By Siva Kumar
Over the last decade, we have seen a growing preference for products made by companies that have built purpose and sustainability into their business model. Some of the world’s most successful and fastest growing companies have adopted care for the environment and a commitment to work to help solve some of society’s most pressing problems so that purpose and sustainability have become hallmarks of successful and respected businesses.
Research shows that consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment. In fact, millennials and GenZ are especially willing to pay more for products that contain sustainable ingredients or products that have social responsibility claims.
Being able to communicate that your company does good in the world is a competitive advantage that attracts and retains employees, helps protect against issues, and creates trust so that people will choose your services and your products over others again and again.
So what can companies do about it? Let us look at the different ways in which companies can make their products and services more sustainable. From committing to environmentally-friendly practices to using recycled materials to create long-lasting products to using sustainable energy, we will look at how doing well and doing good are intertwined, and why successful business strategies include both.
Understanding sustainable business
A sustainable business is an enterprise that has minimal negative impact or potentially a positive effect on the globe or local environment, community, society or economy. Sustainable businesses monitor the impact of their operations to ensure that their short-term profits do not turn into long-term liabilities.
For a company to operate sustainably, it has to not only consider the way materials are sourced and products are manufactured and packaged but also how they are dealt with when they are no longer needed. Sustainable businesses are guided by keywords like “integrity and effort” with a drive to innovate and shows creativeness and willingness to take on challenges and strong commitment to both local and global environmental preservation. By committing to sustainability goals like eliminating ozone-depleting CFCs from operations and becoming carbon neutral, companies can ensure that each new generation of core products they develop are kinder to the environment.
Designing environment-friendly products
Today companies from the world over are taking steps to ensure that their range of products, from conception to completion, are designed to be more eco-friendly by eliminating hazardous substances. A company like ours uses Heat-Free Technology to eliminate heat from the printing process thus consuming far less electricity in comparison to laser printers. You will also see this in high capacity ink tanks which significantly reduce environmental impact while boosting operational efficiency.
Most sustainable companies operate in a circular economy which means that the products they manufacture are more cost-efficient and are better for the environment. In an office environment, an example of this can be seen in printers that offer upto one-tenth* average printing costs, use upto one-eighth* of the average power consumption and can efficiently print large volumes of pages in a minute.
Building sustainable work ethic
It is not just in the products that companies embrace the desire to build purpose and sustainability “into the details” of innovation but it is also translated in the way they design their offices and solution centres. At Epson we have adapted Workspaces that are designed to be more energy efficient with layouts that allow resources to be better shared, enabling collaboration across teams that produce the best work.
In their quest for sustainability, organisations should commit more to corporate social responsibility and make significant contributions to global corporate climate change and social issues advocating human rights, environmental action, workforce diversity, and sustainable sourcing in supply chain management. Companies can do well by doing good—specifically by adopting the broader perspective of serving all stakeholders rather than merely the shareholders.
One thing is for certain: companies must work and grow together with communities to help create a better world. In order to meet the vision for a sustainable future, companies must dedicate themselves to laying the groundwork for a low-carbon society and lead a journey to keep educating the public and engaging the society for a longer lasting impact.
Epson is using its original efficient, compact, and precision technologies along with open innovation initiatives as vehicles to drive innovations that will enrich the world and make it a better place. Our goals are the same as those of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations.
To realize a better world for future generations, Epson will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by looking hard at solutions to social issues, trying new ideas and methods to create new value, and providing surprise and delight that exceeds customer expectations.
(About the author: Siva Kumar is the Senior General Manager of InkJet printers, Epson India)
Views are personal.