How To Really Make Your Business Sustainable

How sustainable is your business? It’s a question that an increasing number of organizations are asking themselves under demands from stakeholders who value ecological and social sustainability as much as economic performance.

It’s been common in the past for organizations to neglect sustainability for fear that the benefits are outweighed by the cost. However, this isn’t the case. A study published by the Guardian revealed that sustainability is the key to long-term corporate success.

Comparing 90 high-sustainability US-based companies against 90 low-sustainability companies, the study found that companies that embraced a commitment to sustainability outperformed those that did not.  The top 90 sustainable enterprises engaged with their shareholders and employees more often, and they self-reported environmental and social performance, not just their quarterly profits.

The article concludes with this prescient statement:“[Sustainability] is the key to creating value for shareholders and all other stakeholders over the long term, thus ensuring the sustainability of the company itself.”

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The Three Pillars Of Sustainability

Operational sustainability looks at how you can maintain your existing practices without risking future resources. It’s linked to ecological, social, and economic factors.

  • Ecological sustainability — An organization’s ability to use natural resources in a way that minimizes the long-term effect on the environment
  • Social sustainability — The development of processes and structures that meet the health and safety needs of current employees and stakeholders, as well as those of future generations
  • Economic sustainability — Supporting long-term economic growth without negatively impacting the social, cultural and environmental aspects of the community

In order for operational sustainability to be successful, each of these three pillars must be taken into account. In other words, the focus needs to be not just on sales and profits, but nature and people.

Forms software can play a key role in transforming low-sustainability operations into a high-sustainability model that benefits future generations.

Improving Operational Sustainability With Mobile Apps

It may sound far-fetched to suggest that a mobile platform can positively impact operational sustainability, but it’s true. And it can do so in three specific ways:

1. Going Green

Mobile forms are designed to replace existing paper-based reporting, safety, and manufacturing quality systems.

Going green is the most obvious step to take to achieve operational sustainability. Research shows that U.S. businesses waste $8 billion annually on paper. With the amount of data produced increasing by 65% every year, paper is a significant drain on resources, both financially and environmentally.

With some four billion trees cut down for paper every year, switching to mobile forms can have a huge ecological benefit. And they’re an operational change for the better.

Carrying out tasks on a mobile device is second nature to most people, so it makes sense that swapping a paper inspection or audit or an intuitive user interface speeds up the process. According to PwC, 1 out of every 10 documents simply goes missing.

Unlike those unfortunate pencil-pushers, you won’t have to scavenge for original documents or re-enter the data if you misplace a hard copy. With information stored in the cloud. your data leaves an easily-discernible trail of accountability. It goes where you go.

For any organization currently relying on paper processes in the field, moving to a paperless model makes perfect business sense.

2. Filling The Data Gaps

Continuous improvement and sustainability are inextricably linked. Organizations need to examine their current processes and look at ways to learn and adjust in order to move towards sustainable operations for future employees.

Think of it this way: as a business grows, its industrial “footprint” grows, too. . Every safety inspection, incident report, and asset audit adds to an increasingly daunting mountain of paperwork. Can you imagine if someone tried to shove every document needed to run your business into one filing cabinet? Adopters of data mobility are climbing that mountain and filling that cabinet. There are no spreadsheets and no endless binders of documents for them to organize. Using mobile apps like, they’ve integrated their current IT infrastructure so that information is available when and where they need it.

Additionally, data from reports carried out in the field can be analyzed in real-time, allowing decisions to made and next steps implemented for the benefit of employees and the organization as a whole. With health and safety a major factor in creating sustainable operations, this in-the-moment feedback can have a positive impact on future safeguarding.

3. Future-Proofing

Mobile solutions are more flexible than traditional vendor solutions. They’re more affordable than custom-built alternatives and infinitely more beneficial than paper.

An investment in mobile apps and forms for safety management and quality assurance is an investment in the future. It’s a risk-free venture that benefits organizations ecologically, socially, and economically.

The Guardian’s sustainability study reminds us that most successful companies were those that adopted technology early… By migrating to a mobile solution now, your organization can get a head start on a sustainable, productive, and profitable future…

Author Bio: Alex Brown is a technical content writer for He has written informative tech articles in different publications and content related to digital distribution, branding, IT, and more.

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