The main challenges for businesses in sustainability in 2022

Sustainability in business will undergo several changes in 2022. More and more companies are implementing sustainable strategic management, which encompasses the entire business. The obstacles which still lie ahead must all be met head on: which are the most significant challenges of the year?

The main sustainability challenges for companies in 2022

Sustainability is doing well. It is being adopted in the management of both public and private companies. Given that it affects any area of an organization, it can be applied across different sections of the business. Businesses have found that this management method is not merely a regulatory imposition. Over time, it has become clear that sustainability creates a real competitive advantage as well as further business opportunities. Society responds positively to sustainable proposals, which manifest themselves in products or services. In addition, the application of this ecological approach to management makes the business more attractive to other stakeholders, such as investors.

Despite growing interest and awareness, the road to a sustainable economy remains long. There are still a number of challenges to overcome. In 2022, three stand out above the rest: engaging all company stakeholders and departments, raising awareness of sustainability’s impact on a business, and creating specialised teams within the workforce.

Implementing the right measures in this way will help contribute to a great step forward in sustainability. Companies that find the right solutions will be at the forefront of their sectors. This will not go unnoticed in our increasingly environmentally-aware society, which is why it is worth taking the time to delve deeper into each of the three challenges.

Engage all company stakeholders and departments

Sustainability strategies are interdisciplinary, as they affect multiple areas of the company. The problem with this challenge lies in the fact that actions vary from one department to another. This makes it difficult to make the right decisions, and can therefore slow down projects. Each party involved wants to work independently, which leads to poor results. 

Furthermore, they do so with their own performance measures and indicators, which makes teamwork even more difficult. To solve this problem, it is necessary to develop shared objectives, as well as to use standardised measurement systems and to centralise the information that is being collected. In this way, efforts can be effectively coordinated.

This challenge is significantly impacted by digitalisation. Using an IT platform, for example, facilitates the creation of shared strategies. Each area of the business will be able to understand the objectives or check their development collaboratively.

Raise awareness of the impact of sustainability on the business

This challenge focuses on demonstrating the importance of sustainability for the business. It is not simply a regulatory imposition: it also affects the running and progression of the company. With sustainability, the organisation becomes more efficient, reduces costs and enhances its reputation. It also helps to attract talent. 

An effort to raise awareness is vital in order to find a solution to this problem. To do this, it is necessary to show consistent, contextualised and well-argued conclusions. It is a matter of demonstrating to the employees themselves that the measures to be implemented will work. In other words, it is important to show that the pursuit of sustainability has a purpose and is not merely a symbolic gesture.

Sharing results with employees needs to be complemented by investing in training. Delivering the company’s results is not enough if the purpose is to have employees committed to change, which is why providing sustainability training is essential to internalize these principles. This will lead to better results, as the workforce will be fully involved.

Consolidate a specialised team

Although sustainability is a cross-cutting issue, sustainability specialists still need to be included in the workforce. These professionals bring a lot of value to the business, as they make up a specific professional niche. They are experts who can develop a holistic approach to management. Therefore, they are great coordinators and will achieve a robust and effective implementation within the company. 

When it comes to hiring these professionals, the focus should be on talented profiles. They will require an excellent CV, impeccable training and a consolidated track record, given that they will have significant influence in the company. They will carry the responsibility of sustainable management and will be in charge of not only making it a reality, but also realising its full potential.

The needs of the company must be taken into account when looking for the right profile. If the right profile cannot be hired, consultancy firms can make up for their absence with very good results.

In summary, sustainability in business in 2022 has to face up to these three challenges. Whether a company can overcome them or not will determine the company’s performance in the coming years. In addition, it is important to note that the role that digitalisation will play in the success of management will be significant, as having the right tools in place will pave the way for future success.

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