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Research shows value of collaboration on sustainability

Research shows value of collaboration on sustainability

Research shows value of collaboration on sustainability

Collaboration is a key concept that businesses should be embracing if they want to improve their sustainability and environmental performance.

That's according to the Collaboration for Impact report from Corporate Citizenship, which was based on a survey of corporate social responsibility experts from around the world.

There are a number of ways in which companies can incorporate the principle of positive collaboration and partnerships into how they operate on a day-to-day basis. When choosing cleaning firms and other service providers, for example, a business with an eco-friendly outlook will look for a partner with strong green credentials.

In the introduction to its report, Corporate Citizenship pointed out that collaboration is not a new concept in the field of corporate responsibility and sustainable development.

Recently, however, it has become something of a "buzzword", with an increasing number of organisations embracing different types of collaboration for various reasons.

The global sustainability consultancy stressed that genuine collaboration is different to the traditional idea of a business partnership, in that it requires the parties involved to take joint action in order to achieve a shared goal.

Specific findings from the survey showed that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners around the world are engaged in collaborative projects. More than four out of ten (43 per cent) are working with eight or more organisations.

Most collaborations are with non-profit groups (87 per cent) and government bodies (64 per cent), but same-sector (51 per cent) and cross-sector (41 per cent) cooperation is also becoming more common.

The report highlighted a number of specific models for collaboration, one of which is 'the alliance'. This involves companies working together to tackle a specific issue within their industry, and could contribute to the development of a new dedicated initiative or tools to drive progress in the sector.

Discussing the research findings, Corporate Citizenship co-founder Amanda Jordan OBE said that this increase in collaboration is indicative of a new way of thinking among many businesses.

"More and more organisations are seeking to achieve a greater social and environmental impact through collaboration with others," she commented. "Many different types of collaborations and relationships are emerging as organisations engage in new ways, in order to address big issues and deliver long-term change. We believe that those engaged in truly collaborative initiatives are the ones achieving the biggest impact."

Working with outside parties could prove particularly beneficial for smaller companies, which might be able to pool their resources and share innovative approaches to challenges like reducing power consumption and improving energy efficiency.

Starting with simple things like using energy-saving light bulbs and encouraging employees to recycle can set even the smallest enterprises on their way to reducing electricity bills and becoming more environmentally friendly.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/PinkyPills