Once you have begun to build a solid internal structure based around making a positive impact, there are a number of external benefits to be found on the path to net zero; improved consumer engagement is key.
According to Rajagopalan: “It’s up to each SME to decide how they want to play this, but the underlying principle here is data transparency – providing assets in a way that is available for different audiences to consume.”
Whether it's through product labelling, marketing campaigns, tech plugins (like Stripe Climate), or membership decisions (like B-Corp), communicating ESG values effectively can provide business with a newfound USP.
“I think what we've seen with a number of case studies of high growing companies is that you can now have profit through purpose. By creating a company that is actually purposeful at its core, it can be used to create a competitive advantage in quite saturated markets,” explains Ghaffari. “There are customers out there that are looking for products that align with their values; they're going to be more loyal and more willing to use your product again.”
And even for B2B companies, where ‘consumers’ are businesses themselves, there is a big space opening up for sustainably-minded companies. As businesses look to progressively green their supply chains, the eco-accreditation of suppliers and service providers are becoming increasingly important. ESG considerations are hugely influential when it comes to B2B relationships.