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Sustainability Consulting Myths –The Most Common Prejudices Against Corporate Sustainability Debunked

Sustainability Consulting Myths –10 Common Prejudices Against Corporate Sustainability Debunked

Do you want to learn about typical myths in sustainability consulting? Then you've come to the right place! Too expensive, too complicated, too insignificant - there are surprisingly many prejudices against sustainable action in companies that persist.

In reality, however, the advice provided in terms of Sustainability be the exact opposite of this: namely cost-efficient, simple and promising - for all companies of all sizes and in all sectors.

In this article, I would therefore like to dispel classic misunderstandings and myths about environmental and sustainability consulting and debunk them one by one. Let's go!

Good to know: About General sustainability myths I've put together a separate article if you're interested. But this one is specifically about the prejudices against sustainability consultants.

Myth 1: "Sustainability consulting is always the same anyway!"

Sustainability consultants at work

The idea that all sustainability consultancies are in principle Always the same, standardized tools, measures and solutions is far from the truth. As it unfortunately persists, it also leads many companies to believe that they do not need any support.

Since every company has its own individual structures, goals and challengesHowever, professional environmental consultants will of course always provide tailor-made advice for the respective company. The misconception that they only think and act in inflexible one-size-fits-all terms therefore belongs to the world of myths.

Myth 2: "Sustainability consulting is only for the really big companies."

In fact, many small or medium-sized entrepreneurs think that only mega corporations need sustainability officers or sustainability consulting, as they strict guidelines and the Meet the expectations of their stakeholders or interest groups have to. As a result, this myth often prevents companies from developing sustainably.

But in day-to-day practice Sustainability consultants Companies of any size optimize their processes, use resources more efficiently and thus strengthen their competitiveness.

There are even especially the young startups and small companies that benefit from consulting, because any adjustments and solutions can be implemented much more quickly.

Today's founders also have a higher demands on the ecological, social and ethical sense of their business modelswhich is why they are increasingly opting for environmental consulting even in the start-up phase.

Tip: Like Sustainable founding can work is explained in a separate blog article.

Myth 3: "Anyone can communicate sustainable progress, it's all greenwashing anyway!"

Another myth of sustainability consulting is that it is usually about Greenwashing (i.e. only one Feigned sustainability) when companies publish their ecological and social progress in a press release or sustainability report.

This erroneous impression is certainly due to the fact that the Term "sustainable" not protected is. And presumably also to the fact that some entrepreneurs consciously and brazenly more sustainable than they are.

But It is precisely this transparency in public relations work that makes a company more authentic and creates trust. Ultimately, it is neither hypocritical nor snobbish, but inspiring for other companies and people when a company openly and honestly pursues a sustainable vision and publishes partial successes. Sustainability consultants are on hand with help and advice.

Good to know: The companies that, due to such prejudices, for example Climate protection in the company will ultimately harm themselves (e.g. through competitive disadvantages).

4. "Sustainability consulting is far too expensive and hampers corporate success."

A typical misconception surrounding greater sustainability in companies is that the Financial outlay for specific measures very high and the effect on the company's economic return is extremely low. However, on closer inspection, environmental consulting is not expensive. What is more expensive is not acting.

After all, support from sustainability officers or consultants is a (one-off or accompanying) sensible investment that, among other things Competitive advantages (e.g. with environmentally conscious customers or applicants) and thus increases the company's profits.

Everyone should also be aware that Save costs through sustainable action let. For example, by using the waste production and the company's own CO2 emissions minimized or the Increased energy efficiency will.

The future-oriented focus and preparation for social or environmental legislative changes also reduce the risk of Risk of unexpected fines or serious damage to the company's imagewhich in turn would have resulted in at least a considerable loss of sales.

Good to know: Even companies with small budgets can generally afford sustainability consulting, as the environmental experts advise each company according to its individual circumstances and possibilities.

Myth 5: "Sustainability consulting is all about the environment."

Myth: "Sustainability consulting is all about the environment."

Another widespread prejudice against sustainability consulting is that it focuses exclusively on ecological and environmental issues. not on economic or social aspects within a company refers to.

But in reality, after the Three-pillar model (or the so-called triple bottom line approach). In other words, a holistic approach is taken that promotes ecological as well as social and economic sustainability.

Good sustainability consultants will find a healthy balanceThis means that the long-term success of the company is definitely not in danger, but rather increasingly likely.

6. myth: "Sustainability consulting is just a short-lived trend anyway."

