While 62% Indian businesses admit sustainable strategies can be profitable, only 7% actually reap its benefits

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While 62% Indian businesses admit sustainable strategies can be profitable, only 7% actually reap its benefits
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Since the industrial revolution, business has had an ever-increasing choke on society worldwide. The same rings true today; just about everything we consume ties into some marketing endeavour. Therefore, it inadvertently follows that if we wish for large-scale reform — such as the kind required for climate retribution — the effort has to be directed business-first.
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Climate activists are aware that simple lifestyle changes cannot defeat our foe. The 100 biggest companies produce 71% of total greenhouse gas emissions. However, despite activists insisting on sustainable reforms, many companies continue to view profitability and sustainability as opposites: you cannot pursue one without affecting the other.

Luckily, a much-needed attitude shift towards this notion has occurred over the past few years. A recent survey by Oxford Economics and SAP revealed that 62% of Indian businesses recognise the potential of profitability within sustainable practices and even admit that they can accomplish their corporate targets without having to put a knife at the environment’s throat.

In addition to the fact that emitters are finally placing climate change on their agendas, this outlook also paves the way for these companies to inspire aspiring newer businesses to incorporate sustainability from the ground-up, which could greatly reduce shock from a delayed climate-budgeting in their businesses.

“It’s a positive sign that Indian organisations believe it is viable to improve profits and protect the environment at the same time,” notes Kulmeet Bawa, President of SAP (Indian Subcontinent).

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“The use of technology can aid us strategically to assist companies realise real, genuine, and quantifiable business value,” he continues.

Baby climate steps


Despite the acknowledgement, the survey also revealed much work to be done. About 60% of the respondents explained that they incorporated sustainable strategies into their practices primarily because of regulatory mandates they had to abide by.

Only four in ten companies look into their data to assess their sustainability, while a meagre 17% actually calculated their respective organisational carbon inputs. These numbers desperately need to be pumped up to translate climate ambition into action.

The study notes that only about one-fifth of businesses have rewarded leaders for achieving sustainable successes, which is tragic for accomplishing such a significant feat in the current climate. With these unfortunate numbers, it is unsurprising that only 7% of these companies received significant value from their sustainable business strategies.

To take full accountability for their carbon footprints, companies need to train more staff on capturing sustainability data, and businesses must incentivise more leaders to carve out concrete green plans for corporate growth.

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