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Don’t get left behind: the risks of procrastinating on sustainability

Don't wait until it's too late! Learn about the dangers of procrastinating on sustainability and the benefits of starting early.
TL;DR Embed
TL;DR: Addressing climate change is crucial for businesses, but many still procrastinate on sustainability efforts. Delaying can lead to disadvantages in disclosure requirements, reputational damage, and financial consequences. Early adopters of sustainability practices benefit from a better reputation, increased market competitiveness, and more favourable stakeholder perceptions.

In today's rapidly changing business landscape, addressing climate change has become a critical issue for companies of all sectors and sizes. The devastating effects of human activities on the planet are well-documented, and businesses are facing increasing pressure from customers, regulators, and investors to improve their sustainability. However, despite the urgency of the situation, many companies are still dragging their heels and waiting until the last minute to address the issue.

The risks of procrastination

Person looking worried at box of files

Disclosure requirements

Disclosure is coming. Sooner than later, your business will need to measure and report on its environmental impact. Waiting until the last minute to prepare will put your business at a significant disadvantage.

Companies that procrastinate are left in a frantic rush to get everything done in a limited amount of time. This increases stress; consumes valuable time and financial resources; and increases the likelihood of errors in reporting. To make matters worse, while one business procrastinates, their competitors make strides in sustainability. This makes the comparison during disclosure even more stark, highlighting the businesses that were proactive and those that were not. Companies that take the time to address their sustainability early on have a clear advantage, as they will have had ample opportunity to minimise their environmental impact and improve their sustainability practices.

Customers looking disappointed

Reputational damage

Companies that wait until the last minute to focus on sustainability may be seen as reluctant or uninterested in addressing the issue, which can damage their reputation and negatively impact their brand. Consumers and investors are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, and they are more likely to choose companies that have a good track record.

The issue of reputational damage is heightened when disclosure comes into play. If one company's disclosure is significantly worse compared to its peers, it can raise red flags and lead to a loss of trust. Negative disclosures can also attract media attention and lead to negative publicity. On the other hand, companies that have made significant efforts to reduce their environmental footprint and have transparent, well-prepared sustainability disclosures are often viewed more favourably by stakeholders, and can even attract new business opportunities.

Financial consequences

Companies that procrastinate on their sustainability may face significant financial consequences. For example, if a company is found to be in non-compliance with environmental regulations or reporting requirements, it may face costly fines and legal penalties. Additionally, the price of retrofitting existing operations to meet environmental standards can be significant, and waiting until the last minute may result in higher costs.

The benefits of starting early

Person looking at good progress chart

Businesses that prioritise sustainability are better equipped to handle the risks and capitalise on the opportunities presented by climate change. They understand the importance of reducing their environmental footprint and are proactive in implementing sustainable practices that not only benefit the environment, but also increase their efficiency and competitiveness in the market. This helps them maintain a strong reputation, secure their future, and attract customers, investors, and other stakeholders who are committed to sustainability.

To avoid the risks of procrastination and reap the benefits of starting early, consider using FutureTracker, the online platform that takes the complexity and pain out of sustainability, so you can focus on what really matters: making an impact. Book a demo today!

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