In the current time, sustainability is increasingly becoming a critical part of the business strategy. Businesses across industries are looking at it as more than just a new way of marketing that will change their trajectory forever. This new addition has been made keeping the core issue around the environment in mind, which is not only affecting the well-being of the people but also hampering economic development throughout the world.
Each year on June 5, we commemorate World Environment Day to spread awareness about conserving our nature and burning issues like climate change, water pollution, air pollution, overpopulation, global warming, and every other issue affecting our environment. With this year’s theme, “Economic Restoration”, we need to come together to take measures to Reimagine, Recreate and Restore. Ecosystem restoration refers to supporting the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed while conserving ecosystems that are still intact. With the recent restrictions in movement and the slowdown of social and economic activities due to COVID-19, we saw a boost in air quality in many cities and a decrease in water pollution in different parts of the world. However, there is still much need and requirement for brands to contribute to the sustainable development of society by putting their corporate philosophy into practice through sincere and fair business activities.
As a brand, we should focus on measures to resolve social issues through our business activities, including the launch of innovative technologies, products, and services, and aim to be a company that can make a considerable contribution to creating a sustainable society.
A strong sustainability strategy of a company can severely affect the people and environment in which it operates. It is about continuity, adopting behaviours and practices to ensure that the planet is habitable and resources available for future generations. Simply put, sustainable marketing is about longevity, swapping short-term gain for long-term success. The below three aspects can help any company manage strategies for sustainable growth.
Endeavour to understand global as well as local environmental and social issues and create value to address these issues through business activities
Continuously evaluate the environmental and social impact of the business activities and strive to improve the performance while increasing our positive impact on society
Constantly reassess whether the set activities are responding adequately to the demands and expectations of society through proactive stakeholder engagement with stakeholders
As a brand, we should focus on measures to resolve social issues through our business activities, including the launch of innovative technologies, products, and services, and aim to be a company that can make a considerable contribution to creating a sustainable society. The priority areas redefined for us are: solving social issues through business activities and reducing the negative impact of our business activities. As a part of our Sustainable Value Plan 2030, we have defined six key pillars mentioned below.
Environment – Focus on reducing environmental impact and contribute to the resolution of environmental issues
Since the Industrial Revolution, we have experienced colossal improvements in our lives, but at the same time, this has caused a range of environmental issues. The continuing rise in sea levels and extreme weather resulting from climate change, depletion of our land resources, destruction of our forests, water pollution, and diminishing water resources, and changes in our ecosystems are occurring on a global scale. We must take various actions to resolve both the issues resulting from our economic activities and environmental issues to guarantee sustainable development in the future.
To build a society that is both sound and sustainable, we must build infrastructure and an environment that will enable everyone to live with a feeling of security and safety and develop communication methods that provide mental support and a sense of fulfilment in life.
Health – Create a healthy society through the process of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in healthcare
During the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, it became clear that many people cannot receive sufficient treatment for the disease, not only in countries with less developed medical infrastructures but also in advanced countries. Therefore, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) requires the development of medical infrastructure that makes healthcare and medical services readily available to all, improvement in medical care quality, and a society that places top priority on health, with more emphasis on disease prevention and early detection.
Daily Life – Support the tangible and intangible aspects of social infrastructure in people’s lives through various products, services, and technologies
As industrial and economic development proceeds urbanisation, our lives have become more convenient and comfortable. At the same time, however, stress and a sense of isolation from society have surfaced as grave issues. The speed at which the spread of information has taken place has created new sources of entertainment and services, but at the same time has generated anxiety and risk as well. Because of the global restraints imposed on daily activities with the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face exchanges between people are diminishing. The quality of communication is changing along with these circumstances. To build a society that is both sound and sustainable, we must build infrastructure and an environment that will enable everyone to live with a feeling of security and safety and develop communication methods that provide mental support and a sense of fulfilment in life.
Restoring the entire ecosystem m is not an easy task. It demands a collaborative approach involving all key stakeholders like governments, conservationists, financiers, and the general public to identify the barriers to restoration and drive grassroots actions.
Work Style – Promote social change where every person is motivated in the workplace through extending in-house work style reforms
With the ever-increasing competition amid globalisation and technological innovation, a company has to offer a work environment where individuals can exert their capabilities and creativity to the fullest extent and have greater satisfaction in their job. This is the way for a company to grow constantly — by streamlining business and fully utilising diverse human resources. To this end, it is indispensable for us to build a system that realises a new way of working and delivers a communication environment free from limitations of time, location, language, gender, age, or disability. We must also promote various work styles for employees to choose to meet their lifestyle needs and life stage changes. The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly made remote working more commonplace. Along with this, it has presented issues related to communicating with each other, such as experiencing anxiety or loneliness through working alone at home.
Supply Chain – Strengthen CSR foundations across the entire supply chain, including factors of the environment, ethics, and human rights
In recent times, the depletion of agricultural, marine, and mineral resources is now of great concern as consumption of resources expands rapidly to keep pace with an increase of the global population and economic growth. In addition, environmental destruction associated with new land development and labour exploitation issues, including harsh working environments and overwork, are becoming social issues. Against this backdrop, corporations are now required to build sustainable supply chains from the environment, ethics, and human rights perspective to maintain a sustainable manufacturing process to provide products and services.
Governance – Improve and maintain governance structures by further disseminating an open, fair, and clear corporate culture
To continue to be a valued member of society, a company must meet the expectations of its various stakeholders and win the trust of society. To fulfil its social responsibilities and promote sustainable growth and long-term improvement in corporate value, the company must conduct its business activities under the social code of conduct, with an emphasis on transparency and fairness. It is crucial to improve corporate governance, which is essential for swift and bold decision-making, and implement measures that lead to corporate growth and improvement in corporate value alongside changes in the business environment.
Restoring the entire ecosystem is not an easy task. It demands a collaborative approach involving all key stakeholders like governments, conservationists, financiers, and the general public to identify the barriers to restoration and drive grassroots actions. Let us strive to resolve social issues through business activities and contribute to the realisation of a sustainable society.
Tribhuwan Joshi is the Lead, Brand Communication, PR & CSR, Fujifilm India.