Businesses face challenges in implementing sustainability initiatives

Photo by Andreas M

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the corporate world, as businesses seek to integrate sustainable practices into their core business models.

However, more than half (56%) of employers do not have well-defined sustainability goals or strategies for their business, and only 14% are in the advanced stage of implementation, where at least one round of implementation of strategies has been completed.

In addition, 49% of businesses face challenges aligning sustainability goals with their overall company’s goals, while 47% cite a lack of knowledge and expertise in implementing sustainability strategies.

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These are some of the key findings from NTUC LearningHub’s recently launched Special Report 2022 on Sustainability, which 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.

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.

It also offers recommendations on key areas businesses can focus on in implementing sustainability initiatives.

While most business leaders (76%) cite the main reason for implementing sustainability goals as a social responsibility, more than half (59%) 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 organisation (56%), encourages business innovation (53%), and protects businesses from environmental risks (46%).

However, 86% of business leaders agree that there is a gap in expertise and skill sets around the domain, and 36% say that their organisation needs external help in implementing sustainable goals beyond awareness.

Commenting on the report findings, Tay Ee Learn, NTUC LearningHub’s Director of Technical Skills Product Division, says, “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.

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.”