Should sustainability be a pillar that businesses of the future value as much as things like integrity, marketing, or even profitability? To us, a sustainable shoe brand, the answer seems like a no-brainer. In the larger world, however, fighting for this ideology can be an uphill battle. The majority of the world’s biggest businesses are not sustainable, in fact, 20 companies are responsible for 55% of the planet's single-use plastic waste. This is pretty frustrating, especially since it seems like any stabs big business takes at becoming “sustainable” are performative and insincere.
While it won’t be easy to transform the world’s markets to prioritize the environment, the good news is that huge strides are already being made. While there will always be holdouts who prefer to live in the good old days of islands made of trash that are twice the size of Texas and an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year due to air pollution, most of the world is starting to realize that not spewing toxic chemicals into our air and waterways is… pretty important.
According to a study conducted by Xerox, 54% of American businesses now have a formal green program dedicated to sustainability, and this percentage is expected to continue to increase. Meanwhile, according to KPMG, 80% of the top 5,200 companies in the world now report on sustainability, and of 52 countries polled, a quarter have sustainability reporting rates of over 90%!
Furthermore, there are financial benefits to going green as well. Over 40% of companies polled by Xerox included the financial risks and losses associated with potential climate change disasters, and the chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative, Eric Hespenheide, acknowledged that “Improved sustainability performance leads to more resilient and effective business practices.” Also, it has been reported that companies with green initiatives are growing 28 times faster than average. When considering both the environmental and financial benefits of implementing sustainability, it makes sense why companies around the world are finally starting to hop on the new wave.
Based on what we’ve said above, it might seem like we’re biting off a bit more than we can chew. Look, sustainability makes us very excited, but we’re just a startup company that sells sustainable shoes, we can’t change the world alone. At Ponto, we’re simply doing our best to make a product that minimizes your carbon footprint, doesn’t put additional waste into the environment, and doesn’t contribute to climate change. We want to challenge our customers to think critically about where their goods and products come from in order to inspire positive change on our planet. Maybe someday we will change the world, but for now, we just want to be on the right side of history, and so should you.