It’s been almost a year and a half since everything stopped in our company, since many of our companies had to stop their activity. And although over the course of several back-escalations we have regained the rhythm of life, neither life is as it was before, nor many of these companies have managed to move on. According to Social Security data for the month of April, in Spain there are around 90,000 fewer businesses than in February 2020, before it all broke. Those who survived the crisis, in many cases, have had to reinvent themselves – or are in it -, look to new business models that offer them alternative sources of income, and seek new ways of doing things.
Reborn is still an interesting opportunity, a perfect opportunity to try out what one day we think but do not put into practice, what we did not dare, or that the very dynamics of everyday life do not allow us to. to start up. Therefore, now is the perfect time to rethink how we want to be as a company, as a country, as a society. And in this sketch of our new profile, there is an essential element that must be looked at head-on: sustainable development. Sustainability has crept to the top of the global agenda and, without a doubt, the pandemic has only increased its importance.
For more than a year, the sustainability platform Quiero, in collaboration with the global network of sustainable brands, had conversations with 100 sustainability leaders from America, Europe and Asia to analyze this that has changed right now in this area, where sustainability will evolve, organizational trends and how we can accelerate the shift to a more sustainable economy. The conclusions of these dialogues have been reflected in the Guide “How to rebuild better brands” and from this publication, these five recommendations have been developed for companies that want to integrate sustainability at the heart of their business and take advantage of this moment. reinvention to help build a new future:
Set a goal for your business and achieve it. Today, it is no longer enough to earn money: companies have a mission to fulfill in the society to which they belong. For this reason, it is important that we decide what we want our contribution to be to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the UN, whether in their most social, environmental or good governance aspects. This goal must be realistic, achievable and capable of evolving over time. In addition, it must be contagious, integrated into the corporate culture and permeate each of its employees, because only in this way can it have a real impact outside the company.
Bet on a new model of leadership and governance. The era of the authoritarian boss is over: companies today need leaders who, through empathy, are able to motivate their employees and guide their steps towards a new objective which transcends the company itself, which establishes a new form of business management common to the whole industry. To do this, the manager must exercise a governance model that seeks a balance between the needs of his stakeholders (workers, investors, customers, suppliers) and his commercial objectives; who is committed to transparency and ethical behavior, avoiding conflicts and crises; and that it is aligned with its corporate purpose and that it is capable of differentiating itself from the competition.
Building a brand with values. A brand’s reputation isn’t just built on a good product or service: consumers increasingly value their commitment to the planet when making their purchasing decisions, and investors also demand that their investors use their money. to have a positive impact on the world we live in. in. For all these reasons, it is essential that the company bases its activity on authentic values, that it is able to promote social and environmental movements which are linked to the values of the company. Without a doubt, this will increase our awareness, our brand will be associated with these values and we will truly generate a lasting impact.
Choose providers who help you make a positive impact. A company’s supply chain largely defines its commitment to sustainability. Choosing suppliers guided by ethical, sustainable and human values, and distributors committed to the environment, will determine our impact on society and our carbon footprint. Establishing a system of alliances with suppliers who share our values is essential to bring about a change capable of regenerating the system.
Pursue innovation based on responsible consumption and circularity. A company that wants to stay connected with the changes and trends that mark society and the economy is always in a state of transformation, listening to consumers themselves, constantly looking for new processes, methodologies and products. This strategy of constant innovation must start from a concept of circularity that makes it possible to take advantage and reuse available resources. Supporting responsible consumption and the circular economy from the very essence of the company will be the key for our economic activity to be conscious, committed and sustainable.