Environmentally-aware business owners are partnering up with like-minded businesses in order to tackle sustainability issues. By partnering with local businesses and local governments, businesses are pursuing collective agreements in order to reduce their environmental footprints. These partnerships are based upon a mutual agreement to reduce harmful environmental impacts, and promote the use of natural resources.
Earlier this year, Europe’s largest oil companies banded together to forge a joint strategy on climate change policy. This is just one example of coordinated commitments to combat climate change and other environmental issues. Other collective actions include the production of sustainable ink cartridges and joint policies, all aimed at tackling sustainability issues.
Stay Ahead of Policy
Businesses are often kept out of key government policy-making decisions. These decisions often have considerable impacts on the financial and operating policies of corporations. By banding together, businesses in industries such as mining and oil, can rethink strategies and practices that may otherwise be targeted by government intervention.
By becoming actively engaged in climate policy review, businesses can become involved in the debate and provide strategic solutions. This takes businesses out of defensive positions, and into forward thinking and management. These initiatives have also provided businesses with a favourable public image, demonstrating their commitment to a brighter and sustainable future for their valued customers.
Speak the same Language
Within niche industries there are certain ‘languages’ or practices, that only those within the business can understand. By banding together on sustainability issues, businesses can ‘speak the same language,’ and provide a united voice on key environmental issues. Rather than keeping a low profile on key issues, banding together makes the voice of businesses heard by both the general public and the government.
One of the key challenges facing businesses today, is making sustainability profitable. For this reason, many businesses have joined forces with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and other industry leaders, to produce business models that are successful and compatible with sustainable social and economic development. With a coordinated industry approach, businesses can find solutions which benefit the industry as a whole, or at least mitigate any financial consequences of policy changes.
Governments are increasingly reaching out to businesses and industry leaders in order to tackle issues of sustainability. This is because the private sector is the most influential institution in making sustainable development a reality. Without the institutional knowledge, capital and expertise of the private sector, implementation of policy goals would be near impossible.
The public relies on strong performing industries to keep our economy firing. By banding together, businesses magnify their impact on issues of sustainability. By using a cohesive institutional strategy and increasing private investment towards sustainable activities, businesses are becoming key figures in the fight for a greener future.
It is commonplace now for businesses to be governed by specific industry standards or policies. Over the last few years most industries have embraced sustainable development, by implementing industry wide development frameworks and goals.
An example of this is the work of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), an industry led forum which has developed and facilitates the implementation of industry wide standards. As a member of this group, businesses will only certify individual mining operations, that are compliant with the principles of the MCA.
Through the development of industry-wide frameworks and policies, key businesses are able to band together to tackle sustainability issues. Often harmful practices are a result of corporate systemic issues, deeply entrenched in ancient industry practices. By making a commitment to a brighter future together, businesses can become pioneers of environmentally conscious, profitable and sustainable practices.
Bio: Laura Costello is a recent graduate of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex topics to readers across a variety of mediums, in a way that is easy to understand.