It’s easy to see how important sustainability has become over the past few years for any consumer-facing business. However, it is often overlooked how important this metric is for B2B as well.

Author Nick Saraev

Photo: Freepik

Society as a whole is evolving quickly, and new statistics show 72% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase from companies that do well on socio-political issues that they consider important. On top of this, 75% of respondents said they’re even prepared to pay more to do business with a company that operates responsibly. 

With B2B competition at an all-time high, it can be helpful to take a step back and look at what exactly you can do to stay ahead of the curve. 

What Are Sustainability Scores?

Sustainability scores are a type of KPI (key performance indicator) used to measure the environmental, social, and economic impact of a company’s operations. It is a measure of how well companies are doing when it comes to managing their operations in a way that is beneficial to the environment, their employees, and the community at large. 

The scoring system is based on a combination of factors, including the company’s energy use, water use, waste management practices, and the type of materials used in the production process. 

It also takes into account the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, as well as its policies on ethical labor and supply chain practices.

Why Do Sustainability Scores Matter?

Sustainability scores are important because they help businesses understand how the company is viewed in terms of sustainability and how it is performing in comparison to its competitors. 

Given the growing importance of sustainability to customers, sustainability scores are becoming increasingly important for B2B companies. Not only do sustainability scores make it easier to differentiate between companies, but they also help customers make more informed decisions about which companies to do business with. 

Sustainability scores can also be used as a marketing tool to demonstrate to customers that a company is taking an active role in reducing its environmental impact and is committed to supporting social and economic causes. They are also a great bargaining chip to attract top talent and gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

Sustainability Scores: An Important KPI for Manufacturing

For companies in the manufacturing industry, sustainability is an especially important KPI. it gives businesses a sense of how their sustainability practices are seen by customers, and how they stack up against the competition. 

In today’s increasingly competitive B2B landscape, having an understanding of how customers perceive a company’s sustainability efforts is vital. The increasing demand for ethical and environmental practices also means that companies must take steps to ensure that they are meeting customer expectations. 

Manufacturing processes are known to be resource-intensive and have a large environmental footprint, so companies need to be aware of their operational impacts and make changes where needed. 

Using sustainability KPIs to track their performance in this area can help companies to better understand the necessary steps to improve their sustainability practices. Companies can then make more informed decisions about the types of materials they use, the energy sources they rely on, and the waste management practices they implement.

What Do Customers Expect?

Consumers’ demand for companies to take their sustainability seriously is at an all-time high. Customers want to know that the company is doing its part to reduce its environmental impact and that it is treating its employees and partners fairly.

Customers also want to know that the company is investing in its local community and taking measures to ensure the long-term viability of its operations.

By tracking sustainability scores, companies can demonstrate to their customers that they are committed to reducing their environmental footprint and improving their social and economic performance. 

This can help to build trust and loyalty among customers and other stakeholders, which in turn can drive sales and increase profits. A company with a high sustainability score will be seen as a leader in sustainability, which can help it to stand out from its competitors and attract more customers.

Understanding the customer journey, and how to create value that actually counts is becoming much more important for companies to consider. Customers now have higher expectations, and with that comes more responsibility for companies. 

How to Improve Sustainability Scores

The exact criteria for good sustainability scores vary depending on the particular industry, but generally speaking, the higher the score, the better. Companies that score well on sustainability measures tend to be more efficient in their operations, use fewer resources, and have a lower environmental impact. 

There are several key KPI measures companies could consider to improve their sustainability score:

  • Supply Chain Waste: Reducing the amount of waste created in the supply chain is an important way to reduce environmental impact and increase efficiency. Companies should track their waste levels from all different aspects of the supply chain.Tracking waste from the very first stages of production — whether it’s a farm or factory — allows a company to understand its true sustainability impact. Then they can find ways to reduce them through better inventory management, recycling programs, and more efficient use of materials.
  • Energy Use: Reducing energy use is an important way to reduce costs and emissions. Companies should track their energy use in everything, including factories in the production process, offices, and transportation.This is a great sustainability KPI to measure and then find ways to reduce through energy-efficient equipment, renewable energy sources, and energy-saving practices. This will not only improve the environmental impact, but will also help save some valuable dollars.
  • Water Use: Although water is thought of as being one of the Earth’s most plentiful resources, when it’s polluted, it takes massive amounts of energy to make it clean and usable again.Reducing water use is an important way to reduce costs and emissions. Companies should track their water use and find ways to reduce it through water-efficient equipment, water-saving practices, and water recycling programs.
  • Carbon Emissions: Reducing carbon emissions is a key way to reduce environmental impact. Companies should track their carbon emissions and find ways to reduce them through carbon-reducing practices, renewable energy sources, and carbon offsets.By keeping track of the carbon footprint, companies can effectively find ways to make it smaller. The aim should be to be at least net-zero. As the company becomes more sustainable, it can become a positive source for the planet that helps heal — rather than contributing to more greenhouse gases.

Time to Make a Change

The time is now for companies to recognize that sustainability scores are a KPI measure that needs to be at the top of the list. Consumers are demanding more from companies, and it is our duty to give it to them. 

If you want to learn more about the ever-shifting landscape of Industry, Copperberg is the place to go. 

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