The fact that the desired social or economic sustainability is only a matter of an entertaining fad is another mistake that can ultimately even threaten the economic existence of the company.

The reasons why sustainability is not a trend are also threatening. Would you like a few keywords? climate change, Rainforest deforestation, Plastic waste in the environment, planetary boundaries, Climate tipping points. We humans have put ourselves in great danger through our behavior on this planet - and need to change something.

Ecological change is inevitableto protect our and future generations. And more and more investors, politicians, consumers and, last but not least, good entrepreneurs are becoming aware of this.

In addition to the ecological factors, the social aspects increasingly relevant for them. Ethical and transparent action, respect for human rights in the supply chain, occupational safety and fair trade, for example.

Sustainable management is therefore not a fading trend, but rather a new way of doing business successfullywithout forgetting the environment and social interaction.

Myth 7: "It is sufficient to appoint a person responsible for sustainability."

Of course it's a good startto appoint a sustainability officer or a chief sustainability officer in their own company - or even to set up a completely new "sustainability department".

However, the long-term, sustainable development of a company cannot be achieved by 1-2 people. Rather it requires the participation and commitment of all employees. (and a kind of WE-feeling)

To achieve this, a link must be created between the ecological and social goals and the operational, day-to-day business. And that works by sustainability into the company's philosophy, in its DNA, so to speak. Only in this way is it possible to come closer to the goals we have set ourselves and not always prefer other objectives and measures to sustainable development.

Tip: Ideas for how you can Motivating colleagues to be more sustainable in the linked article. Have a look!

Myth 8: "Sustainable measures are difficult to measure and compare."

The alleged difficulty of measurability and comparability is another widespread myth of sustainability consulting. In practice, things look quite different: With the right tools, concepts and expertise, sustainability consultants can Clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and make progress measurable.

Here are some examples of possible Environmental and social KPIs compiled:

Ecologically relevant KPIs

  • Water consumption (including waste water volume)
  • Energy consumption (e.g. absolute or per product manufactured)
  • CO2 emissions
  • Amount of waste
  • Material consumption (or proportion of recycled materials)

Socially relevant KPIs

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Investments in further education and training or social commitment
  • Proportion of men and women in the team
  • Labor and social standards at suppliers

Such indicators ultimately make it possible to monitor the success of concrete, implemented measures and to optimize these where necessary. Sustainable development in your own company is therefore measurable - but it requires the cooperation of all departments.

Myth 9: "Sustainability consulting only makes sense for companies that manufacture products."

Experience has shown that manufacturing industries consume large quantities of energy through their supply chains and especially during the manufacturing process. natural resources. For example Energy, water or wood.

However, it is a typical myth of sustainability consulting that only these companies can act more sustainably. Service companies, trading companies and even non-profit organizations also have ecological and social potential that is waiting to be exploited. For example Paper consumption in the officeCO2 emissions from field service trips or deliveries.

Ultimately, every company can - regardless of the production context or industry - benefit from sustainability consulting.

Myth 10: "It's enough to produce a sustainability report."

Prejudice: "It's enough to produce a sustainability report."

Entrepreneurs who believe this prejudice to be true will not be able to improve sustainability in their business. not at all or much too slowly. Although a sustainability report creates transparency and provides information about their sustainable efforts, ultimately they are only fulfilling their accountability obligations by producing one.

However, this measure is of course still No guarantee for ecological and social progress. This requires Clear measuressuch as the development of a vision, mission and mission statement or targeted employee training. Such measures must be planned, implemented in day-to-day business and regularly monitored and optimized.

Sustainability consulting pays off for everyone!

Every company needs sustainability consultants in order to move safely and successfully into the future. The investment and adaptation pays off in the end both for the company and for the environment and our society. Sustainability consultants not only try to prevent negative effects, but also to have a positive impact.

Here today I have compiled some of the most persistent myths, prejudices and half-truths about sustainability consulting and cleared up some misunderstandings and errors. I think it has become clear that sustainability also means a great opportunity from an entrepreneurial point of view and does not represent a burden.

"The purest form of insanity is to leave everything as it is and hope that something will change."

Albert Einstein (more under Sustainability Quotes)

Do you have any questions, suggestions, other myths or your own experiences with sustainability in companies that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay open and sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Also Sustainable investing can be a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to increase their economic success and at the same time promote the environment and society. How this works and which Advantages of the green investment I will now explain to you in the linked articles.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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