As businesses seek to integrate sustainable practices into their core business models, the issue is becoming increasingly important in the corporate world, reveals new research from Singapore-based continuing education and training provider NTUC LearningHub. However, more than half (56 percent) of employers do not have well-defined sustainability goals or strategies for their business, and only 14 percent are in the advanced stage of implementation, where at least one round of implementation of strategies has been completed.
The firm’s recently released Special Report 2022 on Sustainability also finds that 49 percent of businesses face challenges aligning sustainability goals with their overall company’s goals, while 47 percent cite a lack of knowledge and expertise in implementing sustainability strategies. The report aims to uncover the importance of implementing sustainable business practices, the demand for sustainability-related talent, and the priority skills required of employees by companies embarking on their sustainability journey. It also offers recommendations on key areas businesses can focus on in implementing sustainability initiatives.
While most business leaders (76 percent) cite the main reason for implementing sustainability goals as a social responsibility, more than half (59 percent) of them say implementing sustainable practices can help improve business outcomes. In fact, they reveal that having sustainability strategies helps to create a positive image for the organization (56 percent), encourages business innovation (53%), and protects businesses from environmental risks (46 percent).
However, 86 percent of business leaders agree that there is a gap in expertise and skill sets around the domain, and 36 percent say that their organization needs external help in implementing sustainable goals beyond awareness.
“The growing call for companies to adopt sustainable practices, and the transition to a low carbon economy and sustainable business model is no longer a choice,” said Tay Ee Learn, NTUC LearningHub’s Director of Technical Skills Product Division, in a news release. “Businesses adopting sustainable practices will not only mitigate business risks in compliance reporting, reputational risks and climate change, they can potentially reap benefits, such as enhancing operational efficiencies, innovating products and services, among others. Businesses should therefore view sustainability as a long-term investment and move forward from awareness to action. Businesses who are keen to kickstart their sustainability journey can consider tapping on external expertise, and/or upskilling their workforce to build capacity to sustain the journey.”
The report is based on a survey of 200 business leaders across different industries in Singapore and interviews with industry practitioners and experts from NTUC LearningHub.