Sustainability is the ability to meet our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs while maintaining and supporting the environment, society and governance processes over time. Data & analytics is key to delivering sustainability.
Sustainability and data – a match made in heaven?
There’s been a seismic growth in the role data can play for brands and organisations that put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.
You may already be using data dashboards for your business, but what about tracking your whole sustainability journey?
We want start by showcasing some of the key facts and statistics being highlighted by two global events that speak about a much-needed topic (sustainability), World Oceans Day and World Environment Day:
- Oceans make up 70% of the planet’s surface
- Containing roughly 97% of the water on Earth
- Greenhouse Gas levels are higher than they have been in 800,000 years
- The world’s seas have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat from these gases
- By 2050, sea levels are predicted to rise between 1 and 2.3 feet
- Average sea levels have risen over 8 inches (about 23 cm) since 1880.
What myths have you heard about sustainability?
That it would hurt your profits as a business? That it is a luxury only afforded by the few?
The good news is we are going to bust these myths about business sustainability, with stories from companies who have integrated sustainability into their strategies, helping not only the planet but also improving their business.
Myth 1 – being sustainable only adds costs to your business…
…Truth 1 – going green creates additional value for your business.
The number one myth about sustainability is that it is not profitable.
According to the Guardian, S&P 500 companies who have sustainability integrated into their strategies see an 18% higher ROI, because of the way they are managing and planning for climate change.
“We’ve been studying the sustainability initiatives of 30 large corporations for some time. Our research shows that sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns”.
Sustainability means growing your business while positively impacting the environment. Businesses that monitor their resource usage, for example – water, soil, and natural resources – as well as tracking the return on these resources, will have the benefit of potentially dramatically lowering costs.
Measuring their usage of resources and reducing wastage not only provides a number of benefits to the environment, but it also makes good business sense too.
Sustainability trends have shown a clear shift in consumer behaviour, with sustainability becoming a major factor in customer’s purchase decisions. Nielsen reported, “a whopping 81% of global respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment”.
With consumer sentiment shifting drastically to a more environmentally-conscious position, it will not be long before regulations in countries change and adapt with the times. Therefore, businesses that are prepared will reap the rewards and have numerous advantages over their competitors.
Myth 2 – sustainability is a luxury for the few…
…Truth 2 – sustainability is a focus for the many.
Sustainability is not a luxury reserved for the few or the rich, in developing countries there have also been some notable examples of businesses utilising sustainable business practices to significantly reduce their costs. A 2011 McKinsey survey found that in fact, 33% of businesses were using sustainable practices to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.
In the Philippines, the Manila Water Company simply focused on water lost from various leaks in its pipes, from 1997 to 2010 the supply of water they recovered is equal to a medium-sized dam, which would have cost a massive $750 million to build.
The benefits of sustainability dashboards
The number of benefits sustainability dashboards can have to businesses are endless, with every Ikano Insight data dashboard being a bespoke solution tailored to your brand. You choose what to measure, giving you complete flexibility for your business and your sustainability goals, whether you’re trying to:
- Focus on your priorities
- Communicate with your stakeholders
- Celebrate your successes.
Dashboard features to enhance your sustainability journey
Whatever your sustainability journey holds, there are a number of dashboard features that will help along the way:
- Make your data accessible and easy to understand across your whole organisation
- Track changes month by month, week by week, or even day by day
- Capture and tell your sustainability story
- Strengthen your brand communications
- Create stronger relationships with your customers
- All based on real data, real insight, real impact.
At Ikano Insight we understand the complex problems businesses are facing, sustainability included. Our team are experts at simplifying your data, helping you understand incredibly complex challenges, and empowering you with the knowledge you need to make the right business decisions and take the right actions.
But to become truly sustainable, you must ensure that your actions make good business sense and are embedded in the plans and processes of your entire organisation.
It’s also vital that those actions with the biggest impact are measured effectively – only then can your ambitions be fully achieved. If you think about your business, there is a constant need to understand the metrics to make informed and intelligent decisions. It’s the same with sustainability goals; what gets measured gets done.