Creating Sustainable Businesses in a Changing World

Thought Leadership Articles

Published 16 August 2019

Business owners today require specialist expertise to keep ahead of the pace of change in the market. When it comes to the highly specialised topics such as sustainability, businesses are turning to Project-Based Advisory Boards for guidance and support.

Sustainability is a broad topic which can have different impacts and motivators within an individual business.  This can make it a challenging issue to effectively integrate into business strategy and future planning- especially if it requires a business to address areas that are outside of their core ares of skill or expertise.

Businesses are at risk of losing customers and support if they fail to adhere to changes in regulation and/or customer sentiment on sustainability.  Due to the harsh reality of the world, customers and investors are becoming more focused on the impact of the companies they are involved with.  This drives the question- how sustainable is your business in a changing world?

Sustainability is a complex topic for businesses and individuals. There are different pressure points based on a number of factors such as geographical location, industry and personal belief which results in different sustainability goals being a preference for both businesses and individuals.

Michael Young, Certified Chair

With frightening statistics such as the ocean will contain 1 tonne of plastic per 1 tonne of fish by 2050 and there would need to be 4 earths if each country had a global footprint like the USA being published it’s obvious to see why both Consumers and Government Departments are becoming more cautious about who they do business with.

According to our latest Advisor Sentiment survey, out of the 17 UN sustainability goals the top 3 areas of focus across Australia are:

  • Good Health and Well-Being (3),
  • Quality Education (4); and
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities (11).

What was interesting to see was the top 3 sustainability goals changed in different cities.

Brisbane’s top 3 factors were Good Health & Well-Being (3), Quality Education (4) and Responsible Consumption & Production (12).

Melbourne’s top 3 focused on Quality Education (4), Affordable & Clean Energy (7) and Partnerships for the Goals (17).

Sydney-siders were focused on Sustainable Cities & Communities (11), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (9) and Affordable & Clean Energy (7).

With strong differentiation in each city it’s clear to see that geographical factors play a large part in which sustainability goals a person or business feels is most important. Understanding the preference for your customers and key stakeholders can be a crucial part of being successful in today’s market.

Louise Broekman, Advisory Board Centre Founder & CEO

Sourcing expertise in sustainability and other highly specialised skill sets is often hard to find and isn’t applicable for a full-time position.  Therefore, companies are turning to a Project-Based Advisory Board with a focus on sustainability as a flexible option to deliver impact.

Project-Based Advisory Boards can Prove an Ideal Solution

Any business contemplating their next step can gain value from independent, expert and professional advice. Businesses of all sizes and turnover are increasingly turning to advisory boards to gain insights beyond the scope of management or a governance board. A Project-Based Advisory Board offers a targeted solution: a group of expert individuals often with niche skill sets, delivering advice on a specific issue.

The State of the Market Report has revealed just how dependent Australian businesses are on Project-Based Advisory Boards and how far local and global firms can extend their when armed with good advice. The Report has revealed that 88% of firms seek independent advice to gain clarity on their business.

Only 12% of decision makers are clear about their needs; and 88% require careful evaluation and support to identify their key priorities and the profile of advisors needed to address them.

Louise Broekman, Advisory Board Centre Founder & CEO

Out of the businesses using an Advisory Board 34% are opting for a project-based type and more than a third (35%) of those Advisory Boards are specifically for market testing.

Michael Young on Sustainability at our Quarterly Network Meeting.

Project-Based Advisory Boards can support a business in a number of ways.  While an emerging tech firm may need a Project-Based Advisory Board to deliver pertinent insights into managing scale, corporate entities grappling with sustainability requirements can also benefit from a highly specialised Advisory setup.

A well-established Advisory Board can unwrap the complexities of niche issues and make tackling the problems less intimidating.  It can also support the business and build confidence for the governing board or management team to make internal decisions.

Still have questions?  Visit our Fundamentals or contact us directly.

The Advisory Board Centre provides membership, certification and best practice training for Board Chairs and Advisors. When you are engaging strategic Advisors in your business- look for the logo: