How does Thinking Beyond Business define sustainability in business?
At TBB, we define Sustainability in business as the decision of business leaders to run their organizations in a more conscious way, one that seeks profit maximization and emphasizes and promotes generating a positive impact in the world. These businesses are in tune with their environmental and social impact, not only today but are also looking ahead. Sustainable businesses have a clear mission and a purpose that goes above and beyond just making profits, but that at the same time feeds and fuels profitability.
How did the company get started, and what background/experience do you and Soledad bring? WHY did you start TBB?
We both have over a decade of experience in the corporate world, Soledad on law and Silvina on finance and accounting. While we were happy at our roles, life took us in different directions that opened our eyes to the pressing problems that our world is facing such as climate change and growing social inequalities. As devoted mothers and conscious citizens, we dreamed of a better world for our kids. Therefore, we committed ourselves to being part of the solution and putting our skills and passions to work towards the purpose of healing the world by helping responsible businesses to thrive. Since both of our backgrounds lie in advising organizations strategically to grow, we decided to found TBB to advise businesses on how to incorporate best practices of sustainability into their business model to grow their operations while generating a positive impact. We also developed educational workshops tailored to professional service providers such as law firms and CPAs so they can understand and incorporate elements of sustainable practices when advising their clients and also within their operations. We believe educating other service providers is key to keep expanding our message and impact maximization.
Co-founders and business partners pictured above: Silvina Skverer and Soledad Matteozzi
What do you say to people who think that companies are just trying to greenwash and that they’re not moving fast enough or doing enough?
We understand some companies overstate what they are doing, which is a problem. Therefore, a big part of what we do at TBB is to help our clients communicate their impact and progress in an authentic way. We educate them on the reputational, legal, and financial risks of greenwashing. We understand that holistically integrating sustainability within a business strategy is a journey and can not be achieved overnight. Therefore, we tell our clients to focus on progress, not on perfection, while at the same time communicating their progress transparently and authentically. We believe in responsible citizens who more and more are making informed decisions supporting companies truly generating a positive impact, and individuals who are also pushing for regulations that mandate conscious practices with our planet and its people. The transition to a greener and more inclusive society is not straightforward because we still don’t have the technology or resources to keep up with the demands of the current world. However, we are confident that innovation, committed partnerships, and authentic collaborations will inspire more individuals and companies to become agents of change and work together to regenerate the world.
What types of services do you provide, and what value do your clients receive as a result?
We provide three types of services:
a- Articulating Business Purpose: Having a properly defined and articulated business purpose provides businesses with a sense of direction that helps them on every decision they make by providing a clear focus.
b- Sustainability Strategy and ESG metrics: We assess companies through the lens of sustainability to identify risks and opportunities, and we develop a tailored Sustainability Strategy with ESG metrics to measure and report on impact.
c- Workshops tailored to professional service providers: We educate professional service providers -law firms and CPAs – on the importance, terminology, and best practices of sustainability so they can be better advisors to their clients. Armed with the correct and updated knowledge, these professionals can develop the tools to help their clients make informed, trendy, and sustainable decisions.
What do you think is next for the industry? Where are we heading, and what can companies do to stay out in front of the changes that are coming?
We believe we are at an inflection point in which a growing number of individuals are realizing that a change is needed in order to have a sustainable world. We are transitioning to a new way of thinking, living, investing, working, and making decisions. But all transitions take time. Thus, we need to be patient and trust that business leaders have the passion and desire to innovate and offer more sustainable products and services. We see a growing number of consumers shifting their buying habits, supporting mainly companies who act with integrity. In this sense, conscious consumers are voting with their dollars supporting companies who are helping to address the world’s most pressing issues. These growing numbers of consumers are also advocating for legislation that mandates both the private and public sectors to act more responsibly. Investors are seeing this shift in the demand for products and so they are too slowly shifting their funds towards more socially and environmentally responsible proposals. Finally, agencies are pressuring governments to pass legislation imposing decarbonization targets, and increased diversity and inclusion, among other practices. We see increased mandate regulations on reporting, requiring companies to be more accountable and transparent with their actions.
We also see a lot of collaboration and meaningful partnerships from cross-sector organizations working together to generate a positive impact.
All these changes fill our hearts with hope that we can build a better world and that there are growing opportunities for those who care and want to be part of the solution. The ones that don’t want to be part of this new paradigm will be playing “Catch-up” or eventually, left behind.
Why did you join CTSBC?
We joined the council because we believe it is a committed organization that groups companies from different backgrounds, sizes, and industries that share similar values and the goal of building a more sustainable world. We want to work with these organizations, be inspired by their stories, and learn from their experiences. As we said before, we want to be part of the solution and act as an agent of change, so being part of this group, strengthen even more our commitment to healing the world. Besides, we highly admire Heather, her leadership, years of experience, and her honest desire to find scalable solutions to restore our world.