Transitioning to ‘Green Enterprises’

Land use practices both in rural and urban areas have landed communities in serious predicaments and the reality of land and water pollution, deforestation and a biodiversity crisis have come to the fore.

AFRICAN communities face a wide array of environmental challenges that are not only a threat to the health and well-being of citizens, but also to its economy and social cohesion.

Land use practices both in rural and urban areas have landed communities in serious predicaments and the reality of land and water pollution, deforestation and a biodiversity crisis have come to the fore.

While climate change is continuously exacerbating the aforementioned challenges, it is pertinent for businesses to explore innovative solutions to help communities through their business endeavours to solve these challenges while remaining profitable.

Environmentally sustainable “green” practices, production processes and consumption decisions are instrumental in reducing the carbon footprint.

Organisations can show the will to transform to “green enterprises” anchored on the “Triple Bottom Line”, a sustainability framework that measures business success in three key areas, people, planet and profit.

This business concept reminds firms that in addition to their profit generation goal, they should also commit to measuring their social and environmental impact.

Thus, building organisational goals on the foundations of environmental sustainability does not only present benefits to the environment, but also create opportunities for businesses through increased profitability and value for consumers.

In present-day, consumer preferences have shifted towards a green lifestyle following awareness of numerous environmental sustainability issues.

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the urgent need to address climate change, and many other anthropogenic environmental challenges, some organisations are making steps yet some still need to commit to reducing their environmental impact and contribute to an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future through the following recommendations.


In the process of transitioning into a “green” enterprise, it is key for businesses to position themselves within the context of the plethora of challenges facing communities.

This entails finding out which constraints the business can efficiently solve though a product, provision of a service or transformation of its manufacturing processes while remaining profitable.

Complementary businesses must conduct a sustainability assessment to identify where their environmental negative impact is greatest and how to minimise that.

For example, analysing current organisational input usage, waste production and supply chain practices will help to find ways to improve. In the process of positioning, businesses should create a sustainability strategy that outlines specific environmental sustainability targets, how these merge with existing broader corporate goals, actionable steps to achieve these, enablers of goal attainment as well as supply chain protocol that support the organisation’s sustainability goals.

Synchronising corporate and consumer goals for an increased market share

Clearly, businesses must be more in sync with consumers on issues as critical as sustainability.

Conforming to customer specific needs will enable organisations and brands to offer more than just performative measures when it comes to environmental sustainability governance priorities.

Aligning with consumers on sustainability goals is simply better for business as they remain relevant in satisfying consumer needs.

There is need for organisations through their sales and marketing units, to clearly note consumers’ emerging preferences and this will guide businesses with better offering selection, more competitive pricing as well as reduction of post-production or product redundancy losses.

More so strengthening reporting, product development research systems as well as creating a culture of transparency around sustainability efforts will help brands to differentiate themselves on the market, while creating unique value propositions for consumers.

Green up-skilling and staffing

Processes into green businesses would require a workforce that is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to drive the successful transition to a greener, more sustainable business model. Targeted staffing is crucial.

This is a process where an organisation deliberately sources specific skill to uphold the firm’s sustainability goals. More so, green up-skilling is also recommended to impart skills and knowledge to employees necessary for them to understand environmental issues and to contribute to the sustainability efforts within the organisation.

Environmental sustainability is not a matter of just compliance or corporate social responsibility, but sustainable initiatives, processes, practices and solutions can help organisations to achieve their sustainability goals, improve their reputation, reduce environmental impact, ultimately become more profitable.

Environmentally smart tech

Business greening and the ultimate attainment of organisational environmentally sustainable goals require more than just setting targets but implementing climate-smart, environmentally friendly technologies.

Such machinery and equipment do help reduce environmental harm as well as carbon footprint by encouraging “green” production energy efficient, waste reduction, and sustainable materials management processes in firms.

Incentives for environmental stewards and green ambassadors

To fully achieve the green vision, organisations should create green teams or sustainability committees to promote, implement and enforce sustainable practices across the organisation.

These enthusiasts will be responsible for identifying sustainability initiatives, tracking progress, and engaging all employees in sustainability efforts.

Furthermore, to support this green drive, internally organisations should flex their reward systems to acknowledge employees who support organisational environmental sustainability goals by offering incentives for such stewards who will ultimately become green ambassadors.

Environmental challenges know no boundary. Regardless of the fact that each enterprise has its unique policy, fully addressing environmental challenges do require collective community, business and government effort.

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