Sustainable Success: How Integrating Sustainability Elevates Your Business Strategy

Sustainable Success: How Integrating Sustainability Elevates Your Business Strategy

There has never been a more crucial time for businesses to invest and dedicate themselves to understanding and integrating sustainability into their overall business strategy. With growing legislative obligations, such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (‘CSRD), companies must prioritise ESG initiatives to meet their regulatory obligations. These obligations have created many obstacles for businesses, however they also present an opportunity to view sustainability through a lens of value creation to drive innovation and growth, creating new opportunities and ensuring the resilience of the company.

recent survey conducted by BDO Belgium and Mercuri Urval illustrates stakeholder’s interest and dedication to the transition to sustainability. The survey reports that stakeholders have been found to be the main drivers behind the transition, with companies reporting that they have already received sustainability-related questions from clients (78%), employees and future talent (58%), and public authorities/ governments (52%). This illustrates how integral sustainability concerns have become for businesses and highlights the opportunity companies have to take a proactive approach and tap into the potential of sustainability to grow their capital and ensure the adaptability of their organisation.  

Some of the key obstacles found to be facing businesses in the transition to sustainability are:  

  • Cost and lack of resources 
  • The practicality of getting information from complex supply chains  
  • Cultural and behavioural barriers 
  • Lack of awareness and understanding 

In order to address these concerns, businesses must: 


Embed sustainability into leadership and company business strategy 

By ensuring ESG topics are fully integrated into the company’s core operations and decision-making process, companies can identify and manage risks, seize opportunities, and create long-term value for all stakeholders. In order to determine the relevant ESG targets for each individual company it is important to conduct a Double Materiality Assessment, whereby the financial effect on the company as a result of sustainability risks and opportunities is measured, as well as the impact of the company on society and the environment. It is also important for companies to begin mapping their value chain now to ensure their business partners are meeting their environmental and social obligations and to identify potential risks and violations. 


Invest in leadership commitments 

The importance of leadership, the board, and CEOs cannot be understated in this transition as leadership plays a vital role in defining a company’s strategy and shaping how companies adopt to sustainability challenges. Companies must take steps to enhance the ESG capabilities of their team by providing training to their board members and management on sustainability topics in order to allow them to fully understand their obligations and their role in helping the company reach targets.  


Encourage employee engagement and empowerment 

Employees play a critical role in driving sustainability within organisations. Leaders should empower employees by offering training programmes which inform them about the company’s approach to sustainability and equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to actively contribute to the company’s success. By encouraging employees to actively participate in sustainability initiatives, businesses cultivate an organisational culture that values environmental responsibility and encourages innovation, allowing them to retain employees and attract top talent.  

For more information on how BDO can support your business on your sustainability journey, please contact


Carol Lynch

Tax Partner & Head of Customs and International Trade Services, BDO Dublin
personView bio

Michael Costello

Partner & Head of Sustainability, BDO Dublin
personView bio