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Sustainable practices not just good for the planet, they drive 20% of financial results

Sustainability is good for business (Image: Shutterstock)

Sustainability is responsible for approximately 20% of a business’ financial results, countering the prevailing view that there is a trade-off between environmental performance and profit, a study shows.

The findings also reveal that ‘moral motivation’ is the biggest driver for companies looking to be more sustainable, with 87% of brands pointing to ‘environmental concern’ and 88% governed by ‘doing the right thing’.

The findings – from Supply Pilot and which have been published and further explained in the company’s latest white paper titled “from intention to action” – mark the first time that sustainability operational performance has been so deeply measured to assess business performance for retailers and brands.

According to the research, supplier collaboration is the most effective sustainable practice that businesses can undertake, when compared against product design, process design and customer collaboration. Supplier collaboration emphasises the need for brands and retailers to proactively engage with their suppliers, share data, establish mutual understandings of responsibility around sustainability requirements, and develop products that support brand sustainability goals.

James Butcher, CEO at Supply Pilot, said: “The study indicates that further improving sustainable performance can have a positive impact on financial performance. The best way to overcome the complexity of becoming more sustainable is through supplier collaboration. “We’ve seen from our work alongside brands such as John Lewis and Partners, Co-Op and Walgreens Boots Alliance just how beneficial sustainable practices can be for businesses’ bottom lines, and the data from this research bears that out.”

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