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Sustainable Business Model

In today’s fast-changing world, organisations that strike the right balance between economic and environmental considerations throughout their energy strategy are more profitable and better prepared for long term success. In all senses, they are truly sustainable businesses.

Sustainable businesses keep these economic and environmental considerations in balance with one another when designing and implementing their energy strategy. They are successful because they know they cannot focus exclusively on profit without considering their environmental impact – this would lead to them being punished by consumers, shareholders, investors and employees who are looking to work with environmentally friendly brands. But at the same time, sustainable businesses also recognise that prioritising environmental concerns over financial performance would leave them without a viable business model.

By finding the right balance between economic and environmental considerations, sustainable businesses outperform their competition and drive long term business success. Businesses recognise that customers are choosing to buy from customers who prioritise environmental issues, creating a clear connection between financial and environmental concerns:

44%
believe that offering environmental products and services is very influential in a customer’s decision to work with them
35%
have changed their brand positioning to demonstrate they are environmentally friendly
30%
report increased company reputational benefits from investing in energy technologies

Centrica Business Solutions research - statistics based on a ten country survey of more than 1,500 energy decision-makers in large organisations.

The eight characteristics of sustainable businesses

To help guide organisations down the right path towards becoming a truly sustainable business, we created a Sustainable Business Model, with input from influential analysts and interviews with over 1,500 energy decision makers, as part of our Distributed Energy Future Trends report.

This model identities the eight characteristics that consistently underpin business success. In order to be a truly sustainable business, these traits must be executed in a manner that is both environmentally and economically balanced.

The first six of these characteristics – continuously innovates, adopts long term thinking, challenges legacy thinking, has a relentless customer focus, understands external trends and works to improve the environment – have a direct impact on the way energy is acquired, consumed and managed. Organisations that execute these traits in a way that is economically and environmentally balanced will be best placed to build an energy strategy that drives long term success.

Energy has an indirect impact on the final two characteristics – grows own talent and contributes to local communities. Nonetheless, a sustainable business will recognise that it’s still important to execute these traits in an economically and environmentally balanced way, since these characteristics will affect how successfully the energy strategy is integrated into the wider business strategy, and the results that will be delivered.

Prepare for a more sustainable future

The Sustainable Business Model was developed with the input of 1,500 interviews with energy decision makers in large organisations across 10 countries and 7 vertical sectors. Alongside the Sustainable Business Model, the Distributed Energy Future Trends report was also an outcome of that research. Download the report today to learn more about what it means to be a sustainable business, the changing role of energy, and the steps organisations should take to prepare for a more commercially and environmentally sustainable future.