Sustainable entrepreneurship: what is it and what are the challenges of the sector?

O sustainable entrepreneurship has been gaining prominence wom o advance of climate change and, consequently, of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in companies. Although, O concept is not only related The actions to reduce dependence on natural raw materials It is fuels fossils.

In this context, the management of business it must be aligned with environmental factors to initiatives to social impactl. This because sustainable development is only possible to the benefit positively employees and community.

One study 2019 dUnion + Webster, agency North-American of research, revealed what 87% of the Brazilian population prefers to buy products and services companies sustainable. 70% of participants would not mind in pay more for it.

SXSW: among the event panels are presentations and debates on climate change and sustainability in businessSource: SXSW

Therefore, the sustainable entrepreneurship stands out Por two aspects important: competitive factor It is Business model. The theme including is featured in important national and international events,omo o south by SouthWest (SXSW), which will to happen from 8 to 16 of March in Austin, USA.

The meeting brings together relevant people from the technology, film, music, education and culture industrieswhich discuss trends and insights on a global level. On the agenda are topics what should impact businesses across the planetsuch as energy transition It is business sustainable.

Sustainable entrepreneurship seeks to balance social and environmental aspects us business don't just focus nrevenue collection and servingment of marketing demands. Thusfinancial goals go hand in hand with sustainability goals.

The segment also includes business green or social in an innovative way, like some startups. There is also the category of greentechsstartups that have environmentally positive products, services or technological solutions.

And how to adopt a strategy sustainable? That involves study of activities, action plans, control strict in all steps and operationsin addition to evaluating results. The proposal also includes transparency reports and stamps or certifications – which may vary depending on O sector of acting —, whose objective is to prove the implementation of socio-environmental goals.

ANDthere are more than 30 sustainable certifications in Brazil, as Corp B, ESG Certification, Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) ISO 14001 and others.

How can entrepreneurship promote sustainability and social responsibility?

A business sustainable and socially responsible practices must add environmentally correct practices to actions aimed atIt ismy well-being employees and consumers. In both cases, initiatives must occur spontaneouslyo, therefore, without a legal obligation.

On an ecological level, companies choose to:

  • reduction in consumption of water and energy
  • control emissions of polluting gases
  • renewable sources (such as solar and wind)
  • less polluting raw materials
  • carry out recycling
  • waste reduction of inputs It is others.

Already the social responsability no if refers to an objective of social assistance, but of actiontions that can benefit people, by means of education projectshealth, well-being It is culture. Externally, it is possible to make donations, volunteering, events and lectures, education coursescar consumers about some topicO market etc.

garbage recyclingSustainable companies reduce input waste, recycle and use renewable energy sources in all operations.

In the internal environment, occurs to Premoval of diversity in teams, benefit and mental health events, in addition to human management, organizational valuestransparency and others.

What are the challenges of sustainable entrepreneurship?

A execution dand measures of entrepreneurship sustainablel in companies is one of its main challenges. After all, it requireser changes, control and analysis of results in all levels of its internal and external operations. But there are other factors importantas shownrelet's follow.

Risk of greenwashing

O false understanding or application dIt is measures effectively sustainable may occur to serve rules or demands of regulatory bodies, investors and consumers. This kind ofsvio is classified as greenwashing (“washing green”, in Portuguese), consisting to highlight projects, products and services socio-environmental, What a in practice there are no or fall into contradiction.

For example, a company makes a high investment in solar energy, however, it has no control over recyclables, water waste and other aspects of its operations.

Volkswagen logoGreenwashing can also occur in the manipulation of information, as occurred in a Volkswagen scandal in 2015.

This can still happen when manipulating information, as happened with Volkswagen in 2015: the manufacturer used software for reduce indexes in It ismissions of gpolluting aces from your diesel-powered vehicles.

The scandal yielded collective actions by customers, who felt deceived by a false proshovelganda in “clean diesel” (“clean diesel”). Already in 2020, the company had to pay US$33 billion in fines, settlements and penalties for greenwashing.

Resilient management

The ability to adapt to constant changes is essential within sustainable entrepreneurship. The reason? The climate crisis that we went through — one of the main themes of SXSW — sand converts to natural events increasingly intensein addition to economic and social risks.

In this way, the strategic planning of environmentally friendly companies must consider short, medium and long term risksso that they can be contoured appropriately.

The relationship between sustainability and entrepreneurship

Despite the challenges, the relationship between entrepreneurship and sustainability will become inevitable in the coming years, given the planet’s environmental and social emergencies. Therefore, it is a permanent agenda, essential for human survival and from nature.

The grip ofThe sustainable management by glarge corporations Brazilian It is also a reflection of combining profitability and containment of social and environmental impacts. Banco do Brasil and Telefônica Brasilfor example, are among the highlights of the ranking Yearly Global 100which chooses the 100 most sustainable companies on the planet.

sustainable company rankingCorporate Knights Ranking: Banco do Brasil occupies 6th place and Telefônica do Brasl, 75th place.Source: Corporate Knights

Natura is also recognized for its ESG initiativeswhich earned it the rigorous B Company certification. Howeverthis type ofembroidery not restricted only to larger companies.

A recent Serasa survey Experian discovered that 89% of micro, small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Brazil already adopt someThe practice ESG in your daily life. This same percentage stated that actionsthe acronym are essential for business competitiveness, although 33.3% did not know your meaning.

The result is indicative that at some point companies need to prove sustainable practices to consumers, investors and suppliers. This is, therefore, an important and inevitable requirement for business acceleration.

*This is content from The BRIEF, a technology, business and behavior newsletter, for the TecMundo. Information and analysis in an irreverent way first thing in the morning. Sign up, it's free!

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