Sustainable business is a holistic view of doing business which places equal emphasis on the planet, people and profit.
Corporate sustainability also has a strong social component.
Factors like leadership, diversity, and low employee turnover all play an important part in sustainability rankings.
You’ll often see the concept referred to as the triple bottom line.
Definitions of Corporate Sustainability.
The definition of a sustainable business varies depending on the field. For example:
- In agribusiness, corporate sustainability can encompass concepts such as organic farming, urban horticulture and permaculture.
- In manufacturing, sustainability efforts may include waste elimination, greenhouse gas reduction, finding the most efficient and profitable use of existing resources (such as oil, gas, ores and forests) and creating energy-efficient infrastructures.
- In retail, sustainability experts often focus on the supply chain, evaluating ways to minimize waste in packaging, facilitate energy use in stores, transport goods in more eco-friendly ways and recycle old products.
Sustainable Businesses Approach.
Eco friendly business employ a three-pronged strategy:
- Preserve the environment and conserve natural resources.
- Build social equity, support employee well-being and promote fair trade.
- Maximize long-term profitability and promote growth.
Benefits of Sustainable Business
In addition to saving the planet, sustainable practices generate a number of benefits. These practices help companies:
1. Saves money
Employing eco-friendly technologies and cutting down on waste in energy, resources and employee time generates significant annual savings.
Even simple steps like turning off computer monitors can have an effect.
2. Boost market share
Lean, efficient businesses with a reputation for earth-friendly profits now attract a lot of attention from savvy investors, new customers and the press.
Investors, in particular, like to see that cost-saving measures are in place.
3. Create more job opportunities
Thanks to an increasing focus on sustainability, a lot of new titles have been introduced into our lexicon.
Including passive solar building designer, wind energy engineer and energy-efficient construction worker.
Some believe that renewable energy development could create millions of new jobs.
4. Attract and retain employees
Businesses with fair and ethical practices are like catnip to highly qualified employees.
Happier workers also tend to perform better, circumventing the expensive process of firing and rehiring.
Example of Sustainable Business.
WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Recognizing its investment in the next generation, Disney has taken a number of steps to strengthen its sustainable practices. Such as:
- Discloses company figures in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an independent body that covers the economic, environmental and ethical impacts of a company’s performance.
- Integrates environmental practices (such as running Disneyland trains on biodiesel made with hotel cooking oil) in each of its resorts.
- Employs an International Labor Standards (ILS) program that evaluates and helps address working conditions in facilities producing Disney-branded products around the world.
A Sustainable Future
It is not yet clear what our sustainable future will look like but with emerging technologies many people now look to a post fossil fuel world – including businesses.
Sustainable business practices are an essential part of corporate risk management and an issue confronting all businesses today, no matter their size or place in the marketplace.
Fundamental to this philosophy is that any process that holds real potential to damage the overall corporate reputation, no matter how profitable, must be viewed with extreme skepticism.
Increasingly, businesses are finding that embracing sustainable practices leads to better corporate culture, more reliable products and greater long term profitability.
By going green you are doing yourself, your business and Earth great favour. What do you think of applying sustainable business approach?
Would businesses still run long and succesfully while serving a common goal for all? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.
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