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Why Is Sustainability in Business Important?

by Olivia Baker

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French and Italian.

With just 100 companies causing the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions, the impact of sustainability in businesses can’t be ignored.

Human Impact


It’s without a doubt that people have the biggest impact on and responsibility for the environment, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that human emissions have caused almost all global warming since 1850.

So, what happened in the mid-eighteenth century? The Industrial Revolution took the world by storm, and since then, the carbon dioxide present in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen by over 50% and the average global temperature has increased between 1°C and 1.2°C (or 33.8°F to 34.2°F).

According to an article from Our World in Data, ‘a changing climate has a range of potential ecological, physical and health impacts, including extreme weather events (such as floods, droughts, storms, and heatwaves); sea-levels rise; altered crop growth; and disrupted water systems.’

Impact of Sustainability in Business


Besides the impact of human activity on climate change, a study shared by The Guardian found that 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of all greenhouse gasses emitted since 1988. So what are the business activities that impact the natural environment?

  • The physical building and infrastructure with its embedded carbon footprint
  • Land depletion, destruction, or imposition on the natural environment
  • Energy consumption, including heating and cooling
  • The resources and raw materials required to do business
  • Energy consumption associated with refining resources and raw materials to make an end product
  • Manufacturing waste
  • Transport and logistics
  • Operational and office waste, including paper and material wastage

Besides these, there are other potential ill-effects of business on the environment, known as “social costs,” which include noise, pollution, traffic, and visual blight. So it’s critical‌ for businesses to consider the full spectrum of their impact, not just on the immediate environment, but from a perspective that includes a cradle-to-cradle approach to all aspects of the business, from infrastructure to waste management.

Importance of Business Sustainability


With the global climate crisis upon us, clearly shown by increasingly extreme weather patterns, the stark reality of the rapid extinction of species, increasing food insecurity, and growing disparity between rich and poor, ‌sustainability has to be addressed.

With only 100 companies being responsible for over 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear that businesses and the people they serve hold the greatest leverage—and power—in driving the sustainability agenda.

It’s increasingly important to look at how our business practices impact the environment, and what we can do to ensure a healthy world for future generations.

Want to get one step closer to sustainability in business? E-signatures are a great place to start—try it out for yourself!

Olivia Baker
Olivia Baker
Content Writer