Sustainability at its simplest form can be defined as the ability to sustain. While for me, sustainability is about the impact of our present actions to future generations.
Do we have the ability to sustain this environment? Does our society have the capacity to endure? To answer that question we have to assess our present condition. The environment is deteriorating at a rapid rate and we are already experiencing the effects of climate change. We consume so much so the industry also produces so much. At the rate that we are going it seemed like we don’t have ability to sustain nor maintain what we have so that the next generation can still enjoy it.
We need to evaluate our behavior and change our ways if we want to save this civilization we call mankind. Everyone has the responsibility to ameliorate the current situation and transform the way we do business before it’s too late. It is a good thing that more and more company now are integrating sustainability in their business model. Some of these organizations are:
- Coca-Cola Enterprises
2. Ford Motors
4. Whole Foods
Some of the benefits of becoming a sustainable business.
- Cost Reduction. In developing a more sustainable business practices, operations will be streamlined and costs will be reduced. Take preventive maintenance for instance, this practice keep equipment in good working order and prevent them from breaking down and also lead to longer “useful” life.
- Market Advantage. Sustainability is a market strategy. A company that is viewed as a positive and favorable member of the community is likely to have less opposition and less likely to be perceived negatively. Some can call this a “reputational’ capital, an investment that will pay off over time. According to the The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) consumer research, a company that is mindful of its impact on the environment and society makes consumer 58% more likely to buy their products or services.
- Increase Employee Retention and Recruitment. Integrating sustainability in their business practices will make a company more attractive to future employees and retain current employees. Employees want to work with companies who are ‘doing the right thing’ and being proactive with corporate environmental and social programs. A 2007 survey by Adecco, an international HR company, found that 52% of employed adults feel their companies should do more about the environment. More importantly, companies want their employees to be loyal and ethical to the organization. According to a Global Study of Business Ethics by the American Management Association, one of the top five internal practices for ensuring an ethical corporate culture is developing corporate social responsibility programs.