It has become increasingly common for consumers and clients to hold businesses accountable for their environmental impact. Especially with the major advancements that have been made throughout the years, not adopting practices that support ecological balance reveals the social stance that an enterprise has taken. Although it is a widely accepted truth that most, if not all, businesses traditionally only have revenue as their main focus, as sustainability becomes more of a hot topic and a pressing issue for companies these days, it is a must for enterprises to start thinking about it. And before looking for ways to build a sustainability strategy that will drive real change for the environment and world, businesses must first look inward to determine the impact they currently have on the environment before transforming themselves into an environmentally conscious brand.
Latest research shows that Indonesia makes the top of the list when it comes to having some of the most cautious spenders. According to the latest EY Future Consumer Index, spenders in Indonesia have become more cautious as they manage the rising living costs, and lean more towards saving for the future instead. Trading down to cheaper alternatives aside, another trend that was observed in the survey was that a large number of consumers across Indonesia are choosing to make more sustainable purchases. As a matter of fact, it was revealed that 72% of consumers surveyed have become committed to being more attentive to the environmental impact of their purchases. With 52% of Indonesian consumers stating that they are more likely to make purchases from brands that align with their personal values, it has become crucial for businesses to embrace sustainability to stay ahead of the competition.
So, what are the different types of sustainable business practices that companies can consider pursuing so that they cater to the changing demands of their customers?
With globalisation comes the ease of importing and exporting goods. However, global transportation and aviation are one of the main contributors to greenhouse gases, aggravating climate change concerns. In order to reduce the carbon footprint, one of the best things a business can do is to rethink their supply chain – and this has to begin from the very start of the supply chain. For businesses that produce and sell products, they’ll first have to source materials responsibly and ensure that they embrace fair-trade agreements and the like. Thereafter, things such as reducing carbon emissions through keeping production local and doing what it takes to ensure that the physical goods get to the customers in an environmentally-friendly way are some of the key ways to make businesses more sustainable. Moreover, embracing such sustainable practices also means that the local economy will be optimally supported.
When relooking the supply chain, one thing that is often overlooked is the amount of energy and natural resources utilised to manufacture a product. While the initial cost of investing in infrastructure that uses green energy can be high, the long-term benefits always triumph over the impacts brought about by non-renewable resources and polluting fossil fuels. Does your business not manufacture products and do you only have a team of staff working in the office? Switching to energy-efficient appliances such as integrating automated lighting systems or using LED lights are simple steps that small businesses can take to not just save the planet but also money spent on bills.
Another aspect of the supply chain that can be altered to better embrace sustainability is to streamline the manufacturing process or re-analyse the packaging used. For many major businesses, the packaging is often a huge part of their operation, with many relying on plastic packaging. To facilitate a zero-waste initiative, consider recycled paper or cardboard packaging that can be recycled instead of plastics that cannot decompose and are eventually dumped in wastelands.
Of course, for all these practices to bring about a positive change, businesses must first educate their employees about all the issues at hand. Only through educating staff will they be able to see the big picture, understand the processes and new initiatives, and realise that they have a role to play in this and every little step counts.
There are many different paths that a business can take to become more sustainable. Whether they choose to restructure their entire supply chain or take things one step at a time, it is critical to start now and figure out which environmentally sustainable journey works best for them.
At Gunung Prisma, for example, we are committed to providing green solutions to our clients. From steel sourcing down to the technologies used during production, sustainability remains at the forefront of our business mission and vision so that we can make the world a better place. Adding to this, Liwa states, “Every organisation contributes to climate change and pollution in one way or the other. It is important that we all see that the climate crisis is a serious issue and that having sustainability practices in place can help reverse these adverse effects. No matter the solution, by simply taking into account our own carbon footprints and impact on the environment, we can do our part to help the earth and our communities.”