When selecting sustainability projects for your organization, it is important to note that like any investment, projects are expected to reap positive returns in the long run. Sustainability projects often see returns that improve efficiency and reduce resource use, resulting in increases in overall profitability.
A substantial barrier for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) when evaluating sustainability projects or attempting to create sustainability-related targets is a lack of available time, money or expertise within the organization to confidently make investments.
Governments, institutions and large multinational organizations have taken much of the action in combating climate change. However, one key sector remains largely unengaged: small to medium enterprises (SMEs), who represent over 90% of businesses in the world, 50% of global GDP, and account for 60-70% of industrial pollution worldwide.
Target-setting is the gold standard for ensuring long term sustainability. However, there is an apparent gap in the real estate industry. The 2016 Real Estate, Developer and Debt Assessments, conducted by data provider Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), found that only 45% of organizations assessed have set a carbon emissions target.
A recent report from global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company expects the consumer-packaged-goods market to grow by 5.3% annually for the next 10 to 15 years. Though the strong growth projection is great news for companies, investors and stakeholders, the report singles out a lack of sustainability as a factor that could slow a company's growth and diminish profits.