Sustainability is becoming a top priority for businesses, and it now plays a key role in corporate strategy for many organisations. Becoming a sustainable business can bring many benefits, such as building trust among all major stakeholders, adding brand value and increasing organisational efficiency. Atos, EcoAct’s parent company, has established seven key steps that businesses need to undertake to increase sustainability, create competitive advantage and leverage digital to achieve net-zero.
In a new video series, Nourdine Bihmane, CEO of Tech Foundations Business Line at Atos spoke with Thomas Husson, VP and Principle Analyst at Forrester Research to discuss the key steps businesses can undertake on the road to sustainability and the value these can deliver.
Step 1: Understand the implications of sustainability for organisations
The first step to sustainability is understanding what it actually means for organisations. Becoming a sustainable business will likely require profound and substantial organisational and cultural change. Sustainability cannot simply be added on to an existing business strategy, nor is it a quick-fix. Sustainability will be a transformational journey, requiring bold leadership, sustainable execution, and aligned stakeholders.
Step 2: Create and measure value beyond profit
Organisations need to measure the value they create from business activity, beyond profit maximisation. As business expectations expand beyond maximising shareholder value, investors and shareholders are increasingly scrutinising firms’ impact on the environment and society. Organisation’s should prepare to embed Environmental Social Governance (ESG) criteria into project governance and decision making.
Step 3: Build a sustainable business and operating model
To run a sustainable business, sustainability needs to be fully integrated into an organisation, within each business unit and function. Digitisation can facilitate this. It can help reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint through a reduction in energy, travel and waste. Efficient digitisation can support an organisation’s journey to net-zero.
Step 4: Build consumer and stakeholder trust through empathy
As consumer expectations increase to include climate action from firms, trust among stakeholders has never been more important. Building stakeholder and consumer trust requires authenticity from organisations and robust and long-term strategies to support claims of sustainability. Organisations should share sustainability performance, highlighting progress as well as shortfalls.
Step 5: Build employee trust and attract talent through commitment
Organisations need to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to build employee trust, and to attract and retain talent. Organisations with sustainability at the heart of their agenda have a competitive advantage in the talent race. Firms should work closely with HR and managers to train employees and support their involvement in sustainable activities. Organisations should look to foster a culture of sustainability to engage employees and share best practices.
Step 6: Drive sustainability through bold leadership and stakeholder alignment
Each business role and function within an organisation is impacted by sustainability, requiring action from the entire C-Suite. To achieve real change, firms often require visionary leaders who have the courage to set and achieve bold transformation. Chief Sustainability Officers should be empowered by company CEOs and be granted decision-making authority to deliver on sustainability ambitions.
Step 7: Understand how Atos can help you lead your industry on sustainability
Decarbonisation has long been a top priority for Atos, and we believe that through bold climate action a net-zero future is possible. With EcoAct’s expertise now firmly embedded into Atos, we can build on our own climate ambitions and help more and more clients reduce their emissions and transition to net-zero.
Atos is committed to delivering secure, decarbonised digital. The role of digital can be central to mitigating and reducing the consequences of climate change. Atos can bring unique value to help you lead on sustainability: concrete and achievable results with secure decarbonised digital at the centre of climate-action ambitions.
Click here to learn more about the Atos Net-Zero Transformation Practice and decarbonised digital solutions.