s point of view today, more sustainable is more bankable. A sustainability plan is a prime asset for any company. Many banks now invest only if they see considerable sustainability factors in your business. Here’s a few of them:

  • a company’s future plans
  • keeping pace with growing market needs
  • energy sources and their costs
  • moving towards clean energy sources i.e. wind and solar energy.
  • following environmental friendly procedures in operations

According to Darwin’s theory, only those species survive which evolve with the changes in environment. This goes for businesses as well. For any company today, it’s very important to plan ahead, with long-term business goals. The question is basic: where do you see your company in ten years from now?

Running a successful business today is tougher than ever before. Starting a business is easy; keeping going is the harder part. Every year, more than 400,000 new businesses open their doors in the US. That sounds like a lot—until you consider that roughly 470,000 businesses shut their doors each year.

Sharp business owners always have a backup plan. They fail in the north, they move south in a dramatic fashion. They join hands with competitors and come up with something totally new and unique.

 Lise Kingo, director of the UN Global Compact, talking about the significance of SDG’s for companies at a UN forum stated:

“It’s great for businesses to know what the priorities are,” she said at the forum. “And, with the new Goals, we’ve also got a new platform for innovation and growth.”

A sustainability plan might not look a reason to you for a bank not backing your business, but in coming years, it could become the biggest reason for failure. Start those sustainability plans—now! 

Photo credits: Pixabay

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