A Focus on Sustainability: New Year’s Resolutions for Business Leaders
5 min

A Focus on Sustainability: New Year’s Resolutions for Business Leaders

There are two ‘C’ words on everybody’s minds right now – namely, Christmas and climate change. While the first will be over quicker than we'd like, climate concerns are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

As we move into a new year, it's crucial for C-suite individuals to consider their role in addressing climate change.

With consumers increasingly favouring businesses that operate with environmental and social responsibility, it's essential for companies to integrate sustainability into their strategies.

A study by EY highlights this trend, revealing that 80% of CEOs believe companies will need to take more responsibility for their socio-environmental impact in the coming years.

In this article, we'll explore 8 New Year's resolutions that business leaders can implement to make a meaningful impact in the fight against climate change and contribute to a more sustainable future.

80% of CEOs believe companies will take more responsibility for socio-environmental impact in the coming years

1. Undergo The B Corp Process

Achieving a B Corp certification demonstrates that your business upholds high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

The process involves enhancing various aspects from employee benefits and charitable involvement to developing sustainable supply chain practices.

After measuring your organisation's social and environmental impact, those who meet the criteria and score 80 or above in their assessment become certified B Corporations, recognised as global leaders in promoting an inclusive and equitable economy.

Renowned brands like Evian, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s hold B Corp status.

Update: We're now a B Corp! Learn more about our commitments.

2. Refresh Products And Services

Innovating with sustainability in mind is increasingly becoming a game changer. Organisations are focusing more on creating new products that reduce carbon emissions, generate less waste, and enhance wellness.

For instance, in the financial services sector, consumers now seek more sustainable financial products, including:

  • Cards made from recycled plastic (45%)
  • Customer incentive schemes, loyalty programmes, and savings accounts that reward sustainable financial decisions (42%)
  • Access to green loans and mortgages (31%)

Adapting your product offerings with a sustainable perspective can introduce cost-saving opportunities, reduce environmental impact, and attract customers who value sustainability.

8 billion documents are delivered annually in the UK

3. Switch To Digital Billing And Communications

In many industries, customers still receive bills and sensitive documents through the post, contributing to nearly 8 billion documents being delivered annually in the UK.

Though post has been a traditional method for sending personal information, it's now seen as slow, unreliable, and environmentally damaging.

To address this, consider shifting a portion of your sensitive document delivery to digital recorded delivery, offering a faster and safer way to transmit information while reducing reliance on carbon-intensive processes like printing and mailing.

Mailock is a secure email solution that can facilitate this transition effectively.

4. Embed Sustainability Into Company Culture

Gaining employee buy-in is crucial for maintaining a sustainable mindset throughout your organisation. However, many businesses struggle to foster genuine staff commitment.

Currently, 35% of employees perceive a disconnect between their organisation's stated purpose and its daily actions, leading to disengagement.

A genuine focus on sustainability must be communicated effectively to employees and integrated into the company culture.

This can help retain staff and build credibility with consumers. Consider these strategies:

  • Implement green initiatives that benefit employees, such as cycle-to-work schemes, electric car schemes, or public transport perks
  • Encourage company-wide participation in sustainability initiatives, like the big plastic count, through competitions or incentives
  • Identify and empower employees who are passionate about sustainability to lead initiatives and educate their colleagues
  • Involve staff in sustainability decision-making and invite them to suggest and implement ideas for improvement
  • Offer workshops or training programs to educate employees in an engaging and constructive manner

5. Analyse Partners And Suppliers For Sustainability

While streamlining your own operations is essential, it's equally important to consider the sustainability practices of your suppliers and partners to achieve meaningful, lasting change.

Start by mapping your supply chain to pinpoint the most significant environmental and social challenges and understand what needs adjustment.

Map your supply chain to identify key environmental and social challenges

Develop criteria for evaluating partners and suppliers, focusing on metrics like carbon emissions, waste reduction, and social responsibility.

Using these criteria, assess existing relationships and identify new partners that align with your sustainability goals, comparing their performance against industry benchmarks or your own targets.

6. Consider Your Executive Structure

Aligning your leadership team with sustainability goals is key to clear communication and effective decision-making.

Begin by analysing whether an existing executive role can expand to include sustainability responsibilities or if a new role, such as Chief Sustainability Officer, is necessary.

Ensure the executive team supports your organisation's ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals and integrates sustainability into decision-making.

This commitment should be communicated to the broader team, embedding sustainability into company culture and driving long-term value.

7. Invest In Sustainable Business Practices

It's not just customer-facing services that need a sustainability review; your internal processes and product use also play a crucial role.

Large organisations contribute significantly to carbon footprints through office energy use and waste.

Here are key ways to enhance your business practices:

  • Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances, and equipment to reduce energy consumption
  • Implement recycling or composting schemes to minimise landfill waste
  • Use sustainable products like eco-friendly paper for printing and restrooms
  • Invest in green infrastructure or renewable energy sources, like solar power

8. Make Sustainability A Key Part Of Strategy

Organisations are increasingly working towards clear ESG goals to set industry standards, measure progress, and align with global sustainability efforts.

Companies should identify the most relevant sustainability issues and use data-driven decision-making to monitor and improve their performance.

Set clear time frames that include short-term, incremental changes and long-term targets.

Businesses that define and act with a purpose beyond profit are estimated to outperform the market by 5-7% per year.

Take Action

Business leaders play a central role in integrating sustainability into corporate strategy.

By taking action now, your organisation can reduce its environmental impact, enhance its bottom line, and help create a better world for future generations.

Deliver sensitive information securely with Mailock


The CEO Imperative: Rebound to More Sustainable Growth, EY, 2021.

Certification, B Labs, 2023.

67% Of Consumers Want Their Bank To Be More Sustainable, The Fintech Times, 2021.

Volume of Parcels and Letters Delivered in the UK, Statista, 2021.

Is Your Purpose Lectured Or Lived?, EY, 2021.

181 Top CEOs Have Realised Companies Need A Purpose Beyond Profit, Harvard Business Review, 2019.

Reviewed By:

Sabrina McClune, 18.06.24

Sam Kendall, 18.06.24


Originally posted on 23 12 22
Last updated on June 21, 2024

Posted by: Sabrina McClune

Sabrina McClune, an expert researcher with an MA in Digital Marketing, was a finalist in the Women In Tech Awards 2022. She excels in conducting and compiling research for B2B tech companies. Sabrina enjoys reading fantasy novels and collecting special edition books.

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