In today’s world, one thing that matters the most to individuals, start-ups, or conglomerates is IMPACT. What are they leaving behind or going along with? What are their values? How are they helping society? How is the environment affected by their business? These questions pop up in everyone’s mind on a daily basis. Many times we hear stories about oil spills, waste dumping, unethical practices of animal testing, etc., and then even as consumers of these types of brands we feel conscious and don’t want to support or relate to such companies. Here is where sustainability in business comes in.

Sustainability in business is the incorporation of ethical business practices into a company’s operations, corporate strategy, and decision-making procedures. It entails taking into account how corporate operations affect the economy, society, and environment while aiming for sustainable growth that extends beyond quick short term profits. 

Millennials & Gen-Z

I believe that millennials and the Gen-Z today are more conscious about where their product is sourced from. They want to extend their ideology of being environment friendly, people friendly, and anti- animal cruelty beyond their immediate surroundings. They want the brands they consume to have ethical practices and companies that align themselves with these changes are going to see a change in their popularity and bottom line.

This change is a result of a plethora of factors. Firstly, climate change has made people more aware of the fact that the planet is in dire need of some changes. With catastrophic oil spills that killed ocean life for miles to dumping of factory waste in rivers to hazardous AQI in cities, people started realizing that a cycle of destruction has been set into motion. Then came Covid that propelled this cause of sustainability manifold. People and governments realised that a lot still needs to be done to ensure the carbon footprint we are leaving behind does not affect future generations adversely. 

Sustainability is not just about the environment, sustainability also means upholding human rights. Businesses today make sure that their operations, supply networks, and commercial practices don’t contribute to social evils including child labour, forced labour, discrimination, or exploitation. This entails vetting suppliers carefully, being open about the source of raw materials, and following human rights standards all along the value chain. 

You will notice that earlier the advertisements of the brands used to tell a story about their products and now you will see advertisements projecting their ideology or what they believe in. Feminine products show themes of women empowerment, health products will show themes of environment consciousness, and so on.

Businesses that place a high priority on sustainability are better able to adapt to changing laws, consumer tastes, and market dynamics, ensuring their long-term viability and resilience.

Businesses today must be sustainable, it is no longer an option. We have to ensure that we are able to pass on what we have enjoyed throughout our life to our future generations. As consumers, we must question businesses regarding their ethical practices and also become responsible and more thoughtful of our choices.