Our fourth Sustainability Milestone Blog looks at Value Creation. This milestone is about capitalising on the groundwork made during the first three Sustainability Milestones and how your business can add value to its products or services to improve the sustainability of the entire process from cradle to grave. Adding value can improve your market share and even create openings into new markets.
There are many angles and opportunities to create value. These are likely to be a combination of making improvements or developing new products or services and then, most importantly, sharing the message with your customer, or perhaps an investor.
There is no ‘one size fits all’
Being more sustainable offers an opportunity to differentiate your product and services from your competitors.
For example, you could go down the path of value chain analysis where you map out activities that add value for your customer from the choice of materials used to produce the product or service through to its use or delivery and, finally, disposal. This would include analysing the potential to add value (from a sustainability perspective) across key areas of inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service.
Depending on the type of product you are selling, you might use eco-design tools to develop new, more innovative products or review your existing product by considering items such as material choice; operating and distribution impacts; recyclability; and lifespan.
Other opportunities to create value are by forming strategic partnerships with other organisations. This could include service providers, suppliers, industry groups, associations or perhaps engagement with a university that could help research a specific problem or test a new product.
You could consider third party certification, for example Climate Active Certification to show your organisation or product is carbon neutral or maybe become a certified B Corporation to demonstrate commitment to sustainability. You could also consider an ecolabel such as Global GreenTag.
After having made the improvements, it is important to promote to your customers how your products and services are more sustainable. This could be via social media and use of green labels on products or business correspondence. You can take the opportunity to educate your customers on items such as:
- use of recycled content
- use of advanced materials
- lightweight packaging
- use of alternate, more environmentally friendly materials
- longevity of your product over your competitors
- use of recyclable materials
- end of life takeback programs
- carbon neutrality
- zero waste, water or energy use in your product or service
- greater energy or water efficiency over your competitors.
What opportunities can you think of to create value within your organisation? In our next Blog we will discussing what it means to be a Sustainability Leader.
To find out more, view our free training video which explains further about the five steps towards improving business sustainability and how you can take them within your workplace.
You can also book in a free 20 minute consultation to discuss how your organisation can achieve its sustainability goals more quickly and efficiently.