“You can print money, but you cannot print time” (M. Viehöver)
…but time needs to be invested wisely to achieve sustainable economies. Why?
The positive economic impact of business to society is more and more devalued by negative environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts. Climate change, biodiversity loss and preventable health costs are some of the most evident societal issues: We need to act now to prevent significant further losses to societal value.
As a result, stakeholder expectations and public requirements for businesses to become sustainable are increasing. These developments can turn into material risks as well as attractive opportunities for companies and investors. A sustainability strategy that is disconnected from the overall business strategy lacks the potential to manage risks and seize these opportunities. Such a rather PR-like ESG approach will also likely damage your reputation among your most important stakeholders: your employees, clients, and business partners. They are the first ones to notice the gap to your business practices.
In our view, the integration of sustainability / ESG into your strategy should aim at generating net positive impacts, balancing the societal and business cases:
Societal case: an organization’s sustainability strategy impacts…
- the environment (e.g. emissions)
- the social development (e.g. training & education)
- the economic value added (e.g. by creating jobs and infrastructure)
Sustainability integration and stakeholder perception also influence the business case:
- Impact on profits (e.g. through reduced costs / higher market share)
- Impact on company valuation (e.g. cost of capital)
In our experience, consistently managing these impacts cannot be based on a one-size-fits-all approach (as offered by most frameworks). The PI approach is designed to adjust to your ambition and business context.See how