The Importance of Sustainability in International Expansion

Sustainability is one of the key concerns for businesses and organisations at the moment – particularly when it comes to international business. But for some companies looking to expand internationally, considering their impact and acting sustainability isn’t yet second nature. If you’re looking to go global, here’s why you should be thinking of the long-term, and expanding your business abroad with sustainability in mind.

Why Businesses Are Lagging Behind in Sustainability

Many chief executives will already have a goal of fully integrating sustainability across their companies in the near future, more so now than ever before. But implementing sustainability can sometimes be a challenge, especially when expanding into international market localities.

Sustainability, as classified by the UN, spans environmental, social and corporate governance principles, including supporting a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertaking initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, and encouraging the development and implementation of environmentally friendly technologies.

Businesses can feel challenged by the practicalities of implementing such values into their business models, especially in the case of the international expansion of business, which involves global supply chains.

Environmental policies you may be looking to implement could include the reduction of your carbon emissions, greener supply-chains and energy- and water-efficiency strategies. On the social side, you could implement targets for diversity and equal-opportunities, better work-life balance for employee, and improving health and safety. Avoiding exploitation and forced labour within supply chains is also becoming an area of concern for businesses, with many implementing new due diligence best practices to identify and tackle such issues.

How Businesses Can Improve and Become More Sustainable
Acting sustainable doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. It can be as simple as finding ways to give back to the local communities your business operates in, whether through employees volunteering their time or through charitable measures, as well as offering internships to those in the community. Sustainable business practices are very likely to be embraced by employees, consumers, and other stakeholders, more so now than ever before.

The extent to which you will need to overhaul your current practices to become more sustainable will, naturally, vary greatly depending on the individual company. It could be just a few changes that need to take place, or the business could require a complete restructure and strategy refocus. If your business has a long way to go, the most important thing to remember is that as long as the intention is there, gradual and slow change is much better than no change at all.

Also, implementing a new, more sustainable business model can also offer opportunities, by opening or even creating new markets, and reaching new customer bases.

The first step is to start a dialogue with stakeholders on how the process should be carried out, how it should be measured, and how its results should be reported on.

If you’re looking for support on how to become a more sustainable global business as you expand internationally, you may want to seek expert advice on how best to implement it within your company. Contact Galvin International for further information on how we can help and support you through this process.

 

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