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The Newest Competitive Edge: Fostering A Strong and Sustainable Company Culture

Fostering A Strong and Sustainable Company Culture
Published on Sep 13, 2023

In today's fragile economic conditions and a world filled with uncertainty, certain companies are growing faster than others.  

While the technologies these companies choose to operate their businesses on the matter, other factors that equally contribute to the cause include driving innovations for more profitable and sustainable business outcomes, capital that guarantees acceleration, and the right resources to hire more talented and committed employees. 

However, business leaders are feeling internal and external pressure to deliver on their corporate sustainability strategies. And these kinds of organizational shifts cannot happen without a culture change. 

With sustainability emerging as the new safety, organizations need to do something about it. By following the best way to persuade the board to take sustainability seriously, organizations can construct a financial business case. This would imply associating sustainable actions with profits, futureproofing the organization, and highlighting the connection between ESG ratings and investment capital. 

The bottom line here is - that if organizations fail to become more sustainable, they will be worth less money to investors, thereby making them less attractive for people to work for and with. 

Read more: Coldplay's Sustainability Scorecard: How the Band's Sustainability Report is Striking the Right Chords? 

Building a Sustainable Company Culture 

In today’s globalized world, sustainability is increasingly becoming an integral part of business. Reputation management, employment branding, and cost savings - many reasons have led to organizations embracing sustainability in their operations. 

To balance their financial, social, and environmental risks, as well as opportunities in the long term, organizations are now working to develop a sustainability strategy. 


A sustainability strategy involves reviewing a company’s purpose and mission and moving from a stakeholder-first mindset to a collaborative and nature-centered worldview that fosters value creation. It incorporates beliefs, ideologies, and processes that make up an organization.   

Creating a sustainable company culture is good for the environment and your business performance, employee engagement, and customer loyalty. However, sustainability cannot be achieved overnight or by following a checklist. It requires a strategic framework that aligns with the company's vision, values, and actions, along with the needs and expectations of the stakeholders. Industry leaders must engage and nurture those they work with to build a sustainable future for all.  

Convincing the Workforce 

Designing a sustainability strategy is one thing, but creating a sustainability culture is another. To succeed, the two must walk together in unison. But change does not happen easily. The onus lies on the leaders to find functional ways of making sustainability integral to the structure as well as operation. It is critical for leadership to set a transformation agenda and initiate an actionable framework for growth. 

Read more: ESG Investing Practices, Responsible Strategies, Progress, and Challenges: An Ultimate Guide 

Steps leaders can undertake to help people shift to more sustainable practices: 

  • Making a business case: Rather than focusing on the short-term impact, leaders should focus on the long-term repercussions of failure. They should examine how the organization can be affected in terms of reputation, ability to attract new talent and customers, and, ultimately, how their actions will affect the future of the planet. 

  • Measuring their sustainability maturity: By undertaking a sustainability culture assessment, organizations can understand how people across their organization perceive leadership’s commitment as well as their role in fulfilling the company’s sustainability pledge. 

  • Establishing a stream of transparent communication: Authentic commitment and transparent communication from senior leaders are critical for sustainability promises and, ultimately, the company’s sustainability success. 

  • Addressing employee concerns: Senior leadership should be aware of the underlying concerns across departments. To succeed, organizations need to establish a shared vision and path forward in a culture where concerns can be listened to and acted on. 

  • Fostering a culture of leadership across the organization: Recruiting passionate individuals from across the business as sustainability evangelists will help in communicating the organization’s goals and drive a new way for senior management. 

  • Setting sustainability targets: From the boardroom to entry-level employees, everyone should be aware of their part in the sustainability agenda.   

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Sustainability extends beyond the work environment. To build a sustainable culture, organizations must also put their trust in the next generation of leaders and empower them to grow and mature by learning from both success and failure. 

Read more: Sustainable Finance: How Companies are Going Green by Integrating Sustainability Strategies? 

Company culture is not about an individual; it is about many. Leaders need to be conscious about being deliberate and staying relevant by engaging with the next generation while seeking future leaders to share the attributes that will help sustain the company’s culture. 

Connecting With the Leaders of Tomorrow 

A culture of sustainability is one where organizational members have shared beliefs about balancing economic efficiency along with social fairness and environmental impacts. A sustainable culture also helps guide the members' decisions by setting and reinforcing expectations about what should be done, thereby cultivating a sense of identity. 

Engaging with the next generation of leaders should be a top consideration for CEOs. Company leadership should understand how Gen Z impacts board priorities like digital transformation, ESG, and CEO succession planning. To understand the requirements of this influential generation, leaders will have to strive to work to identify the critical components that they bring to the table. Having regular meetings with interns and weekly coffee-with-the-boss discussions, industry leaders can identify what matters to team members. 

Organizations with an efficient sustainability culture are striving to sustain a healthy environment and enhance the lives of others while operating successfully over the long term. 

Read more: SFDR: Understanding EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation 

Company culture

Building a Sustainable Work Culture 

Different industries, sectors, and business models inevitably have diverse goals, perspectives, and definitions of sustainability. And there is no escaping the fact that leaders need to establish the culture. If their goal is to adopt sustainability as a value, there are undoubtedly lessons to be learned and ways to incorporate best-in-class safety cultures and practices. Sustainability today has become a must-do, as the price of failure is not one any of the organizations are willing to pay. 

However, building a lasting sustainable culture requires leaders to reflect on the priorities of those who will sustain it. A company's commitment to people, prosperity, and the planet begins at its founding and aligns with an increasing expectation among customers and next-gen leaders. 

Today, the new generation of employees has high expectations for their employers and for businesses. They continue to believe that business leaders have a vital role to play when it comes to addressing social and environmental issues. To achieve greater sustainability, industry leaders must instill the right guidance and strong talent in place, as well as ensure that the culture they have built will continue long after they depart. 

SG Analytics, recognized by the Financial Times as one of APAC's fastest-growing firms, is a prominent insights and analytics company specializing in data-centric research and contextual analytics. Operating globally across the US, UK, Poland, Switzerland, and India, we expertly guide data from inception to transform it into invaluable insights using our knowledge-driven ecosystem, results-focused solutions, and advanced technology platform. Our distinguished clientele, including Fortune 500 giants, attests to our mastery of harnessing data with purpose, merging content and context to overcome business challenges. With our Brand Promise of "Life's Possible," we consistently deliver enduring value, ensuring the utmost client delight.  

A leader in ESG Services, SG Analytics offers bespoke sustainability consulting services and research support for informed decision-making. Contact us today if you are in search of an efficient ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) integration and management solution provider to boost your sustainable performance.