The ROI from being a 'better' business

7 February 2023 | 4 min read | Clearly News
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

With B Corp Month 2023 fast approaching, much media attention will be focused on the need for businesses to be more responsible in terms of limiting their impact on the environment and doing more for society.

The benefits of these two things are pretty obvious, but what gets overlooked in these discussions is the way in which being a ‘better business’ improves business performance.

As uncomfortable as this sounds, profit really does need to come first. Without it, none of the sustainable or social impact initiatives a business wants to roll out and commit to are possible. They simply remain an idea. And when we speak of profit, return on investment (ROI) naturally enters the fray.

So, does being a B Corp and an organisation with a robust environment, social and governance (ESG) policy in place generate an ROI? If so, then how?

There are four major areas where businesses benefit greatly from having a sound ESG proposition and communications strategy in place.

Let’s start with the latter.

1. Improved revenue

A good, strong ESG proposition helps businesses tap into new revenue streams. And we’re proof positive of this.

Clearly became a Certified B Corporation in 2021 and this status tipped the balance in our favour when we secured a new client.

The now client liked the fact that although they didn’t have an ESG policy in place themselves, knowing that two per cent of every invoice they pay us goes to environmental and social impact initiatives made them feel good about themselves. That made us a good fit.

When on the procurement and tender trail, businesses are increasingly being measured on their ESG performance as much as their financial performance. Do well in both areas and the business’s bottom line benefits too.

WATCH: Mastering your ESG communications (and get people talking about you in the right way!)

2. Increased influence

Then there’s the network effect. Take for example, the B Corp community itself. It is a very close-knit one. You will often see businesses offer their products and services to other B Corp members at a specially reduced rate.

Equally, they are more inclined to refer business to other B Corps, and this can be a great extension to your existing lead generation efforts.

3. Talent retention and attraction levels bolstered

Your people will be buoyed like never before when you have a strong ESG proposition.

A plethora of research shows that this can – does – boost employee motivation. This in turn boosts productivity which is reflected in outputs and subsequent income streams.

At a time when talent retention and attraction is a major challenge, ‘better’ businesses have the advantage

And it doesn’t stop there. Because people are happier in their work, staff retention levels rise and the business itself becomes regarded as an employer of choice.

This sees a rise in speculative applications and employee referrals which means that your recruitment marketing budgets and costs per hire will fall. Again, all positively impacting your bottom line.

4. Enhanced brand perception and reputation

By saying that you do X and Y for people and planet, and are able to show proof of your actions and the impact they have, perception of your business as a product or service provider of choice is massively enhanced.

You will see other businesses gravitate towards you. They may not have any need to engage and do business with you in the here and now, but later on they might and they will call upon you when that need arises.

They could serve as arms-length brand ambassadors and refer those within their own network who have need for what you can offer.

Customers gravitate towards those businesses who are able to demonstrate the impact they have on people and planet

And they’re doing so because it positively reflects on them too. By recommending a business that has a great ESG proposition in place, the referrer by default creates an impression of themselves as someone who is also environmentally and socially conscious about who they also choose to do business with.

It’s called social proof.

Finally

So, there we are. A sound ESG proposition communicated correctly results in a boost to your organisation’s reputation and a boost to your bottom line. The question left to answer is, Are you ready to get going with getting on with it?

If your business need support in communicating the great work you are doing, we can help you to say it to the right people in the right way and at the right time. Email directly on paul@clearlypr.co.uk