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Sustainability becomes BIG Business

By Dorothee Koppermann
Sustainable Business Service Designer, Munich, Germany

Foreword by Venkat
Fashions may come and go but the need to wear a smile will never go out of fashion. Likewise, trends may emerge and go but the quest for sustainability will remain so forever. Ancient Vedic scriptures underline our deep connection and our responsibility to nature and natural resources. In this overview, Doro brings the strong role of businesses towards value creation through sustainability with the responsible measures it deserves and demands. As she put succinctly, sustainability is possible when it becomes a part of the core strategy keeping the future generations in mind. Sustainability is not something beyond the label and buzzword that demands a “new age” attention. It is in fact so fundamental that it cannot be missed in our agenda in life and business in any age.

To find clarity on the concept of sustainability in her “to-the-point” style, hear it straight from the horse’s mouth — none other than the down-to-earth Doro!


Doro is an Enterprise Architect with more than 20 years of experience in driving client transformation and innovation projects. Just recently she graduated from the Service Design College with a degree in Sustainable Business Service Design. Based on her profound background in various industries and as a Start-up Coach, she knows that the Sustainable transformation is a mandatory subject for all of us. Doro is a new creator and a role model for forward thinking.

Sustainability becomes BIG Business

Sustainability is the most discussed topic at board level these days. The CSuite has recognized that sustainability can open up new business areas. Shareholder value and customer satisfaction are increasingly oriented towards sustainability strategies and their implementation. More companies are managing sustainability to improve processes, pursue growth, and add value to their companies rather than focusing on reputation alone. As businesses embrace the long-term strategic benefits of corporate sustainability, we see a surge in public commitments to climate goals. However, there is a glitch in the story!

The more companies are urged to publish their sustainable programs and efforts, the more the creativity increases on what is defined as sustainable. We all have encountered bizarre cases of so-called sustainable offer. Let it be the ticket for our holiday flight, that we “compensate” with an extra fee, or the “sustainable hotel” that we booked, that is air-conditioned day in day out, the “organic” Shirt that comes wrapped in plastic and many other examples. The more we get spammed with the terminology, the less we consciously make decisions. We rely on reports, label, and signs that prove that the offer is meeting the sustainable requirements. That leads to a contradiction of what we all want and have to achieve regarding a “net-zero” strategy.

We can’t just consume our way to a more sustainable world.
~ Jennifer Nini, writer, activist, and entrepreneur

But what is the solution? Sustainable change must consider many aspects and not be limited to the “green image”. In the past, sustainability efforts lacked a standardized, evidence-based framework for climate goals, making it difficult for companies to set meaningful, incremental targets and measure progress. Digitizing processes is one of the first major thresholds for sustainability success. In sustainability, digital technology is nascent at best for most companies. This complicates transparency efforts, limits investment opportunities, and slows strategic agility going forward. Beyond that transparency has to be communicated honestly and open, so that customers can make real sustainable decisions. They need to know if and to what extent a product meets the sustainable criteria.

Sustainability must be integrated into the business strategy, operating model, and daily operations to achieve the full potential of sustainability to create value. The sustainable transformation should be built on a strategy that takes as its starting point the principle that sustainability is a source of durable competitive advantage. The strategy must clearly connect to the company’s purpose, focus on long-term value creation. Sustainability is not a trend topic nor a boost for short term business increase, it is our and the coming generations future. We are all together in this and we all have to play our part.

Let’s create – a better future!

By Dorothee Koppermann
Sustainable Business Service Designer, Munich, Germany


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