Feed Bites

Sustainability as a Value Creator: Top 4 Insights from Those Who Do

Written by: Guest   |   April 3, 2023

IFEEDER, Environmental footprint

By: Marisa Crowhurst, AFIA communications intern

Are you a “value creator?” If you haven’t heard this term – keep reading! McKinsey & Company recently conducted a global survey on how companies capture the value of sustainability. Below are four things I learned about the benefits of a company having a sustainability program within their organization from the Creating Value with Sustainability: Survey.”

Sustainability Value Is Expected to Nearly Double in the Next 5 Years

From the survey responses, McKinsey & Company found that 40% of respondents expected their company sustainability programs to “generate value in the next five years—nearly double the current share.” Currently, 22% of respondents from the survey realized modest or significant value from sustainability in the past five years. This shows an optimistic outlook for the future of companies with sustainability programs. While agriculture was not included in the survey, I think the findings are still applicable. Industries surveyed included automotive, electric power and natural gas, oil and gas, and travel, transport, and logistics.

You Want to Be a “Value Creator”

Companies with sustainability programs already in place that also identify as having created value from the effort have exhibited a strategic, purposeful approach in that their organizations address sustainability topics to fulfill their organizational purpose to align with their goals, missions and values. In other words, they have made sustainability part of their corporate culture. Whereas companies engaging on sustainability with the sole intention of conforming to industry norms or to meet a requested requirement driven by outside forces, for example investors or customers, aren’t creating value through their efforts.

Value creators are more likely than others to have sustainability programs with

  • Clear priorities.
  • Defined targets.
  • Key performance indicators.

Get Your Employees on Board

According to the survey respondents, “Sustainability is a more significant element of corporate culture and employee engagement at value-creating companies than at others.” At value creator organizations, employees receive training on integrating sustainability practices into their work, and the employees understand how sustainability efforts align with the company’s strategic, long-term plan. Similarly, the data shows that value creators put more effort than other companies into understanding their customers’ expectations and responding with changes to their products.

Make Sustainability a Priority

My final takeaway from this article is, “Value-creation leaders are more likely than others to make sustainability a priority in managing energy, water use and waste generation at their own facilities, as well as making decisions about their site portfolios.” The value creators are more likely to collaborate with and monitor suppliers in the value chain to ensure sustainability efficiency and look for improvements.

This leaves me with a question you should be asking yourself: is your company creating value when it comes to sustainability or are you being dragged along?

The Institute for Feed Education and Research has many tools that can help your company get on a path toward embracing sustainability. I invite you to check them out on IFEEDER’s website.

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