Embed Impact in your Business with our new Impact Strategy Program. Register now.

Interested in maximising your impact?

Get in touch

Five Strategies for Creating Sustainable Businesses

By Vidhisha Masrani  |  
June 9, 2021  |  
4 minutes read

Businesses can’t succeed in a failing society. 21st century companies need to deliver shared value – that means doing well and doing good. Shareholder primacy as a concept has become obsolete and stakeholder power is here to stay. In this dynamic environment where companies are expected to do more and be of more value to society, are companies ready? 

Companies need to consider and include all their stakeholders and take action towards becoming a trustworthy, purpose-led business which performs well on ESG factors and sees the opportunity in the underlying challenges. Tackling global issues like those laid out by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can make business sense and create value to society. Investing in sustainability needs a robust business case that is not just a cost, a PR move or a check-box exercise; it is an investment in the long term health and success of the business and its place in society. 

How do companies find the right strategic framework to succeed in this way? Here are 5 ways for companies to make a sustainable difference:

1. Apply a Holistic Impact Lens

For businesses to be truly sustainable, looking at impact through a singular lens like ESG, CSR or UN SDGs doesn’t really cut it. Impact needs a holistic lens and hence a more holistic strategic approach. At Maanch we have created Net Societal Impact (NSI) – a 360 degree approach to embedding impact in your decision-making process. 

2. Engage Employees in the Company Purpose

Impact begins with purpose and purpose begins with collaboration. As the first step towards their journey to Net Impact, companies should aim to foster cross-functional collaboration and company-wide alignment on the organisational purpose. For its successful implementation, employees need to be convinced of the authenticity of leaders so there is genuine buy-in to their company’s purpose. This can be enabled through a culture of transparency and innovation – making information available, empowering employees staying agile and responsive to the needs of the market and society at large.

For an Impact Induction exercise that is tailored to your organisation, write to info@maanch.com to sign up for our new Impact Masterclass series.

3. Involve Stakeholders in the Solution

Addressing systemic issues requires a holistic approach. One company with the right intention cannot solve the complex, interconnected global problems. A race to the bottom of resources, and the wanton depletion of public goods and our natural environment spells ruin for all. Hence leaders need to be brave, adopt a long term perspective and involve stakeholders as a part of the solution. Screening supply chains, vendors and partners for industry-specific compliance standards and listening to customer sentiments about questions on the origin of your product can go a long way in imbibing sustainable business strategies. Regulators need to be kept close too. Learn how we worked with a leading coffee company on their quest to become more sustainable. 

4. Use Tech to Measure and Track Impact

To embed purpose and impact, new metrics need to be created and tracked over time. Over-use of the planet’s resources holds a big cost for everyone but if it’s not measured, outcomes are likely to remain the same. A company’s responsibility does not end at setting big Net Zero targets. Businesses should create an environment of transparency and accountability that begins with setting a clear impact measurement and tracking mechanism to help them stay on track with their impact targets. At Maanch we are building an Impact Dashboard to enable companies to easily identify, visualise and communicate their impact across their business activities. 

5. Attract Responsible Investors

A re-evaluation of companies is underway. Investors now see the risks involved in investing in irresponsible companies. There is an imminent threat of losing market share, talent, customers, suppliers and other investors if ESG performance remains poor. Investors want to see the opportunity for strong financial returns alongside benefits to the planet and society. Companies need to identify the right investors for their journey; those who will support their ambitions for financial and social value. A mutually reinforcing relationship will benefit both through a joint emphasis on positive non-financial impact in areas that really matter. Collaborative engagement between investors and companies can help companies set ambitious sustainability goals and get the funding needed to stay on track in achieving their impact targets. 

In summary, the business sector faces a number of interconnected challenges as stakeholders expect them to be both profitable and good for society and the planet. Some companies are already rising to these challenges but many find it hard to know how to bring all the pieces together to design and deliver a robust impact strategy. The NSI framework above is one way to start that journey. 

Blog by Maanch team member Vidhisha Masrani.


Receive Monthly Maanch updates right in your mailbox

Email

To receive updates from Maanch sign up here

Was this article helpful?

Other Blogs

Blog

Top 3 Benefits of Using Engagement Tracker

Investors are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their stewardship and focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) engagements. Studies have shown that companies with high ESG ratings have lower volatility and higher returns, making it an important consideration for investors. However, traditional methods for engagement management are becoming increasingly outdated and ineffective. Spreadsheets and manual processes are prone to errors and lack advanced analytics capabilities, making it difficult to manage a portfolio effectively.

Asset managers are turning to technology to help manage their investment portfolios effectively. Portfolio management software, risk management software, analytics and modelling tools, ESG research tools, and client portals are all tools that asset managers use to manage their portfolios. However, these tools do not focus specifically on stewardship and engagement activity, which is crucial for responsible investment.

The Maanch Engagement Tracker is a holistic tool that streamlines processes and has an open API for internal and third-party integrations. It allows easy and effective capture, analysis, and reporting of every engagement with portfolio companies in real-time, aligned with the latest ESG taxonomies. This increased efficiency, better risk management, and improved communication can revolutionize the way asset managers manage their portfolio engagements.

In conclusion, the Engagement Tracker is an essential tool for any investment portfolio. It offers a wealth of benefits that can help asset managers make informed investment decisions, identify opportunities for diversification, monitor ESG exposures and mitigate risks, and comply with regulations. Adopting this technology can be the key to unlocking the potential of responsible investment and achieving better financial performance for investors.

Read More January 23, 2023
Blog

Shaping Responsible Investing

This post delves into the topic of responsible investing and the steps needed to create a sustainable and ethical economy. It features an interview with Julie McDowell, an experienced Independent Consultant in Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment, who shares her insights on the evolution of responsible investment in a conversation with our Chief Impact Officer, Sianne.

Read More January 23, 2023
Blog

Rounding Up COP27: Key Developments for Investors and Companies

When we close our eyes and think of a net-zero world, most of us probably […]

Read More November 28, 2022