Advocating for Sustainability in your company

You are passionate about the sustainability, but the company where you work seems indifferent about it? What can you do to change that? Find out in this article!

Hello there!

Some time ago, I was searching for some new perspectives, ideas which could be interesting to write about. Then I asked community on Mastodon, and as always, they've responded with some interesting ideas.

The first I'm going to write about here is How to Advertise Ecological Sustainability to Higher-Ups. In other words - how to sell sustainability to your for-profit company. Thanks, @gohlisch!

We live in a capitalist society where profit is everything. If you can't grow your profit, you can't survive, most of the time. So, sometimes, although a bit illogical, you need to make a case for the logical stuff. And one of these topics are sustainability and the overall impact on the Planet.

How can we do that?

Cost reduction

When I first saw the question asked above, my immediate response was - cost reduction. I started with the engineering side of my brain, and focused on the infrastructure and amount of resources you're using. And yes, this could be one of the things we can reduce costs of. But, there are a plethora of other things we can take into account when trying to reduce costs. Some of them include:

  • use electricity from renewable energy sources in your offices and/or stores,
  • if your business allows it, switch to hybrid or remote way of working,
  • examine your supply chain for possible switch to cheaper and greener alternatives,
  • check where and how your IT infrastructure is running on.

From my perspective, this could be one of the major selling points for sustainability to the higher ups.

Now, there are a couple of more things you can focus on besides cost reduction.

Improve the unknowns

Environmental and supply risk can be improved by moving to renewable energy sources. By moving to wind and solar power, companies can have the greater security over their energy resources. If the price of coal or oil skyrocket, it will not be a problem for your company.

In one sentence - you can control where you get the energy from.

Aaaand, moving to renewables is becoming cheaper and cheaper, each year.

Positive publicity

With sustainability being a trend, going green can improve the publicity of your company. And publicity is (almost) everything these days.

If your company focuses on sustainability, it will be a positive impact on the brand, company's image, and overall marketing.

People will buy your product(s) more

Some research shows that people will buy products more, if they are good for the environment. If your company focuses on building quality products without the built-in end of life, and focuses on repair rather than selling a new one instead, it can significantly impact the overall environment footprint.

Here, I'm not referring to Apple quality of the product, I'm referring to the Fairphone quality.

Retaining and attracting employees

When people see that the company they're working for is putting its environment footprint at the helm of how they do business, people will feel better. They will think of their work as meaningful.

And Victor E. Frankl said:

Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.

This will also work in attracting new talent. New talent that will bring new perspectives, thought processes, ideas. Possibilities are endless.


Now, as in everything in life, you can do things the right way, or you can half-ass them. In order to be good for the environment, as a company, we actually need to:

  • Reduce the costs of energy and resources you're using in our daily operations (e.g. the amount of servers the application is running on if there isn't that much traffic to it).
  • Switch to renewable sources of energy.
  • Focus on the quality of our products rather than the quantity.
  • Focus on repairing instead of buying (or selling) a new product.

The amount of profit we can all have is finite. And as the profit is finite, as is the growth itself. Focusing and investing in more sustainable ways of working, we make sure that we are aligned with the Planet and its resources.

More information

Researching this topic, I found a rather comprehensive article from Harvard Business School linked below. I used it as an inspiration, for guidance, and overall research.

Making the Business Case for Sustainability
How can you make the business case for sustainability in your organization? Here are 8 ways sustainability can pay off financially.

Additionally, if you'd like an optimistic view of the climate crisis, check out the Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet, by Hannah Ritchie. I just read it recently, and the optimism in it is quite helpful. Even though, for this kind of problem, we need pessimists as well.

Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet by Hannah Ritchie
Feeling anxious, powerless or confused about the future of our planet? This book will transform h…

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In any case, see you in the next article!